Twitter Hype?

This BBC Article picks up on a thing that was going around yesterday about ‘bursting the bubble of the hype around twitter’ – apparently most twitter users only post once and don’t have any followers, ergo, it’s all balls.

It seems to me that it’s just that its usefulness is harder to explain that something that has pictures and video and competitions and widgets… Twitter’s just talking, at its best, and like conversation, some people are engaging and interesting and others are self-absorbed and dull.

So, what’s the best thing about twitter? what are it’s biggest frustrations? Twitter, through the eyes of those who actually use it, please 🙂

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14 Comments

    1. really?? I follow/unfollow people all the time, and expect people to do the same to me! I’m amazed at some of the people who’ve stuck with my twitter stream through the days when I’ve posted endlessly cos interesting things were happening! 🙂

      I have a lot of good friends on twitter who don’t follow me, cos I tweet too much for them. I’m fine with that 😉

  1. I love the interaction with others – and it seems that the better you interact the more interesting people you get to interact with. I have no problem with people unfollowing, sometimes I wish more people would – it’s not about building a collection and showing how many followers you have; (though it can be misused like that) it’s about real-time interaction in a short enough format so that it encourages conversational exchange rather than monologue.

    You can follow a wide variety of feeds to reflect your interests and you’re not obliged to follow back – even being able to reply and retweet without necessarily following.

    I have suffered a little with spam followers recently. You can block them but they return in a different guise and I worry about what Twitter might act like in the future when most people are using it.

    Twitter’s a great tool and there is always a danger that the media with hype something or destroy it – there’s not much inbetween. And the inherent danger of people new to Twitter reviewing it is that it can take a few weeks for it to be worthwhile.

  2. Does this reply have to be 140 characters or less?

    I am a complete ignoramus when it comes to social media/networking. I had dismissed the whole lot of it as something that my kids did until a couple of months ago when I signed up to Twitter, initially to contact Steve. I found it interesting but perhaps not the most convenient communication media ever.

    The thing that got me hooked on Twitter was when I started using it to keep my mother updated, initially when I went on a hill walk and then when we went on holiday. Worked a treat and a lot better than a postcard. Now, if only I can persuade her to sign up and start tweeting.

    1. I’m hooked on Twitter, I’ve had some great conversations. I follow/unfollow fairly regularly, partially as I struggle to keep up with the peeps I’m following. I’m following 91 or so at the moment and do some times feel it’s abit much, trying to keep it under a hundred.

      The real issue for me is that there are so many interesting people that I end up feeling like I’m missing out on what they’ve got to say.

  3. Steve: “…some people are engaging and interesting and others are self-absorbed and dull.”

    WTF?? To paraphrase… “Yeah, some people are extrovert and never shut up. The others are introsepctive, navel gazing, dull bastards.”

    You and me are in Camp 1, therefore we’re OK. Your beloved is in the second camp. Better be careful while you sleep tonight… 😉

    1. I tink we might have different definitions of ‘self-absorbed’ – introverted =/= self-absorbed, IMO… In fact, it’s often the opposite – the self-absorption of the egotistical narcissists is the most prevalent… quiet people get to be quiet on twitter. Some of my favourite twitterers to follow are people for whom it seems to be a way of organising their thoughts about the day…

      Definitely not a suggestion that anyone who’s not shouty and loud and throwing a virtual party isn’t ‘doing it right’ – more that throwing a party in honour of yourself where no-one gets to speak but you seems to miss the point somewhat 😉

  4. I found it much easier to understand once I started using it. Sticking with it has also been easy, since I’ve discovered several ways to use Twitter as a tool to do things other than self-indulgently tweeting for the sake of it (keeping my Facebook status up to date was the first one; I also now use it to update my blog when I’m short of time).

    Throw in the chance to keep in touch with some people I know, to get to know some interesting people I didn’t know and to get a few streams of news and information thrown in as well, and I’m convinced of its value.

    1. I think your first sentence is the key to so much of the twitter-bashing that goes on – it’s kind of weird until you try it, and find some interesting people to follow/chat with.

  5. The article left me thinking that their “users who don’t use Twitter” are coming to it expecting it to be something that it’s not. Maybe they expect it to be like YouTube where content is provided and aren’t used to the idea of microblogging.

    I’d be interested to see a study that only includes people who have blogged prior to joining Twitter. I think that would show an entirely different picture of how prevalent/useful/successful the site is. I have a hunch that folks who have some blogging experience “get it” more easily.

    For me, the best thing about Twitter is seeing folks in the immediacy and everydayness of their lives, without a lot of pre-meditated effort to their posts. Right now, the biggest frustration is the loss of the @replies functionality that was stripped away a few weeks ago.

    1. Yes – that would be a very interesting comparative indicator. I suspect that you are spot on and the value of twitter to those who’ve earned the title “blogger” is higher than to the group who have never blogged or made a few posts and then given up.

      I think twitter has definitely reached the point at which, along with other services like Facebook and MySpace, it is a well known brand. I wonder if it is established enough that people think about tweeting on other microblogging platforms like identi.ca?

  6. Because of twitter I got to hang out with an awesome group of guys in NYC, learned lots about pro musicians, saw a killer show, got some free music, and had a great time!

    ergo, I like it 🙂

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