Social Media Magazine

Me & Twitter

Posted on the 07 February 2011 by Seabee
In a post the other day about blogging I said I couldn't get my head around Twitter and I should do a post on it so that, maybe, you can tell me where I'm going wrong.
Today Sarah has an excellent post about Twitter at Dubai-ified, which prompted me to write my post on it.
I understand the concept of instant, brief messages. I understand, as Sarah says, that Twitter is connectivity to the rest of the world. But there's much I can't get my head around.
Blogging I understand, it makes sense, it doesn't need you on it 24/7, it's clear and concise, easy to read.
Twitter is the opposite.
The first bit I struggle with is knowing what to follow. How the hell do you decide when there's so much of interest going on. And new, unpredicted things of interest regularly popping up out of nowhere, such as the Benihana Kuwait blogger-bashing story. I'd end up following so many subjects that my computer would go into meltdown.
And that leads me on to the other thing I don't understand - the time you need.
Twitter by its very nature provides instant and constant updates on all sorts of stuff.  But if you're not monitoring it all the time you miss huge wads of the stuff and when you get back to it it's like missing the middle section of a movie.
And if you have your own Twitter page, how do you find the time to keep posting (or is that tweeting?). With this blog I can post something every day, sometimes longer like this and sometimes just a photo. I can check back for comments, I can reply to them...but I don't need to be on it all the time.
Then there's the content.
For example, I followed the link from a visitor tracked by my Statcounter:
alimustafaok: Queensland baby born in cyclone Yasi shelter {exclusive video of baby...must watch} - http://tinyurl.com/69q54rr
KrystleJondahl1: All our thoughts with Queensland as they brace themselves for Cyclone Yasi TishaMcmain5429: All our thoughts with Queensland as they brace themselves for Cyclone Yasi rosethistleart: RT @CBSnews: End of Cyclone Yasi Brings Australia More Woes http://bit.ly/eZi18N
YuetteFinley968: All our thoughts with Queensland as they brace themselves for Cyclone Yasi
CBS News: End of Cyclone Yasi Brings Australia More Woes http://feedzil.la/g8juoy
AdamColeman25: End of Cyclone Yasi Brings Australia More Woes (CBS News): Share With Friends: World news - Top Stories News, KiyokoWires3264: All our thoughts with Queensland as they brace themselves for Cyclone Yasi
MonicaRingstaff: The energy from Cyclone Yasi could power the world for a year
 LaurenLandolt74: The energy from Cyclone Yasi could power the world for a year
teetee65: RT @CBSnews: End of Cyclone Yasi Brings Australia More Woes http://bit.ly/eZi18N
AllineYerhot194: The energy from Cyclone Yasi could power the world for a year
ThomasGoracke92: All our thoughts with Queensland as they brace themselves for Cyclone Yasi
WanitaRied3601: All our thoughts with Queensland as they brace themselves for Cyclone Yasi
Levi_Fourie: @JackieEatsBabys search up cyclone yasi!! :D and be amazed we got lucky :L other owns didn't :(
MiriamMazzoni59: All our thoughts with Queensland as they brace themselves for Cyclone Yasi
RT @CBSnews: End of Cyclone Yasi Brings Australia More Woes http://bit.ly/eZi18N
ElenoreBueche60: All our thoughts with Queensland as they brace themselves for Cyclone Yasi
KiaraCiarletta3: The energy from Cyclone Yasi could power the world for a year
Louth: Tail end of Cyclone Yasi in Werribee. Pictures: http://bit.ly/fh5ocd Video: http://youtu.be/IiHCvNmRE2w [Not mine!] - More rain to come too.
Louth: Tail end of Cyclone Yasi in Werribee. Pictures: http://bit.ly/fh5ocd Video: http://youtu.be/IiHCvNmRE2w [Not mine!] - More rain to come too.
AliseCumpston27: All our thoughts with Queensland as they brace themselves for Cyclone Yasi
It goes on ad nauseum like that. Page after page with messages being repeated by dozens of people. Most of it is just quotes from the mainstream media and people re-tweeting what others have already tweeted, so it's page after page endlessly repeating exactly the same thing. In reality there are only five or six things being said, which you read over and over again.
 
I've just had a look at Alexander McNabb's Twitter page and that highlights another problem I have. Dozens of conversations are going on at the same time. It's like being in one of those business meetings where the chairman loses control and everyone starts talking amongst themselves. So much is going on at the same time you have no idea what's going on.
 
 
Here's part of Alex' page:
  Now. THAT is awesome. #Jan25
.@bilalhouri I do not somehow feel a deep sense of loss.. @tfehh @jarofjuice @mark248am @MaliZomg
.@bilalhouri Now the only voice on Facebook is the boycott page... LOL indeed... @mark248am @MaliZomg @naseemfaqihi
.@bilalhouri Yes, I rather think they did! Yet more great 'how to' lessons in social media! :) @mark248am @MaliZomg #BenihanaKUW
.RT @allawati: People are now forming to make the word "Leave" for the helicopters to see http://twitpic.com/3wbys0
.RT @Andrew_Bone: Last call for Jeddah. Would all passengers board immediately. Come on, Mr Mubarak #Jan25
.Fast Company on BenihanaGate. Hey, Benihana Tokyo? WAKE UP! http://bit.ly/faxZE2 #BenihanaKUW (Via @okassim)
.@okassim Yes, it was a despicable swipe against an alienated sibling. And quite fun...
."Reporters Without Borders is horrified... an all-out witch-hunt against news media... in Egypt" http://bit.ly/gjBXy7
.@okassim Yeah, but search 'Benihana' and you catch the growing global outcry. And it's actually scary. #benihanakuw
.@Beirutspring @krmaher Well, some ISPs are capable of anythingng... ;)
.@Beirutspring @krmaher Saudi IPs - IP addresses. See the post on the host's site: http://bit.ly/hsKEnv
.Hmm. The Slashdot effect? #BenihanaKUW http://bit.ly/hodSAS
.@bilalhouri @noornet @Beirutspring @MaliZomg Post is mirrored here: http://bit.ly/hsKEnv
.@Beirutspring According to the hosting provider, traffic spike plus attacks from Saudi-based IPs!
.@money1963 Benihana Kuwait! You might find this informative: http://bit.ly/gr0414
.@noornet @Beirutspring Guys, the blog is offline temporarily as the host is having traffic issues. http://bit.ly/hsKEnv #jan25
.RT @GKnieschot: Vodaphone #Egypt statement on Government abusing phone networl: http://bit.ly/gnVesi #Jan25
And I have a problem with the way it's presented.
 
There's all the link stuff, more than half the message, to wade through:
 
pippalovespink: RT @smh_news: RT @smhenvironment: 41 degrees: Sydney's sixth day of sizzling: http://bit.ly/gjYhnN #weather #environment #sydneyheat
 
Ninety-four characters of links to wade through to read forty-one characters of message. 
And making it even harder to read what's there, the platform can't accept apostrophies so you get:
marielviray: @meteoritecrater also, Sydney's in a heat wave and Melbourne's flooding. Australia's weather is so bipolar.
User friendly it ain't.
Assuming that with practice I could work out how to cut through the dozens of  simultaneous conversations and how to read through all the 'ses I still have two problems.
How to follow all the many, many subjects I'd want to follow and how to find the time to do it.
 
How to find a way through the endlessly repeated clutter and just read a message once.
 
 


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