I wrote the following in response to a thread where a woman on a web forum I go to, who wasn’t into Facebook or other social media sites and decided to give Twitter a go. I respect the effort but she only put in 3 days of work, and gave no indication of who she was trying to follow, but I’ve read SO BLOODY MUCH about people who don’t get Twitter and think it’s some mystical universe that they’re just mystified and never give it a real try. Seriously folks, this is nothing compared to, say, the furry sections of Second Life! Anyway, the post follows:
To be honest, there is nothing to ‘get’ about Twitter.
No it’s not for everyone, and yes it’s a much simpler version of the Facebook status update, and yes that’s all it really is: status updates. But if you use it and follow a few people you’re interested in and maybe write to them it can be a lot, LOT more.
You don’t have to sign up with an account, it just makes it easier to follow more than one person at a time. Without an account, you’d have to bookmark each celebrity or friend or website or organization that you want to follow. With an account, though, you can have all of those people arranged in a timeline on your home page.
You don’t have to message anyone – but if you do message a celebrity you really like and then get a response – it feels really cool! If you’re not a celeb hound, you can still message people you know.
Advanced tips: If you end up following loads of people you can organize them into lists. I have a list for expats, another one for celebrities, another one for websites, etc. If you still feel you follow too many people and can’t be bothered looking up all the posts you missed while you were sleeping or whatever, there’s a site called Twitter For Busy People (www.t4bp.com), which organizes all the people you follow into who’s updated in the last hour, the last day, and farther back than a day.
A lot of people use Twitter and Facebook as the new era of marketing, which can be a pain because if you suddenly get loads of people following you, you may start to wonder why.
However, if you’re just using it to connect with people then it’s not a big deal and you don’t have to ‘do’ anything with it. It simply becomes another site to visit. You literally don’t have to post a thing and just read what other people are talking about. Sometimes it’s nothing, sometimes it’s major. I get a lot of my headline news sort of stuff from there (an account called BreakingNews is very good for this).
I use Twitter to post to my Facebook status sometimes, but most often to share interesting & provocative links to people I know. At least, I HOPE they’re interesting and/or provocative!
(if you care to follow me, see the link to the top right or look me up @krushgroove)