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Twitter: Useful or Not?

I just joined Twitter about an hour or two ago (my twitter), and my second impression is that it’s slow moving. I can get a whole blog post or two done before Twitter updates a preference or posts a message. My first impression, before I even signed up was “this is rediculous!”

I really don’t get Twitter. To me, it is like updating my instant messenger status information on Google Talk and whatnot, something I forget to do regularly, leaving my friends to wonder, “why has David been sleeping for four days now?”

Setting up my account was easy enough, and adding a friend or two was easy as well, but just as I went to change how my Twitter page looks, I was greeted with “Twitter: down for maintenance—be back shortly!” How disappointing. Being a new user, this leads me to wonder about how often outages happen.

I haven’t heard much about Twitter yet, but I have been getting more and more people pressuring me to try it out. John Wiseman (his twitter), a fellow blogger, was finally the breaking point for me, and I signed up. This is pretty much the same reason I have signed up for any service. If all my friends are using it, I might as well be on there to so that I can see what all the fuss is about. A silly reason to join anything, and it only proves that I am a sheep, rather than an early adopter, but I don’t mind.

Will this give me status updates on my friends that really matter? More than half of the messages that have been created by my friends so far are at best silly, and at the worst, useless. The other half of the messages are more in line with what Twitter intended to be, with status reports on where people are, and sometimes tidbits on a link they liked, or a product that they bought.

With the more serious additions, I can get an idea of how a person is doing, what they are doing, and things they have found interesting. The question that I still have though is how useful this is. Will I check Twitter every day? Will my friends continue to update it? Or is all of this twittering just a waste of time?

My friends used to come online and actually start a dialog with me. They would ask me what I have been up to, and I would in turn do the same. With Twitter will they just say, “hi, check my Twitter page?” I really think the last thing the world needs is one way communication, and that is probably why many people are already foreseeing the demise of Twitter.

Some people compare Twitter to microblogging, but without comments, there is no feedback, and thus for me, no connection. Will Twitter survive for a long time? It probably will because of the attention starved people that add new messages to the service and the short attention spans of those who read those messages.

If you like or dislike Twitter, please let me know, and your reason either way would be very helpful in either supporting or maybe even changing my point of view.

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Comments

  1. Steven Hodson says: 3/20/2007

    It’s funny .. I have been Twiterized as well even though I have written a couple of posts that like you questioned it. However I don’t do the Public Timeline at all and as I look at the list of “friends” it is made up of bloggers I read.

    As for finding me well I don’t post my Twitter ID so if folks are really serious about wanting to add me they have to go to the blog and scroll down to the Visitors and Stuff to find it.

    I find between those two things the mindlessness of it is slightly minimized :)

    Reply

  2. Michelle says: 3/20/2007

    Personally, I find little use for Twitter. I have an account, but I rarely post anything on it – I don’t need to itemize every detail of my day, like some. But I can see its potential for real-time coverage of conferences or breaking news. Or, if you need the answer to a question, you can send it out as a Twitter message for real-time results. But for day to day stuff, it doesn’t really fit my life.

    Reply

  3. mike says: 3/20/2007

    I haven’t paid any attention to twitter. I personally don’t see anything special about. I don’t see any reason to chronicle my life in such a way. If I were to do that, I would much rather do it through my blog. I haven’t seen very wide adoption of it either.

    Reply

  4. Doug Karr says: 3/20/2007

    I really hope it dies a quick death. I’m tired of hearing about it and refuse to join it.

    Of course, if I were an adventurous thief, I’d look for a twitter account that relates to a blog with a nice HDTV and super-mega PC/mac system integration and wait for the Twitter from the airport that they’re leaving for the other side of the country… then rob them blind.

    Might as well leave a sign on the door that you’re not home.

    Reply

  5. Boris says: 3/21/2007

    I don’t want to dismiss Twitter just yet.

    I haven’t found a use for it yet and it reminds me of the early days at Orkut when all the famous internet people were on there. Then it suddenly stopped being cool and that was the end of it.

    Twitter might be a good addition to a blog when you want to say small things that don’t fit in a big and permanent blog post.

    Reply

  6. jim_hellas says: 3/21/2007

    Twitter is taking hours to load! OMG! What’s wrong with their server?

    Reply

  7. Peter says: 3/21/2007

    Yeah, I’d noticed a few mentions of “twitter” just recently and your post pushed me to find out a bit more about it.

    Honestly? I just can’t see the point of it. But then it wouldn’t be the first online application to start off as seemingly pointless and then go on to turn into something quite useful after all.

    I don’t think I’ll be twittering just yet though…

    Reply

  8. Lanooz says: 3/22/2007

    I’m realy impressd with Twitter. It’s a great tool. But many poeple is dealing with it like something really serious – that’s why they’re really negative to twitter. That’s just kind of funny social networking.
    Many details about ourselves became a really important unit.

    If everything had to be ‘very useful’ – it wouldn’t be half on whole internet.
    Cool down poeple!

    Reply

  9. WTL says: 3/24/2007

    I think Twitter is pretty neat – and it is somewhat like Microblogging, and if people are your “friends” they can Twitter back in comment.

    I guess we’ll see in six months if this is a fad or something with more staying power.

    Reply

  10. Drymiotes says: 11/19/2007

    Nice

    Reply

  11. Riccardo says: 5/14/2008

    I have used twitter and it really works!!!

    Reply

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  13. Twitter : niche's opinion says: 1/14/2009

    Hi, I have been using twitter for a short time now and I think I agree with what you said at the beginning of your post. Slow!

    There is a large following for twitter and it must be based on something but must confess I haven’t found that something yet

    Still testing

    Reply

  14. mikeyaozm says: 9/20/2009

    proves that I am a sheep, rather than an early adopter, but I don’t mind.

    Reply

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