So … Twitter … Do you like it? Love it? Hate it?
I got on it for work recently, first as myself (mizwrite), but now I “tweet” for my company most days of the week under LifeScript.
Anyway, Twitter is kind of a strange animal – it’s sort of a cross between IM-ing and a chat room (or like sending Facebook status updates constantly, only to a roomful of strangers rather than to your closest friends). It’s very fast, and very live (especially if you’re following hundreds – or, in LifeScript’s case, even thousands – of conversations). You can “follow” the conversations of anyone you like, and even “group” them to follow certain streams at a time.
Here are some things you can do with Twitter:
Follow famous people: Katie Couric, Maria Shriver, Gov. Arnold Swartzenegger, Tina Fey, Rainn Wilson (Dwight from “The Office”), Ashton Kutcher, Jane Fonda, Tyler Florence, Shaq, Jimmy Fallon, etc. are all on there, chatting about their day and where they’re eating for lunch. You can follow any and all. Necessary to your life? No. Fun? Absolutely.
Follow companies you frequent: Find out about upcoming promotions or sales (or ask them what happened to your shipment). Jet Blue, Zappo, Whole Foods, Google, Real Simple magazine, LifeScript (!), etc. are all on there. Necessary for your life? Maybe. Fun? Surprisingly yes – the companies seem much more “human” when you can chat with them directly and make jokes about lost luggage or bad chai tea.
Follow news coverage: Get up-to-the-second headlines from CNN, MSNBC, Huffington Post and others. Find out about the Mumbai bombings from people who are actually THERE; see pictures of the plane in the Hudson before it’s even hit the Internet, and know about earthquakes within seconds of their happening (from the people who just felt them). Necessary for your life? Might be, as newspapers continue to go down. Fun? Coolness factor is high here – there’s a strange human desire to be the “first to know.”
Follow friends of yours: Find out … well … what they fed their cat this morning and what they ordered from Starbucks. : ) Necessary for your life? Nah – phone and e-mail are easier. Fun? Sure, but it has an unsettling “spying” feeling when you respond to them, as if you’ve been overhearing a conversation you weren’t necessarily invited to.
Make new friends regarding interests you have: Want to meet fellow tiki lovers? Simply find a Twitter tiki group, follow everyone in it, and jump in with tips on where to find the nearest bar that still puts umbrellas in the mai-tais. Scrapbooker? Do a search for “scrapbook,” follow the conversation, join in, and “follow” everyone you meet that day. Necessary for your life? Not ‘necessary,’ but you could certainly classify it as ‘enriching.’ Fun? Definitely.
So those are my assessments. How about you? Have you tried it yet? How do you use it? What do you think?
I immediately went and signed up for Twitter. It looks great and I’ve checked it out a little. It seems to be a good place for me to become user friendly. Thanks for the heads up!
I hate twitter. I really do.
I despise anyone who pays too much attention to celebrities. They are very overrated. Scientists, doctors, etc. should be getting this attention, not actors and singers. We have our priorities messed up.
And I could care less if you fed your cat and you just went to the store. I don’t need to know these things. Makes me sick.
But this is just one man’s opinion and you asked for it! 😛
Bleh. Rant over!
love it 😀
Well its a painless way to pass the boring time 🙂
Being at segmentnext few months have taught me that Twitter has got more in its sleeves then it looks at first really u go on and on and it keeps providing u with good stuff to pass ur time and shout out your message easily..
I haven’t jumped on the Twitter bandwagon and don’t think I’m going too. It’s already a lot to keep up with all the blogs I do plus Facebook. It keeps you chained, too, because then you become addicted to keeping up with it and have to constantly come back and check these things. It distracts!
I think Twitter is great!! Looking at Tweets within 25 miles of you produces new people to get to know. A school board member Tweets during meetings. I like to see the newest flower arrangements that the gay florist to the famous whips up..I can copy! I just love the immediate factor. I have a neighbor who is a weather guru…(this is extremely important if you live in the mountains, trust me) Anyway he tweets exact times for snow, hail, whatever. I’m getting introduced to new music. And, it’s fun!
I am only bugged by the newfound revelation that if I’m following someone but they aren’t following me, they don’t see my posts even when I reply to @TheirName. And as I go around searching, I’m discovering lots of people are talking to people who aren’t “hearing them”.
That’s a bummer. I try not to follow too many people, because I don’t want my friends posts to get buried. But I did think that if someone was following me, and they replied directly to me, I would see their reply.
Now, must rethink my follow/following strategy!
Actually, Lori, if you @Reply someone, your post definitely goes into their stream, even if they aren’t following you. (If this didn’t work out for you at some point, it might have been a Twitter glitch — which definitely happens! — but generally, this is the way it’s supposed to work.)
Now for people like Shaq and those with hundreds of thousands of followers, he may have “groups” set up where he only sees the @Replies of groups he assigns (“friends,” “family,” “fellow basketball stars,” etc.). But he has to assign this.
If anyone sorts by “@Replies,” though, they will see all comments directed at them or about them.
So you might not have to rethink your follow/following strategy as much as you suppose! : )
I prefer Yelp. I like providing reviews of my favorite places, and not-so-favorite, and reading what others have to say about the same places and finding about new places. Yelp feels like more of a community to me. “I like it a lot.”
Miz, that’s good to know. In fact, after I’d put up this comment, I remembered that someone who doesn’t follow me actually did reply to one of my replies. So I think you’re right. It was a glitch. Which is my only Twitter complaint so far. It’s glitchy. I actually got my account corrupted at one point and had to completely reset everything, which means I lost all my followers and followees. Was a pain! But I’m still Twittering. Or is it Tweeting? LOL!
(And hey, I found YOU there, so it’s got to be good, right?)
Maybe I read too much Ray Bradbury as a kid, but I always question whether what you give up for all this exciting new technology is worth more than what you gain. If you can’t imagine what I mean, I don’t know if I can explain it.
I think it’s fun, a time-sucker, a great promotion tool, addicting, a time-sucker, a new way of thinking [in terms of 140 characters or less], a time-sucker!!!
See, I haven’t hardly worked on my book today since I’m Twittering! Argh!!!!
I love hearing all these varying opinions from Denise, Otto, Zunair, Jeanne and Dixie (“I love it!” “I hate it!”). That’s what makes the world go ’round, huh?
On Twitter, I see some people use it for work, some use it for personal reasons, some sort of a hybrid. … It will be interesting to see how it all plays out.
Dave — I tried Yelp! Interesting!
Lori — So nice to meet you, and I’m glad we connected on Twitter. Please come back often and write/comment about your writing experiences!
TexanPenny — Veeeeery insightful of you. I didn’t read much Bradbury, but I know EXACTLY what you mean. I worry about it often. …
Misa — Yeah, you hit the nail on the head with that one! Fun, but you can get sucked down a black hole. … Now go write your novels! : ) (I read you on rtb! Come back often!)
Tried it, still using it. Loved it at first then got bored. Now just overwhelmed with sifting through all the tweets. Total, total time waster. I love it when I have a few minutes and nothing to do with my time.
Lori, Try using TwitterFox or Twhirl or TweetDeck to manage your tweets. That way you can see your replies all in one place, DMs, etc.
Am currently eating lunch and tweeting, that’s how I got to this post. 🙂
Hi, Deanna! Yes, I think that’s what everyone does — tries it, gets excited, then kind of goes cold for a bit. … But then it seems everyone goes back for more! I think, with Twitter, you have to have a “goal.” You have to know whether you want to use it to make friends, to promote a product, to learn about something specific, etc. Once you have a goal, you can manipulate it to use it the best way for you.
Excellent advice to Lori, though, and I agree — I use TweetDeck to manage all the streams easier. It’s reeeeeelly nice. I highly recommend it. It’s a free application to download. A lot of people seem to like Twhirl, too.
Also, many of you may already know this, but there’s a terrific blog about using Twitter effectively. It’s done by Darren Rowse (who is equally brilliant over at problogger.net! LOVE his stuff!) The twitter blog is TwiTip and it’s at: http://www.twitip.com. He covers interesting topics, such as setting a “goal” for Twitter, using it for business versus pleasure, etc. And the best part is that he presents it all in a super-easy-to-read format that’s as easy for the newcomer as the more experienced user. Check it out for great Twitter help!
Deeanna, thanks for the advice! I will definitely check those out.
In the meantime, I’ve joined Facebook. I have to say my first impressions aren’t great. There’s WAY too much going on that I can’t follow. But the problem is, my whole family is on Facebook, and it’s pretty cool to keep in touch with nieces and nephews. So I’m forcing myself to stick with it. I do love Twitter for its simplicity, thought. You can’t beat that.
Lori, this is so funny, but I was just coming on here to do my next post — about Facebook! : )
So please join in on that conversation, too!