I have been using Twitter since March 2007. When I signed up, few people other that us geeks knew about the service. I remember sending people invites, and getting bewildered emails asking me WTF is this “twidler” thing.
You know, we didn’t even have the failwhale back then. We had fucking lolcats notifying us or error messages. If you don’t remember that fucking cat, you can consider yourself a newbie.
Over the years I watched the service grow, expand, become more stable and add new features. I wrote several twitter tools and clients, and tried just about every single third party client out there. In fact, Twitter even made my ISP suck less that one time. I love the service and I enjoy using it.
This is why I get annoyed when people who just heard about Twitter yesterday tell me that Twitter is the stupidest thing ever. I’m sorry, but you have no clue what you are talking about. I’ve been using it for years now, and I find it very useful and valuable. You just saw it on TV the other day and you are convinced it is useless. May I ask how did you decide this?
Usual answer I get is something among the lines of:
“Well, why would I care what someone ate for lunch or what TV show they are watching right now”
I don’t care abut that stuff either, but I use Twitter every day. I just don’t follow people who only tweet about their lunches or their TV shows.
“I also don’t care about what the celebrities are posting – it’s mostly stupid, useless crap anyway.”
I agree, but again, no one is forcing you to follow these people. I have no interest in the crap that Oprah, Shaq or one of the other countless mainstream celebs might be spewing out on the internet. I follow people I know IRL or from the interwebs, people who I find interesting (Jeff Attwood – creator of Coding Horror and Stack Overflow, like John Resig – the jQuery creator, Adam Savage – the Mythbuster, Chris Boys – the infamous Papeghost, the pwnr of script kiddies or Shamus Young known for DM of the Rings, Stolen Pixels his blog and bunch of other things) or genuinely funny (hotdogsladies, Matthew Baldwin, Adam Lisagdor, Scott Simpson, Tim Siedell, domnit). How’s that for a starter list? Feel free to add awesome follow-worthy names in the comments.
“Ok, ok. But I already have Facebook. Twitter is like Facebook status without my Facebook contacts, my applications, pictures, notes, feeds and all that good stuff. Why would I ever want to use that?”
Here you are just plain old wrong. Twitter is not a “Facebook status without Facebook”. It is a completely different animal. On twitter most people have public profiles which means anyone can follow them. So you can subscribe to the updates of interesting people without them having to approve you. Can you do that on Facebook? No, on Facebook most people have private profiles (which is actually a good thing, considering the amount of info you can find on a persons Facebook page). This means it is easier to meet people, and have conversations with folks you don’t know and don’t intend to follow.
Twitter also allows you to reach a wider audience. For example, who reads your status updates on Facebook? Friends, family, people you know from school, work and perhaps some internet buddies you trust. You could mess around with the privacy settings and allow more people, but still – your audience will be limited.
Let me give you a real life example. The following exchange could never happen on Facebook, but on Twitter this is normal:
It is a different service used for different purpose. If you using it the way you use Facebook then you are probably doing it wrong.
Not only that, but Twitter is unique among social services in that it is not a walled garden. To access anything on Facebook, you need to create an account. Twitter only requires you to create account to post tweets. You can however follow someone without ever logging in using the public RSS feeds. You can also archive and back up your own tweets in the same way.
What bothers me the most, is the people who are throwing all this Twitter hate around are not old. Old ladies for example seem to be very interested in the service and often ask me how do you set it up, how it works and etc. The haters usually are young, often internet savvy people.
I guess this is a status thing. These people were too cool to use it back when it was geeky and virtually unknown. Now they are too cool to use it, because it is “oh, so mainstream”.
What is your take on Twitter? Have you encountered a lot of this type of Twitter hate lately? Let me know in the comments.