You Can Find Me Here: Twitter

The current darling of the traditional media desperate not to be left behind is undoubtedly twitter – but that’s not why I’m there.

A Trip to Hadrian's WallThe traditional media, especially television and radio needs to stay relevant to people’s day-to-day life. If you aren’t relevant then you don’t have people’s attention, and no attention means no advertising, and no advertising means redundancy. Irrelevance is not an option. Twitter provides a way for them to retain a level of relevance by providing another means of interaction. But as I said, that’s not why I’m on twitter.

For me twitter is primarily about low level network interaction. I have a set of connections who also use twitter. I rarely see most of these individuals, actually as I come to think about it, there are some that i have never met. Many of them are current and former work colleagues.

I find twitter intriguing from a number of perspectives. In many ways it’s a glorified gossip circle, but that’s not really a very good analogy for it. It’s not the place where you are going to get into some deep philosophical debate, but I’m not saying it’s trivial either.

This is how I use it, which demonstrates some of my philosophy for using it:

  • I try not to post the daily ‘I’m here today…’ post because that’s dull.
  • I try to be generally positive. Negative things can look very negative in print.
  • Further to that, I try to be respectful in replies. It’s the Internet after all and everything you say is visible forever.
  • I retweet a bit, but not a huge amount. It seems like a lazy way of communicating.
  • I post update notices from this blog into twitter because it tells people what I’m up to.
  • I post my twitter updates into facebook, (I’ll talk about that another time)
  • Twitter is also, generally, limited to working hours. I don’t post ‘Sat at home watching TV’. Again, I think it’s a bit dull, but also it’s taking me away from my time with the family. Also, though, my followers tend to be my work connections, with some exceptions.
  • I do use twitter on my BlackBerry, but still try and limit it to work hours, or things that people in that group of connection would be interested in.
  • I definitely don’t follow a principle of follow-back. I follow people, or robots I find interesting. If it’s not interesting I don’t follow.
  • I try to be interesting, why should people follow me if I’m not interesting. No-one wants to be the person at the party that everyone else is ignoring because they are dull.
  • I like to tweet quotes, but that’s because I like quotes. I’ll only do this once or twice in any day and it’s usually a quote that has struck me as interesting.

As it stands I’ve posted 5455 tweets and follow about 250.

Feel free to follow along. I’m here:

(I’ve decided to run a bit of a Jimmy and Granddad’s retrospective too)

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