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I finally caved and joined Twitter, but I’m not sure how much longer I’ll keep it up.

All the cool kids do it, and I felt like I missed the bus. I’ve had an account for a while, but never really used it. I finally started last week, and I still don’t really see how it has benefitted me. It hasn’t hurt, but hasn’t really helped either.

The motivation to start using it came from Rob. During a lunch conversation, I shared that I was in the market for a new set of computer speakers, and, in so many words, he suggested that I “twitter” it. I knew that Twitter’s hook was for users to say what they were currently doing, but what Rob suggested was a use for Twitter that I hadn’t considered (and coincidentally at the top of LifeHacker’s 5 ways to use Twitter for Good. It was enough to get me curious.

While I would use it for such a purpose, I find that reasoning to be a bit selfish. I would love to receive a hundred instant replies for speaker suggestions. But honestly, I don’t think I would answer if someone else asked the same question. Maybe I’m being overly altruistic, but I don’t feel worthy to be part of a community if I’m not willing to contribute anything myself.

To date, I’ve been using Twitter for about a week, and, like I said, I don’t find it terribly useful. That’s not to say that the application itself is not useful; I just don’t see how it fits with me. I’d like to keep using it; I really do (although I’m not sure why; maybe it’s the peer pressure).

Perhaps you can share as to how it has benefitted you?


Rob Weychert said:

I like to know what my friends are up to, but they're all over the place, and many of them I only get to see once a year or less. It's impossible to stay on top of e-mails and IMs as much as I'd like. Twitter fills the gap pretty nicely, and is surprisingly not very disruptive.

I'll admit that a lot of people share an overabundance of mundane information that I don't really care about, and as time wears on, I expect the list of people I follow to diminish. For now, though, I find it generally pretty nifty.

Posted on October 21, 2007 11:19 PM

Naz Hamid said:

It's not particularly useful and I find it to be more of a distraction, but in a good way. Consider it micro-blogging. I use it for little snippets of things that I think might be of interest to others but try not to be too singular in my tweets. I do this, because I know others are reading it. Otherwise, I keep it to myself.

This past week though, I turned it off completely to get super focused on work and I have to say, I don't miss it. I may turn it back on but maybe not. If anything, it's useful for something like SXSW or some event where other people are.

Twitter groups perhaps?

Posted on October 22, 2007 09:24 AM

Elliot Jay Stocks said:

I have to disagree, my friend. You're absolutely right that Twitter is of very little use on the whole, but I don't think its appeal is in its usefulness (or lack thereof): it's a light form of entertainment that helps to break up the day (at the cost of concentration, I admit). More importantly, I see it as a real relationship builder. Not only does it offer a great talking point when you actually meet someone you're following or who's following you, but there's a subtle (some would argue meaningless) 'intimacy' between users. No, it's not proper intimacy by any means, but the fact is that I'm still essentially closer to several people I share Tweets with (and vice versa) than I would've been without, and it's going to be great to meet so many of these people at FOWD, for instance. :)

Posted on October 22, 2007 09:36 AM

Dan Mall said:


It's impossible to stay on top of e-mails and IMs as much as I'd like. Twitter fills the gap pretty nicely, and is surprisingly not very disruptive.

The “disruptive” part is what I’m most concerned with. I’m glad to hear that it’s fairly unobtrusive. That’s a big factor in me continuing to use it.

Naz: Microblogging: I like it! As far as groups is concerned, I’d really be on board for something like that. Last year at SXSW, I had a conversation with Nick Finck about that very idea, and he mentioned how useful Twitter was in Austin. At the very least, I’ll have it on this year in the Lone Star state.

Elliot: I see your point. However, I’d like to think that I have better conversation openers than, “Hey, remember when you Twittered…” :)

Posted on October 22, 2007 02:20 PM

Joshua Lane said:

Mostly, I use it to complain about stuff... which is better than keeping it all in, right?

Posted on October 22, 2007 07:27 PM

Ralph Brandi said:

Rob basically says what I would have said, but I can add this: you guys work in the same room, so Twitter may not seem as necessary to you, and understandably so. I work from home, with co-workers and friends spread around the world. That little bit of connection afforded by Twitter makes the world feel a little smaller. This seems a little more important since I work in a location where there aren't any other people.

Posted on October 29, 2007 10:25 AM

Dan Mall said:

Josh: I don’t know about that. Letting it out in short spurts is good for Twitter, but keeping it in for a while is good for blog posts :)

Ralph: Good point. I hadn’t considered that. In a utopian world, you'll be able to have full conversations with your printer and monitor. Until then, Twitter will have to do.

Posted on October 30, 2007 10:05 PM

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