Saturday, May 31, 2008

whither twitter

I've been twittering since 10 March and still feel conflicted about it. So, faithmaps blog readers, why do you twitter (if you do) and what do you get out of it?



Mark Bennardo said...

Truth be told, I'm a little conflicted, too. I've stayed with it because it keeps me in touch with what friends, colleagues, potential clients are doing. It can be useless, if people just put out totally inconsequential information, (“Yummm, I love Thai food”, “Sitting here doing nothing”, “Baby finally went in the potty!”). Not saying I’ve found the magic formula for my own tweets yet, but at least I’m trying.

But, if the tweet has value or some personal interest, then I think it’s worth it. Otherwise, it’s a colossal time waster.

Yet, if it weren’t for Facebook and Twitter you and I would not have reconnected after 20+ years.

shaunbwilson said...

Not a consistent Faithmaps Blog reader, but follow you on Twitter and run the Fusion Twitters (@fusion155, @fusion155_go, and to a lesser extent, @fusion155_pray).

To me, the usefulness of Twitter is diverse.

With the Fusion accounts, we can get information to everyone in a very quick and way that is not intrusive. Many of us have been trained to tune out bulk e-mails. They're typically uninteresting and self-serving. However, if I can receive the same message in 140 characters and it can be told in a way that I can immediately know what's in it for me, I am more likely to read what you send me. The story doesn't get buried because it can't be buried if the tweep still wants to make sense.

I have also found it useful for keeping up with people that I typically wouldn't take the time to send an e-mail to. There are people that I have known for most of my life that I never really talk to. I care about these people and want to know what's going on in their life, but hate writing long e-mails that I have to stop and think about what's happened recently to me. I prefer bite sized chunks going out and coming in.

Additionally, I can tweet that I'm headed to Barnes & Noble to hang out, and I can end up having a group of local friends there to hang out with me. I have received a tweet asking if anyone would like to go to a movie or a concert that I didn't even know was happening. It's an impromptu invitation that often times yields results.

It's also helped me meet some new people. Just yesterday I had a meeting with a local woman who is self employed and whose services will probably be useful to my company in the future. I met her about three or four weeks ago by doing a local search of Twitter to see who else was in Columbia. Even more intriguing, I met this woman because she sent out a frantic tweet asking if anyone knew how billing worked with GSA. Well, my company just happens to have had GSA as its number one client for the last 10 years and before that the owners worked AT GSA. It was a terrific matchup that wouldn't have happened if I hadn't decided to follow someone I didn't know or if she hadn't tweeted about needing GSA help.

It also makes me feel confident that if I'm even arrested in Egypt, I'll be able to get myself released. ;-)

These are just some initial thoughts on why Twitter is useful to me.


tony sheng said...

i really like it - it's helped me connect to some old and new friends on a more transient - hey there have a great day - kind of stuff.

and i've met some new friends which has been really fun.

like shaunbwilson who was part of our community but i didn't really know him until twitter.

i've also used on some of our student experiences to give a quick microblog update to those interested in following - i think that function is going to be more and more valuable.

shaunbwilson said...

You may enjoy this 10 minute presentation from Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey about different and interesting ways people are using the service: