Twit This Twit That

Twitter is a phenomenon that simply cannot be ignored. No matter how much one thinks “it’s waste of everybody’s time” (to some extent…) it keeps coming up. I started to wonder how many of you guys actually use Twitter?

I’m sort of a light-semi-Twitter-user (here’s my twitter account) and don’t really much put stuff in Twitter. Anyway, it seems that some people are actively using it – and saying that they benefiting from it not only as a source of inspiration & information but also in getting traffic to their sites.

I guess I have to re-think my position about Twitter.

What you guys think about it?

Do you use Twitter?

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8 thoughts on “Twit This Twit That

  1. MichaelJW

    Hey, glad you both liked it :) It was like a lightswitch went on for me when I read it. Havi and @pistachio are actually selling a call all about using twitter professionally. I haven’t bought it myself so no idea whether it’s a must-buy, but it might be worth checking out: http://www.fluentself.com/not-being-strategic/

    Russell yeah definitely you can link to your blog posts on twitter, I see a lot of people doing it and I do so myself (I’m @MichaelJW if you want to connect, by the way). But you can’t get away with *only* tweeting your own stuff — who wants to listen to the guy who only talks about himself?

    The twitter gurus say the rule of thumb is 90%+ sharing and communicating, ~10% linking to your own stuff (and then only if it’s actually useful/interesting to the people that follow, of course).

    Juuso you’re totally right that two benefits are increased traffic and networking. But there’s one other big thing you’re missing, and that’s letting other people find out more about YOU.

    ( You can call it personal branding or self marketing if you like :P )

    Why bother writing your thoughts about piracy, or doing an April fool’s prank, or posting the little games you made recently? *Technically* they’re not incredibly useful, but actually they are, because (apart from any entertainment value) they let people feel like they know you, so you don’t just seem like some faceless corporation trying to sell them something.

    Naturally some people go too far with this, break the 90% rule, and imagine everyone cares about them *so much* that they want to know about every little thing they’re doing. Um, no.

    …oh and I just noticed you wrote a new post on twitter. So I will go and read that now :P

    Reply
  2. Juuso Post author

    I also read that post… I think that “bar” analogy holds true – but that article didn’t much say how to benefit from it (after all, who here benefits professionnaly from going to bars? :)

    I know that there can be one good reason for Twittering (or well, enabling OTHERS to twitter about you):
    - website traffic

    It’s also a pretty interesting way to find interesting people – and to network with them. Whether or not that’s beneficial in a long run is up to you.

    That still doesn’t mean that Twittering would be anything useful though.

    After all, technically Twitter is a “almost realtime public chat with the people you choose”. Bit like public IRC, with different filtering/tag mechanism.

    I see almost no point in trying to follow what other people are saying. It’s simply too much waste of time when everybody and their mom are talking about how they are “going to sleep” or “drinking water” or “watching tv”. You really gotta pick carefully who to follow… and I’d personally prefer following RSS feeds.

    I’m going to try it out (again) and see if anything useful comes out of it. (using Tweetdeck by the way – it makes it much better user experience to have some sort of client).

    Reply
  3. Russell

    That was an enlightening post, MichaelJW. One thing I would really like to know is how are people using Twitter to help them professionally? Is this even possible? I suppose I could start a blog (which I’m in the middle of developing, actually), could I use Twitter to point people there… like drop a less-than-140-letter excerpt from each post or something? Or would that be an example of poor Twittering? The only game developers who have Twitter feeds that I follow are terrible. They respond to a Tweet of someone I don’t follow, so I only get a fragment of the conversation, or they Tweet the banana thing.

    Reply
  4. MichaelJW

    Twitter’s not about letting the world know about the mundane things happening in your life (despite what the homepage might say). If you’re worried about your updates wasting other people’s time, then you’re doing it wrong.

    Havi Brooks wrote an awesome article on what Twitter is actually about: http://www.fluentself.com/blog/stuff/twitter-demystified-the-great-debunking-begins/

    I really recommend reading that if you want to know what all the fuss is about :)

    Reply
  5. Russell

    The few Twitter accounts I’ve followed through a feed reader have provided nothing more than trivial bits of useless personal information. So maybe I’m just following the wrong people. Or maybe everyone thinks I need to know what they had for breakfast. Either way, so far I’ve been struggling to see what is enticing about Twitter. It should also be said that I’m a fairly private person, who also considers communication a precious gesture that requires focus and consideration. It’s difficult for me to deal out light, single-serving microcomments.

    For that reason I’ve kept from Twittering. However, recently I’ve considered giving it a try, but ONLY for professional purposes. I’ve already posted this link to the forums, but here is the lecture that has recently changed my mind… “Evangelizing Yourself”, by Whitney Hess:

    http://www.slideshare.net/whitneyhess/evangelizing-yourself-1184852

    I recommend it, if you have the time, and are interested in reasons and ways to increase your visibility in you field.

    Reply
  6. Jelani Harris

    Twitter is a nice way to network with other people that have interests just like you.

    However, as with anything new on the internet I feel that twitter is starting to get saturated with marketers, spammers, boring news feeds – heck just “noise” in general.

    Reply

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