I have been playing around with Twitter for several months now and have come to mixed conclusions as to its worth. Apparently, I am not alone as Twitter has a pretty good churn rate after 30 days, according to the WP.
On the plus side, I have been led to some great web sites and articles. That has been very good, but I am not sure that outweighs the negatives. Here they are in no particular order:
1. Some people seem compelled to tweet their every thought — and most of these people appear to have salient thoughts in their heads that would sound, if they were made physical, like two BBs rolling around in an empty tuna fish can. They suffer from a mind-numbing twitterhea. I don’t need to know you are bored tonight or read the drunken conversation you overheard in a bar.
2. Other people seem to do the above and then re-tweet what I already get from the original twitterer, probably in an attempt to push as many tweets as possible. Didn’t we follow one another because of similar interests in the first place? There is no need to re-tweet to fellow travelers.
3. Some tweets are simply empty and obvious marketing moves, sort of tweeted junk mail. I don’t mind links to relevant blog links (I’ve even done that once or twice.), but don’t keep trying to sell me on links to marginal copy.
4. Many tweets are just fluff, simplistic ideas that are the written equivalent of like, uh and um in spoken language: they take up space unnecessarily. A well-known designer took the time to let everyone know that content is more important than design and design should support the content. Well, duh. Share your genius not platitudes.
5. Finally and this is rather like No. 4, some real experts in a field seem to think that we want reports on their daily life instead of insights and thoughts along the lines of their professional expertise. As an example, I follow the Getting Things Done guru, David Allen. I had hoped for some good daily tips. Instead I have found out about wine, gardening and the weather in Ojai, Calif. Interesting, but not what I hoped for. I’ll stay a follower, however, because the occasional gem is in there.
I have been guilty of a few of these, in part because I felt the need to say something once or twice a day, but no more. Tomorrow I cull my “following” herd and will tweet only what I think is truly important, even if I am silent for awhile.
I am sure the Twitterati will be saddened….