Thoughts on Twitter
I wrote this post a while back. The content can still be relevant but the information I've linked to may not be available.
I have not really said much about Twitter since I joined a few months ago. Overall, I have found it to be useful, entertaining, addictive, and it has helped keep me ‘in the loop’ much more than I expected. Here are a few of my experiences and thoughts so far.
Yes, you can use Twitter from the web or from your mobile phone but like a lot of other people, I have tried out several different Twitter clients including TweetDeck, Twhirl, TwitBin and TwitterFox. Of these, I used Twhirl a lot at first (and I really like it) but have gradually moved to TwitBin because it integrates really well with Firefox. Having the Twitter client in my browser works great for me at the moment but I suspect that I might move to TweetDeck at some point when I follow more people.
Following and followers
At the start, I found it quite surprising that people followed me until I realised that many people follow you back if you follow them! I have not quite found the best way of refining how I search for people to follow. I follow a few famous web design folks but I’m sure that they don’t know who I am! However, people [tweeple] have generally been very friendly when I replied to their tweets. On the other hand, it must be tough to read or reply to tweets if you have thousands of followers.
Tweeple, tweet? Twitter-related words are entering everyday language. Twittonary explains all.
With one exception (Will Carling), I have not started following famous celebrities of the non-web design type but I may do more of this if I have more time.
Many people use Twitter for web marketing and I think this will only increase. Of course, you might argue that everyone on Twitter does this to some extent. It’s just that some do this more than others! You can see why. It’s instant contact with your potential customers, Twitter is searchable, its use is increasing, and tweets are permanent (meaning that Twitter search results can appear on Google).
The future of Twitter
I think Twitter is here to stay but I suspect that there will be a burnout phase when people jump ship to another ‘cool’ application at some point. How Twitter copes with this will impact on its long-term success but a more important factor is probably how Twitter chooses to implement a money-making strategy. At the moment, there are no ads on Twitter but this cannot continue for ever.
Latest: It’s no great surprise that Google is rumoured to be in talks to buy Twitter.
Overall, I have really enjoyed Twitter so far. It has been particularly useful for me as a work-at-home freelancer to keep in touch with people and with the current zeitgeist. I don’t know how I coped without it!