Categories
News

Twittering: 99% ego, 1% useful

I saw from one of Oli Barrett’s tweets that the delightful Bryony Gordon over at the Telegraph (always trusted upon to have a decent opinion) is seriously unimpressed with Twitter.

Have a read of her perspective in the column she’s published on the Telegraph here:

And if one more person sends me an email or a text saying, “do you tweet?” I will stamp on my mobile and replace it with two tin cans attached to a piece of string. Do I tweet? How dare you ask me such a thing. No I bloody well don’t tweet. I am a human, not a Looney Tunes cartoon character with a lisp.

Heh. Nice one.

After my pre-Christmas ‘MY ARSE WITH TWITTER‘ post, I’ve been a lot happier with the service — now that I’ve reoriented by viewpoint.

The old MIReview twitter account is now simply punting out updates to anyone who’s subscribed whenever we publish a new blog post. This is a very useful feature for anyone that wants to keep updated.

And you can follow my very occasional updates at my personal account, ew4n. If you subscribe to me, I subscribe to you.

And if you send 100% bullshit through to my Twitter feed, I simply switch you off. That’s the dilemma I was having last month. And if you have got something to tell me, make sure you email. Or direct-message.

Alas, the vast majority of the stuff I see on Twitter is, as I put in the title, 99% ego and 1% useful. But the 1% useful stuff is, sometimes, very very useful.

I don’t really see that changing much.

Update: Thanks to SashaKane to points out in her Tweet that:

Famous business strategist says Twitter is 90% EGO- 9% stammer feed and 1% useful information..Ummm!

I’m not sure who that famous business strategist is yet 😉

By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

28 replies on “Twittering: 99% ego, 1% useful”

I would put the useful up a little higher at 3% or so, then I have meticulously set the people I follow to the ones I both like and are informed by. This is now indispensable to my cramming as much new knowledge in to every day as I can. Can be entertaining on occasion too.

Ewan, I think your 1% should be a lot higher. Dismissing twitter as almost entirely pants ignores some of its best uses. I think initially, most people think the service is crap, but when you start checking out services like monitter.com, you realise this just isn't true. There's an unending amount of useful stuff to be had.

For example, being able to guage the online opinion of millions of people and track the evolution of major news stories is certainly of interest to me (as a PR) and should be even more interesting to journalists.

I could list a lot more :0) Perhaps it's time to take another look?

Services like Monitter certainly up the percentage of use Toby. That's cheating though. Those services — very smart that they are — help you cut through the 99% bullshit.

Without such services, you'd be forced to subscribe to absolutely every single 'I'm having a cup of coffee. Again' tweets. Correct? You'd be sat waiting… WAITING for the 'And I think DELL is rubbish too' point, ready to jump in.

There is absolutely no way you can argue against my bullshit point. Fundamentally Twitter is about ego. You're telling the world what 'you are doing' and you're defining exactly what the world is going to hear. YES I shall tell the world about this cup of coffee. Or this banana. Or the little Robin Redbreast that's sat on the wall. And I'll also tell them a brilliant, brilliant piece of news about something actually useful to people. If anything, the monitoring services are what keep the wider Twitter community interested. Otherwise they'd all be of the same opinion as Bryony in the post above.

Actually I will argue with your last point…

Every criticism you level at Twitter also stands for the regular web / blogs. You don't just browse through Blogger's frontpage or WordPress.com and expect it all to be relevant or even 'good'… you use knowledge and tools to find what's relevant. Twitter just *looks* a bit different.

Twitter isn't about telling the world what your doing… it can be, but it doesn't have to be. It's micro-blogging – blogging being the operative word.

I reiterate: Twitter will become a whole lot better when users can mark tweets as either 1) very important 2) moderately important or 3) banal.

Then I can choose to subscribe to Ew4n's 1 and 2, Whatley's 1, Ben's 1/2/3 (love them banalities there Mr Smith ;-).

(Not representative, or meant to signify anything at all chaps, Other MIR Tweets are available)

As a Tweeter, I don't want to *force* all following me (particularly industry friends) to read about what my 7 Chickens are up to, or turn me off. But my relatives are all ears for the Poultry News. I want to be able to rate my own tweets, so I don't force others to read what might not be at all what they started following me for.

As Ewan says elsewhere, some folks I'd love to read everything from – The Fry, for starters. Other twitterers are already getting on my limited-attention-span radar as a source of noise, and thus I'm in danger of turning them off and missing the 'Just got engaged/divorced/locked up/knocked up' tweet.

c'mon Twitter – let me Rate My Tweet.

/m

twitter as a broadcasting news is not a good idea
i hate when people just post twitters – my new blog post LINK
also following lots of people is renders it useless too
as does attempting conversations
I follow 42 people – i think this is the optimum number. otherwise just watch the public stream

twitter as a broadcasting news is not a good idea
i hate when people just post twitters – my new blog post LINK
also following lots of people is renders it useless too
as does attempting conversations
I follow 42 people – i think this is the optimum number. otherwise just watch the public stream

Except that when people rate their own content they won't be objective so the scale will be as wacky as the output itself. Twitter's noisy… skim it… get over the noise.

Except that when people rate their own content they won't be objective so the scale will be as wacky as the output itself. Twitter's noisy… skim it… get over the noise.

Except that when people rate their own content they won't be objective so the scale will be as wacky as the output itself. Twitter's noisy… skim it… get over the noise.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.