General Question

waterskier2007's avatar

What is the point of twitter?

Asked by waterskier2007 (2050points) June 11th, 2008

so i just joined twitter and i dont really get it. how are you supposed to connect with people unless you know one of your friends that is on it. there is no social interaction like there is on fluther because people are constantly asking and answering your questions here

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24 Answers

ccatron's avatar

you build up a list of friends. they post “what they are doing” and you post “what you are doing”. If you have a comment about what your friends are doing, then you can send them a message. i get messages all the time from people who want to follow me. i don’t know who they are, but they seem to want to know what is going on in my life. I only go to the site when I am really bored, so I never have anything to twitter about.

playthebanjo's avatar

I tried to use it for a brief time, but got bored with telling myself what I was doing…no one was subscribed to me. (I already knew I was “taking it easy on the couch”)

waterskier2007's avatar

yeah thats what i dont get. how are you supposed to find people to follow without looking like a stalker

robmandu's avatar

Have you guys seen the TwitDir yet?

Other than that, if you don’t have any buddies of your own acquaintance to follow, then I suggest following folks in the tech realm that you like.

@waterskiier, as a fellow Mac lover, you’d probably want to follow “Gruber” (a.k.a. John Gruber of Daring Fireball.)

Eventually, strangers start following you in return, plus your own friends eventually plug in. It’s kinda organic how it all starts to come together.

ccatron's avatar

@waterskier – i think most people could care less if you are following them. and you have something witty to say to them every once in a while, then I’m sure they wouldn’t mind that either.

waterskier2007's avatar

oh, idk i just think it would be weird to be following someone that you dont even know. i guess im weird though

Trustinglife's avatar

@waterskier, I’ve been on Twitter for about two weeks now. Yeah, it only makes sense to use it if there are people you know who are on it. Otherwise, like Banjo said, you already know that you’re taking it easy on the couch!

I have one friend who posts several times a day with interesting things: he’ll often post a quote, a question he’s thinking about, an insight he had, what he’s reading, etc. Not just what he’s doing. Makes for interesting reading for someone I’m interested in hearing about. That’s what makes it worth it for me, keeping up with my friends.

Trustinglife's avatar

yeah, I find I’m not interested in people’s lives if I don’t know them!

thebeadholder's avatar

just got back from Twitter and asked a few Flutherites if I could stalk them!!! @TLife…you are one of them. I watched the video posted here. I think I like the explanation more than the sight itself.

Vincentt's avatar

You should know people on there, though I like what Trustinglife’s friend is doing. I guess I’ll be doing that once I’ve added a Twitter module to my website (once I’ve set that up) so they also show up on my website :)

benseven's avatar

I don’t use twitter by conventional means,

but rather approached it as something I could harness for me and my college friends to keep in touch after leaving our course last year.

You can set your updates to ‘private’, so that only approved friends can see them, and set up to follow each other’s posts. It becomes something like non-instant IM, whereupon throughout the day we’ll post links, typefaces we’re using / discovered (graphic design geeks eh!), rants and moans, how we’re feeling… it’s a great way of keeping in touch day to day without the pressing nature of interacting with someone in an IM conversation immediately, it’s a little more passive.

I like it. I’m planning on starting a second account (where the updates are public) and using Twhirl which supports multiple accounts. It’s hard to co-erce non geeks into using it, unless you forcefully add the client to their startup items ; )

We should all swap Twitter accounts (maybe as a seperate question!)

Vincentt's avatar

I like that usage :)

Regarding the account exchange, there’s already a question for that :)

jballou's avatar

I use Twitter to follow some of my favorite bloggers and podcasters. In that way, I think it’s kinda fun and useful. It’s definitely MORE useful if all or most of your friends are all on Twitter also, because it’s really meant to be like a micro-blogging tool for you to communicate with your friends.

Melonking's avatar

Its fun telling ppl all the odd things you see, if you want you can add me to your freind list my name is “Lemon08”

mirza's avatar

I find it stupid and useless. Facebook’s status updates work a lot better for me to interact with my real friends

Iain's avatar

Twitter is a micro-blogging website. Instead of posting a lengthy blog post at the end of your day you can post small updates. It’s adictive.

robmandu's avatar

@mirza, In a lot of ways, I agree with you. I think Facebook’s status updates are better for me keeping in touch with friends. I primarily use Twitter to follow famous people.

I do enjoy the TwitterSync app on Facebook, which picks up your tweets from Twitter and makes them appear as your Facebook status. Too bad it’s offline as long as IM updates on Twitter are (or, I should likely say, as long as they’re throttled during the Twitter up-scale process).

scamp's avatar

I just took a look at it. It holds no interest for me. I think I will just stick with Fluther.

MacBean's avatar

A bunch of my friends are on Twitter, so I don’t have a problem with finding people to follow. I use it to leave notes for myself, anyway. I keep track of my sleep patterns, make note of the titles of books or songs or movies that I want to look into later, stuff like that. If something happens while I’m out, I text a quick message to Twitter so I don’t forget to blog about it later. It’s pretty handy for me.

Brome's avatar

Twitter became useful when I started adding persons living in my town to my contact list. One day i read a twit that said “anyone for a drink?” and that’s how I met new people in a town where I didn’t know anyone.

Another interesting thing is that Twitter can keep a whole community of people connected. Suppose you have a group of friends who are all signed up into Twitter. With one little twit, you can reach them all instantly, wherever they are.

waterskier2007's avatar

but how did you find people living near you, i mean i could just search white lake, mi, but it would be kind of weird to just start following people

inko9nito's avatar

“Micro-blogging” really doesn’t encompass all that twitter is about. It’s not about “what you’re doing,” it’s about cool stuff you find, interesting stuff you have to say, sharing sites, sharing files, sharing news, ideas, etc.

It’s not like facebook or myspace where the one with the most friends wins. The point is to follow people who are interesting, who talk about cool stuff. Try following Google’s marketing agent, or one of Apple’s graphic designers. Follow someone in your interest arena or industry because you are sure to learn more stuff about that field and, who knows, you may even get a job out of it! I got quite a few website design requests from people who saw me on twitter, checked out my portfolio and liked what they saw.

It’s also an awesome marketing opportunity. Also, a lot of companies use it for customer service now. One day I complained about Bank of America’s site opening literally thousands of popups and posted a video of it on twitter. Not a week later I got a message from Bank of America web developer who followed up on the problem! He said he found my complaint on twitter and wanted to get some details so they could fix the problem.

Before bashing Twitter, please do your research. I can’t say I wasn’t skeptical at first, but I gave it a few weeks and realized that it had tons of potential. You know the new WordPress admin panel design? I know the director of the design firm who made it. I met him through twitter and we talk on a regular basis.

If you twitter ONLY about what you are doing at the moment, no wonder you don’t have any followers! That’s boring, unless you’re some kind of a celebrity. Found a cool site? Found a solution to some common problem? Twitter about it! If people see that you have something useful to say, they will follow you.

This is not a popularity contest, it’s based solely on the actual content of your posts, which makes twitter incomparable to myspace or facebook.

inko9nito's avatar

To answer your last question – it’s not weird to follow people. Everyone loves to be followed. If you’re not followed back (right away), don’t worry, they may start following you later if you comment on something they said and they liked it.

You don’t have to talk to people in your actual physical location (although, if you’re interested in that, try using twitter on your (jailbroken) iphone via Twinkle or sign up for BrightKite).

Here’s a wiki that lists cool people to follow by industry. I’m sure you’ll find someone you’re interested in learning more about. You can also try Twellow where you can find people based on specific keywords in their description (twitter’s own search kind sucks).

Usually, when you find one good person to follow, chances are you’ll be interested in what the people they follow have to say as well, so just go through their follow list.

irocktheworld's avatar

to tweet and talk with people

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