Dubai blogger Sea Bee has written a post titled, “Twitter and Me” where he discussed how he feels lost in Twitter. Another Dubai blogger, Sarah of Dubai-ified wrote an excellent post about Twitter too. This prompted me to talk about Twitter as well as I’m an avid Twitter user.
First off, here are the top three reasons why I use Twitter:
1. Twitter gives me immediate pulse on news and events
What I like about Twitter is that it can be a live coverage of what’s going on around us. Information get to Twitter faster than news agency reporters because everyone with connection to the internet can ‘tweet’ about anything they see or experience real time. It’s like everyone on Twitter are ‘reporters on the go’ and tweeters (or Twitterers) are faster than real reporters on the go!
2. Twitter broadens my reach to wider community and I learn a lot from it
I follow people who tweet about topics I am interested in: blogging, social media, news, parenting, etc. I get a lot of ideas and feedback from people beyond my inner circle of friends and I learn from their informative tweets or the links they post. I even get answers to my questions directly from people who know it best. For me, Twitter is a gold mine of information available for free.
(I have landed paid freelance writing jobs through Twitter and have won prizes through Twitter contests as well, including a laptop)
3. Twitter is less disruptive than Facebook
Though real life friends also tweet each other, many people in Twitter have not met in real life yet they virtually engage in sensible communication. There is no need for a ‘face’ or to look up each other’s photo albums. I don’t need to scour through personal information before replying to a tweet. I always get lost in Facebook and end up spending more time than I should have because there’s too much information on it.
But I see the part where one can’t put his head around Twitter.
Looking at Twitter streams can be intimidating, one would assume that there are lots of Tweeters (Twitter users) who use this micro blogging platform like it’s a giant chat room. That’s why I won’t recommend following thousands – I keep a List of Reasons Why I won’t Follow Someone in Twitter and I only follow a few.
Everyone will be talking at the same time that it’s difficult to sort out good content from bad ones. So what I do is skim through my Twitter time line, read the good tweets and skip the bad ones (unnecessary clutter like repeated RT’s, ad content, etc).
Also, I would recommend every Twitter user to use a Twitter client to make tweeting easy. Tweetdeck, Twhirl and Seesmic Web are just a few. I strongly believe Twitter won’t be too inundating when you use an application.
Next – How do people find the time?
To solve this bit of mystery – I think that most people who are on Twitter are those sitting in front for their computers day in and day out. They have this free Twitter desktop application installed where they check out what’s buzzing in Twitterland while working (*Ahem* You are not allowed to tell my boss!). They engage in tweets they like, click and read links, they tweet whatever comes to mind. But of course I might be talking about myself.
People who aren’t in front of their PC’s have internet packages in their smart phones where they send their tweets. I, however, have no tweeting capability outside and have found myself wanting to tweet what I see but disappointed that I can’t. Yes, I have reached a point where it’s hard for me not to tweet when I want.
Finally, Facebook vs Twitter vs Blogging
There’s no real winner as each is a winner on their own.
Facebook lets me connect with old friends, people I have had an ample amount of online interaction and family, look at their photos, check up the latest about them.
Blogging lets me exceed the 140 character quota per tweet that Twitter has. It makes me expound on the subject more, like what I’m doing now.
Twitter, on the other hand, allows me to engage in brief conversations with people from diverse background and all the three reasons above. Although Twitter will never replace blogging, sometimes the bare basic facts (in 140 chars or less) is all we need.
Honestly if I would be asked to retain only one social media tool in my life, I’d take Twitter over Facebook any day simply for the reason that Facebook connects me with people I already know (friends, family) but Twitter connects me to the world and I don’t have to meet them in real life to connect with them.
As one tweet I read some time back, to sum up Facebook vs Twitter:
“Facebook is about people you used to know; Twitter is about people you’d like to know better.”
You? Which social media are you more active in? Twitter? Facebook? Why?