About a month ago, I wrote about how I was conflicted about yet professionally obligated to spend more time on Twitter. It’s a month later, so I thought I’d check in on my adoption progress.
I found myself thinking that broadcast was the wrong word for twitter, as it tends to start working more like IM over time, only not as isolated.
Looking back at my Twitter stream, most of my tweets (I’m still displeased by that word) are replies to other people, or links to something. I’m not sure why, but I’m disinclined to post tweets that answer the default Twitter question, “what are you doing?”
21st Century IRC
I used to hang out in a Skype channel that included 30 or 40 Vancouverites from the tech community. I’d let in run in the background, and remark on some tech news or bemoan the Canucks as the mood struck me. Twitter has replaced that as a kind of 21st century IRC.
I have a link blog in the sidebar of this site. It’s a kind of clearing house for stuff that interests me, but doesn’t merit a full post on my site. A couple hundred people subscribe to it, and I really don’t know how useful people find it (I’ve never asked).
Now every time I spot a link I’d like to pass on (such as this blog of things that look like a duck), I have to decide whether it goes in Twitter, in the link blog, or both. Both takes too long, and I have yet to develop criteria for what goes where.
I asked, on Twitter, about just streaming my link blog into my Twitter stream, but I got a couple of negative responses. Understandably, people (presumably they were link blog subscribers) didn’t want to get repeated content. When I first signed up for Twitter many moons ago, I did that with my blog’s RSS feed, and somebody told me it wasn’t kosher.
They’re probably right–I find little value in tweets that read “New Blog Post: http://www.verysmallurl.com/fdfdla”. If I want to read your blog, I probably already subscribe to it. Obviously the etiquette on all this stuff is still emerging.
The number of people I follow is up from 33 to 58. The increase is mostly due professional interest (I’m following some top tech bloggers). I tend to give people a trial run, and if I find what they’re writing about interesting, I stick with them.
No Debate Team at This High School
The major frustration that I’ve found on Twitter is that it inhibits debate. I’ve found that it’s nearly impossible to have a cogent argument that doesn’t devolve into sound bites on the platform. I love debate–it’s one of the reasons I spend leisure time online. Twitter seems to act a bit like high school in this regard–either people hurl insults or just talk nice (I know high schools have debate teams, but that’s where my analogy breaks down).
So, the experiment continues. Any suggestions on how I should handle the link blog vs. Twitter issue?