What did we do before twitter?

There’s a nice article by Charles Arthur on the Guardian Technology website about Twitter. I can’t remember when I started using Twitter, but now I couldn’t imagine life without it. It’s an incredibly useful communication tool, even more so now I have a smartphone. Yet still many people grumble about it, and claim that it is a colossal waste of time, or that it is utterly banal.

Arthur makes this point:

Some people … will complain that they “don’t see the point” of Twitter. Sure, if your job or your business doesn’t depend on just-in-time information, or if you find it hard to engage with other people in a supportive way, you’re going to find Twitter perplexing.

It’s important to use Twitter properly to benefit from it. You have to give as well as take. If you have 20 000 followers but only follow five yourself, you aren’t using Twitter properly. If you get your publisher to tweet on your behalf when some marketing or promotion is needed, then you aren’t using Twitter properly. And if all you do is Tweet your latest blog post, that’s also a Twitter #fail.

4 comments to What did we do before twitter?

  • Companies that tweet “Wow, check out our fantastic XYZ!” at regular intervals, and nothing else, are #fail ing too. How annoying!

    In my own Twitter network, many if not most of the people are trying to promote something or other (their business, blog etc). I’m not sure where exactly the sweet spot is, but I reckon a good ratio of regular conversation to plugging would be something like 10:1 .

    I know the plugging thing is just one aspect of Twitter…

  • There is only one way to decide if something is a Twitter #fail or not: if it is useful for the person/company who does it, in relation to the effort it takes.

    Just because you don’t like it doesn’t mean that it is a #fail, does it?

  • I must admit, that after listening to a Facebook Fanpage seminar at the LIWF held by Wink Lorch, and realising that more of my customers are on facebook than on twitter, I don’t tweet that much anymore. There are some advantages in FB where Twitter is still more restricted… In FB e.g. I have 80 lists, the posibilty to follow a hopefully unlimited amount of Fanpages (yes there is a max friend restriction of 5000, but no following/follower spam-ratio) And most important of all Statistics for Fanpages! It is also a question of how to deal with different info-channels… e.g. having several twitter accounts, giving each of them more specific content. On FB you just have several FB Fanpages…

  • keith Prothero

    I think the lack of response may give you a clue Jamie, that many think Twitter is a waste of time—except for business perhaps.
    Facebook on the other hand is useful,at least for me as I get to see photos from all over the world from friends and relatives,and I prefer to spend longer in verbal discussion than Twitter allows.
    Everyone to his/her own though.

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