[kwlug-disc] ?: What is twitter / twitting?

Andrew Kohlsmith (Mailing List Account) aklists at mixdown.ca
Wed Dec 23 17:54:37 EST 2009


On December 23, 2009 05:20:14 pm unsolicited wrote:
> I know nothing of Twitter.

I know very little of it. I am a basic Twitter user. :-)

> My impression is that it is an IM broadcast (one listens to a stream
> of traffic - doesn't mean there are cars in that lane nose to nose).

Kind of. It depends entirely on what and who you're following.

> Take the news, of a lost child, in another part of the country - don't
> spend time telling me the story of every shrubbery that got searched,
> tell me when the situation is resolved, and then what happened.
> (Perhaps an extreme example.)

No, it's a VERY good example, actually. Depending on which profiles you're 
following, you will get a very different experience.  Personally, almost 
everyone I follow is moderately quiet. There will be bursts where it's a bit 
much, but for the most part it's manageable and readable in maybe 5 minutes 
(spread a minute or two here and there throughout the day).

For example:

I follow the CBC's twitter profile. It gives me maybe 7-10 tweets a day with a 
link to the relevant news.

I follow 570 News' twitter profile. Same thing, but K/W related stuff only, 
including expected gas price changes, Hwy 8 problems (VERY helpful) and so on.

I follow Michael Geist's profile. I'm very interested in most of the things he 
posts (maybe twice a day) about copyright and DRM and the lunacy that is the 
ACTA.

I DO NOT follow any of a number of people who paste random quotes to their 
feed. Some of the quotes are nice, sure, but I don't want to read 50 quotes a 
day and read repeats on top of it.

I follow Brian Carpenter (geeknik)'s profile. Really nifty tech news that I 
don't get elsewhere.

I am following Drobo's profile until tonight, because I want to try to win one 
of their units. I ignore (skim over) their tweets.

I follow sh*tmydadsays because it's funny. I get an update every week or two.

I DO NOT follow the kwtweetnet. They post the same crap over and over every 
day, making their profile completely useless to me. If they would stop, I'd 
cetainly follow them, because I love the idea.

I will STOP following the Waterloo tech news profile. It's too wordy, not 
enough substance, and just does not interest me.

You get the idea; I really, REALLY dislike twitter profiles that write more 
than a handful of tweets per day, and I especially hate the ones that say the 
same stuff over and over (I think they think it's like radio... it's not).

All-in, I probably have 25 tweets a day to read, and then if I'm bored or 
curious I'll do the geolocation based searching to see what is going on around 
me.  That's how I find most of the people I follow.  SOMETIMES it gets a 
little noisy, but then again, it's up to me when I check it, and I can always 
skim.

> I get announcements, but I get same in a timely manner by other means,
> e.g. e-mail. I don't need them on the fly when I'm out and about.

I don't like email newsletters, traffic reports don't sit well in email for 
me, and little blurbs in email are a pain in the ass as far as I'm concerned 
anyway.  Chacon son gout and all that. :-)

> Is twitter for me?

Hard to say. I certainly did not think it was for me, but it kind of grew on 
me, especially once I started using the local tweets (geolocation based 
search).  I don't like twitter on my computer. It's absolutely PERFECT on my 
iphone though.

-A.



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