September 3, 2014

5 Reasons I No Longer Hate Twitter

When I started my Twitter account last year I did so only because Twitter was becoming increasingly popular and I didn’t want to get left behind. At that time I really hated the concept of brief, constant updates. I rarely used the service and it had little value to me. I’m still not the type of Twitter user that tweets throughout the whole day, but it is now a part of my daily routine, and I have to admit that it has grown on me.

There are a number of reasons for this change of opinion, but I’d like to point out a few.

1. I’ve made it a part of my everyday routine.

For many Twitter users, it is constantly a part of their life. That’s not the case for me, and I doubt it ever will be, but when I started making an effort to get involved on a regular, consistent basis, I started to appreciate Twitter more. If you’re struggling to see the value in Twitter, I encourage you to make it a priority to be more active and I think you’ll have a similar experience.

2. I follow only those that I know or that I truly want to follow.

I know many Twitter users feel you should follow everyone that follows you, but that just makes it too chaotic for me. At first I followed a lot of people, but eventually I cut back and that’s when I really started to feel like Twitter had a significant purpose for me. If other users don’t follow me because I don’t follow them, that’s fine and I understand that, but in order to actually get something out of Twitter, I feel like I need to limit how many people I’m following.

3. It’s embraced by others in my industry.

As a web designer and a blogger it’s easy for me to connect with colleagues through Twitter, because almost everyone is there. In other industries that are less tech-savvy, it’s likely that a lower percentage of people are using Twitter. But I like the fact that most people who I have a need to contact for professional reasons can be found on Twitter.

4. Integration with blogs.

Last month I started the Traffikd Twitter account, something that many other blogs (and companies for that matter) are doing. There are a tons of WordPress plugins and all kinds of opportunities to integrate Twitter with blogs. I like seeing blogs that have some sort of integration, and it has made it easier for me to be active with Twitter since I’m on a lot of blogs everyday.

5. It’s great for quickly sharing resources.

Most of the things I post to Twitter are either interesting links that I’ve come across or re-tweeting links from other users. I really like being able to quickly share links without the need to write a blog post or send emails to friends. And I love finding new things through the tweets of other users.

What’s Your Opinion of Twitter?

Personally, I plan to continue to increase my activity on Twitter since it has definitely proven to be a valuable resource. What about you? Are you on Twitter? How active are you? Feel free to leave a link to your Twitter account in the comments.

About Steven Snell

Steven is a web designer, blogger, and freelance writer.

26 comments

  1. If you are someone who doesn’t like to follow a lot of people but want to be broadly engaged, you might consider a couple of ideas:

    1. Use the key word search function of a service like http://www.tweetlater.com. It will send you an e-mail every few hours or less with a digest of all of the tweets pertaining to those key words. You can reply to the tweets in which you think you can add value and/or follow tweeters who provide value to you.

    2. Check out the Twitter group function at http://www.retweetbot.com. With this tool, you can create or pick a group to follow. Whenever someone replies to the group it retweets to all of it’s followers. With this tool, you can read all the tweets pertaining to the group without having to following all the followers (if that makes sense). It would be a good place to register the Twitter account for your blog.

    Hope some of this info is helpful.

  2. what appeals to me the most is the facility to share resources quickly.

  3. I more or less went through the same phases. creating an account, just to see what the fuzz is all about – not seeing the point of reading messages from people telling me that they are on their way to work, going to sleep ect. – leaving the account unused – noticing later that the design community is highly active on twitter and shares loads of resources and information – starting to connect to people of similar interest – slowly developing it into a daily routine in order to spread the content of my blog and share other resources with my followers.

  4. I am pretty specific on who I now follow and haev been for some time. I have some wonderful people on Twitter, and the more people I followed the less I could participate in their discussions. It gets to the point where you actually miss so many of the good tweets because the sheer volume of updates becomes insane.

    Some time back I stopped following everyone that followed me, but would follow people if they interacted with me.

    I have now taken it a step further and have started pruning existing people, people that are not active, or those that I simple don’t share any interests with.

    Im down from around 4000 to around 2700 and the number is dropping more than its going up.

    The ultimate air is to have people that i like, enjoy reading their tweets, like to participate in their day to day goings on. And you can’t do that with 1000′s. No matter how much you can ‘manage or filter’ groups, having too many just means you are spreading yourself thin.

    Graham

  5. Graham,
    I agree, that’s what I found anyway. I wasn’t even following thousands, but I didn’t feel like I was really “following” anybody, I felt like I was just looking at random tweets from lots of different people that I had no connection to. To me, to “follow” someone indicates that I should be able to know something about them and be able to get involved with them. That simply isn’t possible with a huge number of people, at least not for me.

    2lip,
    Yes, that sounds a lot like my experience.

    Sean,
    Thanks for the suggestions, I’ll keep those in mind.

  6. 2lip: you have rightly mentioned ” similar interests “

  7. Graham Smith:spreading thin? no,and that’s good!

  8. Sean:have you seen any group of writers?

  9. Nicely done. Like you Steven I came to the service fairly early and while I tweeted a little back then, I didn’t ever really see a lot of use for it.

    I returned late last year and most likely because things have started to take off I’ve really got into it myself and spend an awful lot of time on there, now. Far too much, probably. :)

    And why not? Twitter is increasingly proving itself as the place to be to be right on the very edge of the information curve. For many users it is replacing their need to use any kind of RSS reader as, assuming one follows enough of the ‘right’ people (and make of that what you will), all of those great blog entries, news stories and articles will make their way to your screen pretty much as soon as they’ve been written. :)

    As for user management, external applications like TweetDeck make everything a lot easier to follow. By utilising TweetDeck’s group and filter features many power-users on Twitter successfully manage tens of thousands of followers. I do believe that people who only use Twitter.com have a fairly poor experience of the service.

    It all comes down to what you want, really, and how much effort you’re prepared to put in. I’ve found it fairly amusing how quickly Twitter has polarised a lot of opinion, notably in the tech world, with some embracing the service and others either hating it or refusing to get involved. Quite strange, really. But one supposes that this is often the way with systems that depart from the norm; you either get it, or you don’t, and both sides will think they are right. :)

  10. Very helpful piece and comments – THANK YOU. I am at the beginning stage and frantically working through the customs norms of Twitter.

  11. My first instinct was the shotgun approach – follow a lot of others to gain understanding. Wasn’t personal or interactive. I’m working on a more specific approach now – follow those I genuinely want to follow and engage and don’t worry too much about how many followers I have. It will just have to take care of itself. Maybe I don’t have a big enough ego for twitter.

  12. I was originally hesitant to use Twitter as well. Now I have similar reasons to you for using it, but I follow just about everyone who follows me. I use TweetDeck to filter through all the tweets. Obviously you can’t connect with everyone that way, but I’ve found some really great connections this way that I wouldn’t have otherwise found. I tend to view Twitter as a big chat room instead of one way conversations like on IM. And sometimes following people who are completely different yields some great information and insight.

    I’m on Twitter as sazbean.

  13. I don’t really know the reasons behind this but Twitter is slowly becoming part of my life and I tweet at least 5 times a day. Perhaps the fact that it is so easy to send out a tweet and interact with my followers that got me so excited with the platform. I get traffic and new ideas from it as well as meeting people that I never thought of having conversations with.

    See you on Twitter Steven. ;)

    Wayne Liew
    http://twitter.com/WayneLiew

  14. I hate twitter. I joined just to see who is stupid enough to use it. Very sad I think that people e-mail, and twitter and never listen or talk to humans. Cell phones especially are just rude and MP3 players are VERY mean. Music is wonderful I even like some of those young groups (not Britney Spears however) but music is something to be shared not to listen alone while excluding the people around you.

  15. You sound like me but a little more tame. I actually wrote a blog post at http://stopdoingnothing.com about how much I thought twitter was a waste of time. Oh how the past 12 months have changed me. While I am not a twitter fanatic and don’t believe it is the 2nd coming, I am more active on it as well as all of the other social media sites I belong to. So it was a catalyst to get me more involved in general.

    Keep up the great blog. Going to go add this to my google reader.

    Patrick Allmond

  16. Twitter is amazing. My favorite thing is utilizing twitter search to find awesome articles and respond to people in my industry to help brand myself.

    i went through the same thing with not following everyone back but I soon realized it was a losing battle. In the end utilizing searches and groups are how to stay on top of things. unless you only follow back 30 or so people you can’t stay on top of everything anyway.

    http://twitter.com/jaredotoole

  17. You make some good points…however, I don’t know if I still buy the Twitter phenomenon. I just posted a blog post on why I hate Twitter. Why I truly hate twitter. You probably won’t agree with me, but I’d like to hear your thoughts…

    http://www.benjitao.com/2009/04/i-truly-hate-twitter/

  18. I think you have a great point about Twitter that is very similar to my opinion and tactics. I think twitter is great social network and helps people to find different people with the same occupation and attitude in life. Also the great opportunity to say something and get instant share is very useful!

  19. Much the same you i started my Twitter account over a year ago and never picked it up again until February, but the expansion and apps off the back can not and should not be ignored

  20. The most interesting thing is that twitter gives traffik to website.After crestig account for http://photogipermarket.com it increased in several times

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