Ryan Jones Blog – dotCULT.com Ryan Jones Blogs About Internet Culture, Marketing, SEO, & Social Media

May 7, 2007

Thoughts on Twitter

Filed under: Main — Ryan Jones @ 3:35 pm

I tried to avoid it as long as possible, but I don’t think I’d be able to call this a blog about Internet culture if I didn’t talk about twitter at least once.

I recently tried Twitter but had to quit using it because it was just way too slow to be usable. The AIM support rarely worked, and often I’d have to wait until FireFox timed out and retry logging in 2 or 3 times.

Scoble loves Twitter. But why do you use Twitter? What’s the point? What’s the benefit of sharing tiny little bits of information with people?

Sure, I understand that people said the same about Instant Messaging before it took over email, and then we all said the same thing about Blogs before they revolutionized the web. Is Twitter next?

Personally, I don’t think so. Let me explain.

It’s neat to see what your friends are doing in real time, but I could just text or IM them to find that out. There’s really no new features here that IM and text messages don’t offer.

More importantly, I can’t figure out the business advantage of using Twitter.

With IM, I could have conversations with people in real time. It helped me at work because I didn’t have to get up and walk to the office, or bother with email.

With blogs a business could share useful insights, articles, testimonials, and whatever else they needed to establish themselves as an expert in their field.

If there’s a way a company can harness twitter to its advantage, I just don’t see it. Anybody have any ideas here? What am I missing? Or is it really just a fad?


  1. well – its more like you telling others. Rather you finding out. I have just moved to a new city and my tidbits of info I am giving once or twice a day – can never beat blogging or IM or emails!

    Personally I see more social info sharing for minimal effort and thought.

    Comment by vinu — May 8, 2007 @ 1:22 am

  2. I won’t speak for anyone else, but I love twitter because it’s with me wherever I am. I’m always out and about, not necessarily at my computer, so having the mobile option is handy. I don’t have a super high-tech phone, text works just fine, so twitter is perfect.

    Plus, twitter is efficient because it hits different people wherever they are at the time, be it on the train or at their PC, and they can respond without having internet access.

    I don’t want more e-mail; IM is great, but it’s less effective as a broadcast tool; and sending out mass texts is expensive!

    Twitter does it all cheap, easy and wherever I am.

    Comment by David Blanar — May 8, 2007 @ 4:03 am

  3. Over the weekend I had a car accident and I twittered about it. I got a bunch of calls from people in the area offering to help. I see a real social use for Twitter in promoting community, which is huge in a world where people live in urban settings far from family, often alone. That’s a good enough use for me.

    Comment by francine hardaway — May 8, 2007 @ 9:04 am

  4. Hi, found this post from Twitter. I haven’t tried the mobile part, but I will say that Twitter’s pretty fast on my Mac, certainly a lot faster than Jaiku, its competitor.

    I wrote last week on my blog All Things:

    “Twitter is how to buy Clomiphene online asynchronous instant messaging for adults.”

    To me, asynchronous is a big advantage. I have a lot of things I’ve got to juggle, so unlike a teenager, I don’t have blocks of hours at a time where I can just talk on the phone or IM.

    Email is also asynchronous, and I like it, too, except for the spam and the annoying tendency so many people have to send emails that are long, or several with only partial info, etc., etc.! It amazes me how few people really understand how they ought to use email.

    Twitter is both asynchronous and efficient. There is nothing to open, I can look at a page of messages in just a half-minute or so. I’m up to about 20 pages of messages from my friends per day, but that’s still nothing compared to email, and much more useful.

    Beyond that, I’d also say it’s a great platform for announcements (e.g. new blog posts or status updates), breaking news, sharing links of interest, and coordinating groups at events.

    I’m curious what else folks will do with it!

    Comment by Gordon R. Vaughan — May 8, 2007 @ 1:34 pm

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