January 19, 2018

Dave’s take on Twitter: who the heck cares?

Okay, so I’m not a callow college-age kid anymore, I admit it. Heck, I’m not sure I was a callow youth when I was a youth, for that matter, but at this point I know I’m going to miss some of the important trends until they smack me upside the head. Even given that, though, I just don’t see why everyone’s so darn fascinated by the ceaseless stream of mundane ultratrivia produced by the fans of Twitter. A quick glimpse of their home page is all you need to see just how uninteresting the reality of people’s lives are, and yet they they are, sending one-line status updates to the world at large about their having “just cleaned the catbox”, “made a cup of tea”, “met Jax for fish dinner. Yum!” and “going to bed. l8r”.

The more I thin about it, the more I think that Twitter is actually an exhibitionists paradise at some level, but what I don’t get is why anyone would subscribe to the service and watch the information ooze along this primordial river.

Ah, but maybe I just don’t get it. So tell me, do you subscribe to Twitter? Do you post updates? Do you think anyone cares? πŸ™‚

22 comments for Dave’s take on Twitter: who the heck cares?

  1. I’m questioning the value of Twitter as well. I’m attending SXSW in Austin, and signed up for the SXSW Twitter group (flock? stream? conflagration?) mostly just to see whether it could be useful. I’m getting all my twitters via SMS.

    Do I care that Jack couldn’t find a good party at 3am? No. No I do not.

    That said, I can see some potential. If I had a closed, small group of friends or colleagues using it, it could be really helpful if we were all in agreement as to how we’d use it. For example, I’m glad to get Tori’s updates this weekend about which panel she’s going to next. And I can easily imagine saying to a workgroup “ok, let’s make use of Twitter for X amount of time so we know who’s on which project”.

    When instant messaging first came out, many people thought it was purely social, but it’s now a critical business tool. The same could happen to twitter.

    Comment by Julie Gomoll — March 13, 2007 @ 9:22 am

  2. I don’t get it either. All I can think is that some people get a kick out of the idea that others find them so interesting that they want to know what they are doing all the time…It’s a bit scary.

    Comment by David Koopmans — March 13, 2007 @ 3:49 pm

  3. Reading the various posts that go something like “I thought Twitter was totally ignorable, but then I read that Scoble liked it ….” I thought there might be something to it. I worried that I might be missing out on the Next Big Thing. So I tried Twitter, tentatively I must admit. In a business context I can only see it as serving a watercooler function for people working as parts of a virtual corporation or a team whose members are in different locations. And if I were paying their salaries, I would still have to be convinced that Twitter wasn’t just another time waster.

    Comment by Des Walsh — March 13, 2007 @ 9:12 pm

  4. […] best thing since whatever, others can’t see the point. Some observations and links, including Dave’s sceptical view, Tris’s take that Twitter is the “new Flickr”, Robyn’s use of the Twitter […]

    Pingback by Twitter - Yes or No? — March 13, 2007 @ 11:57 pm

  5. […] Ah, but maybe I just donÒ€ℒt get it. So tell me, do you subscribe to Twitter? Do you post updates? Do you think anyone cares? –Dave Taylor […]

    Pingback by One By One Media » Oh how tweet it is! Twitter hitting an important threshold of use — March 17, 2007 @ 10:15 am

  6. Hi, Dave —

    I thought the same thing as you did, and posted as much in a recent blog entry. The comments I received have caused me to reconsider.


    Comment by Jeff Larche — April 4, 2007 @ 7:41 pm

  7. Hi Dave.

    I recently signed up at Twitter and even left one or two silly messages just to see what the fuss was all about. I guess on the Internet people either have lots of spare time, or they work super-fast to save some time for such inanities. I often don’t even get time to write for my own blog.

    But then, social dynamics are strange. Whenever I visit MySpace I cannot help thinking what can people be doing there; still it is so damn popular.

    Comment by Amrit Hallan — April 12, 2007 @ 8:01 am

  8. Hi Dave,
    This post resembles the discussion around blogs a good while back. “Who is interested in all those cat pictures, and teenage angst anyway?”

    This is the same type of thing. Most of our lives are utterly uninteresting to most others. But it usually is more interesting to those closer to you.
    So I use Twitter only with a limited number of people that are relatively near.

    I like Jaiku better however, as they don’t send out these annoying SMS’s, but generate a background presence stream not only consisting of short messages but also the rss feeds of other on-line traces. It lets me take my social network with me on my mobile.

    So to me these type of services are not about what is shown on the website, but about what it lets me do: take the short bursts of info with me on my mobile into the real world. For the same reason I use Plazes, which shows me where my contacts are geographically. Together this gives me a rich context of how my social environment is doing.

    Comment by Ton Zijlstra — April 18, 2007 @ 7:09 am

  9. I started using Twitter than got bored with it. And then I decided to check in out again, because my reality is I find the business opportunities with social media tools when I just explore them for fun. It keeps me connected with some friends, I have learned about upcoming events, and found some interesting applications for it as the community continues to evolve.

    Comment by sherry heyl — April 18, 2007 @ 4:42 pm

  10. I signed up at the request of a blog friend, through it i’ve discovered a few blogs that are now on my reading list – I’ve also discovered a couple of peoplewho amuse the heck outa me with their random nonesense. I don’t get twitchy if I’m not logged in, but it’s a good way to waste 5 minutes or so and you may see a link to something interesting.

    I like interesting ;0)

    Comment by Vics — April 20, 2007 @ 3:37 am

  11. Sure I use Twitter. Not just to expose my hobbies and where-am-I’s, but it appears to be useful to expand knowledge (rather than network, we have other resources for that). My Twitter buddies exchange useful links to sites and topics about my professional field. Super!


    Comment by Jojanneke van den Bosch — April 22, 2007 @ 3:18 pm

  12. Overall, I Twitter appears to have a limited shelf life unless it morphs into something else. The only value I have found in it so far is alerting people to a new post on my blog. I agree that, for the most part, it’s boredom run a-muck. In all fairness, I haven’t used it much, but then again that says a lot. I got bored with it so fast that I barely lasted a week. With so many great services vying for attention (reddit, digg, flickr, etc), I can’t see shifting time to tell people that I just sneezed. Who cares.

    Comment by Eric B — April 25, 2007 @ 12:29 pm

  13. I use Twitter frequently. Not so much to say exactly what I am thinking or doing but to keep up with things that I might not take time out of my schedule to check (e.g. Digg), keep up with friends around the world (although sometimes its a little inane), but mostly to quick post things that I think probably aren’t the focus of my blog or don’t require a full post. I don’t know if I would call it microblogging but it is very useful for exchanging information.

    Comment by Kelsey Ruger — May 2, 2007 @ 8:11 pm

  14. I used Twitter for all of 10 minutes. I just didn’t get it. Maybe I’ll revisit it someday and try again πŸ™‚

    Comment by Ralf Skirr — May 9, 2007 @ 12:37 pm

  15. twitter is crap
    stumbleupon is crap
    accona is crap
    squidoo is crap
    rollyo is crap
    zillow is crap
    Google earth is amazing
    Congoo news is amazing
    eBay is amazing
    Youtube is amazing

    Comment by dave robins — May 9, 2007 @ 7:28 pm

  16. google defines tweeter as:

    chirrup: a series of chirps
    chitter: make high-pitched sounds, as of birds

    do i use twitter? not currently
    will i use it in the future? it depends, as one of the posters said, most posts in tweeter are random non-sense…

    but then again, this is the internet… we ultimately dont know what works and what does not work.

    Comment by RP Tesoro — May 11, 2007 @ 1:17 am

  17. I would not know what the fuss is because I checked on it right now and the twitter is being tweaked.

    Maybe I will try again in a few…

    Comment by Jay Peterson — May 16, 2007 @ 1:21 pm

  18. Looking back on my youth, when I was newly in love with my husband of now 25 years, I think we would have used twitter during those summer months when we were apart and missing each other. I remember longing to share in the simple and mundane moments of each other’s lives. I can imagine spending plenty of time updating my own feed and digesting my husband’s feed during those months of separation. Other than that, I can’t think of a way I’d use it today when my time is very limited and passion fleeting. πŸ™‚

    Comment by Carol Seidl — May 22, 2007 @ 3:38 pm

  19. I linked to your article from here:

    Updated: Two MORE Takes on Twitter

    “Business blogging consultant Dave Taylor has a less enthusiastic take on Twitter.”

    I linked to three articles there that have some more information about Twitter, how to get started using it, and how to build up your network with it.

    I’m the admin of a team blog, 1389 Mobile Blog, and I’m on Twitter as 1389 and have found it to be useful, both for learning about what’s going on in the world, and for bringing readership to the blog. However, it does take a certain amount of time to get the hang of Twitter and to develop a network of friends. You do have to be patient and persistent.

    I believe that it CAN be useful for business purposes, both for building blog and website traffic, and for gathering ideas and opinions from the public. I often see “tweets” from various entrepreneurs asking for ideas about how to improve their products.

    Comment by 1389 — June 11, 2007 @ 6:40 am

  20. Gosh… I thought reality TV was bad. Sometimes I could stomach Real World or Survivor if I put it on mute… Twitter makes me want to turn off my monitor.

    Comment by Liz — June 11, 2007 @ 3:11 pm

  21. How Narcissistic? I really don’t care if you are feeing your fish or making lasagana… Life is too busy as it is. What ever happened to taking time out to just chill??

    Comment by Jen — July 7, 2009 @ 3:34 pm

  22. hey, if you don’t like twitter, than don’t use it! to each their own.. twitter can be very useful for keeping fans/clients/colleagues aware of your daily events.. its also a useful sales tool for ticket brokers (check out american airlines, how they use it to sell last minute fares)

    it’s a free service that has its uses.. but of course, like anything else, it can be abused and used by narcissists who just want to blab to anyone who’ll listen.

    take it as it is.. use it or don’t, it’s ultimately up to you!

    Comment by lyndsay — August 10, 2009 @ 1:39 am

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.




Posts via e-mail

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Recent Posts:


Buzz Cloud:

Recent Readers:

Tag Cloud: