Twitter: Dumb, Inspiring

100_00111How many blog posts should start with, “This was going to be a tweet, but …”

We all know that some things take more than 140 characters. Plus, I need a place to store responses, and this is as good as it gets.

So here’s what I couldn’t say on Twitter, and it has to do with why I keep using it.

A week doesn’t go by that I don’t see some kind of self-reflective blog entry, usually of a deeply personal nature, from someone talking about why they are contemplating leaving Twitter. Really, it’s almost like they are describing the bottle.

I, too, seem to constantly reflect on the wisdom of my rapid-fire tweets.

(So why do you stick with Twitter – or are you contemplating one of those morose blog posts as well?)

Twitter is much of the time, even in my well-pruned stream, a place full of links I could get from a news Web site, quotes I could find on Google, and lots of conversations I’m not that interested in. As Richard Reeve (@ccseed) pointed out today, it’s also chock full of bad advice, a problem only growing with the network’s increasing popularity. It’s not even very good for crowdsourcing, as to cut through the noise I usually have to direct questions to specific users, something I could do with e-mail. It can also be quite an ego buster when you want to interact with really interesting people, and they couldn’t care less about you.

But here’s my nugget of truth in 130 characters: I stay on Twitter because, for all the noise, it’s full of inspiring and innovative people doing their best to make a difference.

If you’re reading this, you’re probably one of those people. You energize me, and make it worth it.

So, thanks.

7 thoughts on “Twitter: Dumb, Inspiring

  1. Should we seek “filters” on Twitter that we can all agree on? Maybe, Twitter should not be filtered.

    The only way it seems to work is when you trust others. In some ways it leaves you scratching your head. But, you trust anyway.

    It will remain a good process when you can still trust others.

  2. Well said Adriel! I can’t imagine another outlet that would allow me access to such a wide variety of people from so many walks of life. It’s my very own personalized melting pot, and I love it.

  3. Ditto. I love my Tweet Deck in that I return to it throughout the day and capture those ideas, articles and all the other interesting content expressed by those I chose to follow (including yours) that helps drive my interests and my passion. db

  4. I too face a lot of the same issues you speak of here.

    1) I like to believe I have a “well pruned stream” but I often find myself wondering “Why am I following this person?” when they pop up in my time line.

    Maybe I followed because they followed me. I checked their bio & they seemed interesting. Until they tweeted about “Ship of Fools (jk, but how do I know?!) Give me a description, an intro if you will, and let me decide if I want to click on it. Besides, a lot of their tweets are irrelevant, to me at least.

    2) The “ego buster” deal. What is up with that?!
    Twitter is supposed to be a community. Not a soapbox or megaphone.

    I have found so many interesting Twitter handles and was excited to see them post but alas, when they did, it was flurry of conversations between them and their select group of friends, which they probably already knew in RL.

    Guess what, I do not care how famous you are or how many followers you have, you just struck out with me! Unfollowed.

    It defeats the purpose of Social Media.

    I like to be able to share my opinion, see what others think, meet new people and spread information that hopefully others may find helpful. If not, well there is that handy-dandy Unfollow button below my name. Feel free.

    That is why I love Twitter. It is also the same reason I will never leave it. Besides, I have no intentions of blogging. 140 character limit matches my attention span! Short, sweet and to the point. That’s how I like it.

    I hope others will see the light of what Twitter is and should be.

    Thanks for making me feel like I was not the only one who felt this way about Twitter.

    *BTW, Twitter is working on grouping features. That will be most appreciated! Until then, Tweet Deck is the way to go for me.

  5. As much as folks want social media not to be about business, or government, it’s a bit naive to not see how that cat is already out of the bag.

    I too have been pleasantly surprised by the valuable connections I’ve been able to make. And when you take the long view it’s pretty amazing because just about every kind of interaction I care nothing to participate in takes place on twitter. Just spend an hour reading the everyone stream. It’s a pretty amazing experience.

    Yet somehow, the filtering does seem to sort itself out, and even in terms of folks that interact or not when follower numbers get up there, the power of similar interest seems to be the gravitational force that sorts it all out.

  6. Great points, Adriel, and very valid. I was discussing this a week or so ago with a few people, about certain high-profile Twitter users complaining about the noise and leaving Twitter to go to Friendfeed, etc.

    How can you create the noise in the first place (by having multiple thousand follows/followers) and then complain about it? Use filters, or don’t follow back – you have the power.

    And the noise you complain about on Twitter will be just as bad elsewhere if you don’t control that as well.

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