The PhoneBoy Blog


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Why and How I Use Twitter

I’ve seen a number of people complain about how other people use Twitter . Most of the complainers complain about those who tweet every random life event, excessively converse with people, people with many thousands of followers, or any number of other reasons.

Let’s get one thing clear: everyone uses Twitter differently. There isn’t a “right” or “wrong” way to use it. Granted, there are some ways to use it that are more successful than others, but it isn’t anyone’s place to say how you should use it.

That being said, it’s probably worth highlighting how I use Twitter. Some days, I will use it in one mode exclusively, others I mix.

  • As a conversation tool : Granted, conversation is not Twitter’s strong suit, but I do use it for that. I follow people that I either know or have a strong, common interest with. I will ask questions as well as answer them.
  • As an information gathering tool : Information in this context includes links, current events, answers to questions I’ve asked, and where certain people are. Depends on the specific circumstance.
  • As a way of staying in-touch with people I know : I tend to use Facebook for this more, but there are some people who aren’t big Facebook users that I use Twitter to maintain contact with.
  • As a way of sharing : Yes, I do occasionally answer the question “what are you doing right now.” Some people may not want that information. I certainly don’t do it incessantly, but I do it a few times a day. I also share funny observations about life, the universe, and everything, as well as other things of interest.

With this in mind, I tend to follow people that are compatible with my use of Twitter. Specifically, I tend only to follow:

  • People : For the most part, I don’t like following accounts that are, for the most part, retweeting blog posts or crap on FriendFeed. I want to follow real people who actually USE Twitter, thanks.

  • People who engage me in conversation : I understand it is not always possible to respond to every @ reply or DM you might get, but no attempt to respond to people means you’re a broadcaster. That’s so old media.
  • People who provide good information or commentary : I tend to be interested in a wide range of topics. If you run across something, share a link and I’ll do the same.
  • People who keep in touch : I don’t expect tweets every day, but if I don’t see genuine tweets from a real person once in a while, I’d rather not follow you, thanks.
  • People who share their lives but not too much : I think sharing a little about who you are and what you’re doing is good. Think of it as part of the Turing test that proves you’re human. However, there is a point when it becomes too much. It’s hard to quantify, exactly, and it also depends on the context. Sometimes, sharing is good, sometimes it’s not. It may not be how you use Twitter, but I don’t particularly care. Either follow me or don’t. How about you? How do you use Twitter?
  • Posted by Wordmobi


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    Parent, Writer, Podcaster, Coffee Achiever, VoIP/Telco Curious, C-List Information Security Celebrity, and Mobile Phone Connoisseur residing in Gig Harbor WA US. Sometimes NSFW, always a 49ers fan.