Why don’t I get Twitter?

Posted July 15, 2008 in social media  |  3 Comments so far

These days a lot of people like me are addicted to Twitter. Developers across the globe are coming up with interesting tools to visualise, aggregate and automatically syndicate Twitter content (or “tweets”). At conferences and speeches, audiences keep up a constant back-channel of chat using Twitter. I sporadically post to Twitter. But I don’t feel like I’m really getting Twitter.

It’s not that I don’t see the appeal – if I could force my friends and colleagues to start using it I can imagine it becoming an addiction pretty quickly. But outside technology circles I’m usually met with blank faces whenever I mention Twitter. The end result is that whenever I tweet I feel like I’m addressing an empty room or shouting into a vacuum.

So Twitter might be more useful to me if my real-life social networks were even partially extant within the Twitter universe. A sensible conclusion to draw from this might be that I should simply join new Twitter-based social networks and make some new friends among those who already use the service?

That brings us to another problem with Twitter. These days we’re accustomed to social networking sites not only allowing us to connect with our real-life acquaintances, but also to search for and befriend like-minded strangers with similar interests. This doesn’t seem very easy on Twitter, however, which leads me to believe that I’m probably missing something that’s very obvious to every other user.

I’m nothing if not persistent though so I’m going to tweet on, in the hope that I’ll undergo some sort of Twitter epiphany someday. And if you come across any of my posts, please interact with me in some way – I’ll make it worth your while!

3 comments so far.  Post a comment

  1. July 15, 2008 at 11:29 am [ Permalink

    Thanks for the link! I used to think it’d be great if my friends and family were on twitter, but then I figured I’ve got texts for local events and Facebook status feeds on RSS for general news, so now I think of twitter as my geek outlet.

    In terms of finding a community of like-minded people, if you set ‘all replies’ you can see interesting remarks addressed to your contacts, or you could look for tweets about events you’ve been to, or put your twitter username in your email signature.

  2. July 15, 2008 at 12:19 pm [ Permalink

    It makes sense to think of Twitter as a geek outlet rather than something to strengthen real-life social networks (for which there are already enough communication channels, as you say!).

    Thanks for the tips and advice, I’m going to follow them and hopefully become a much more adept twitterer than I currently am – assuming the “fail whale” doesn’t put the kibosh on the whole thing…

  3. […] my previous post on not “getting” Twitter, I’ve spent a fair bit of time getting to grips with it […]

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