Monday, January 25, 2010

Ramble: I still don't get this social media thing

I still can't figure out how to tweet.

I don't mean that I can't figure out how to type into the little box, edit my babbling down to 140 characters, and hit Update. That's not a problem.

I mean that I don't know what to tweet about. I don't understand Twitter.

I am following people on Twitter. One hundred and two people, to be specific. Other people's tweets make perfect sense to me. But I can't seem to learn from them, to figure out how to tweet myself. It's as if I can read but can't write - can't even get my head around the fact that it's the same alphabet for both operations.

What always stops me is, who would want to know what I'm about to say? How can I confidently tell an audience of potentially millions of people what I just posted on my blog, or... well, anything? That's not to say that I have millions of followers - I have a couple of dozen. But everybody can search the sea of tweets, so at any time anyone could fish out what I've said.

And that - the searching - is interesting. When I look at all of the different methods of online communication, the thing that strikes me as different about Twitter is the fact that you can search everybody's recent outputs, all at once. It's flat. It's unedited. Enter a search string and get every tweet with that string, back to the point where the exhausted frantically-working Twitter engine gives out and can't give you any more.

I have some vague notion that that fact points to the secret of Twitter, the answer to "what's the point?" But I still don't get the point.

Image: Wikimedia Commons.


  1. Let me know when you do, neither do I.

    Christine in Alaska

  2. Huh. I feel much better now - I can't understand the phenomenon either.

  3. I haven't figured it out either. I just tweet each time I have a new post on my blog. I honestly don't know what else to say....
    I found your blog on Blotanical - Welcome!

  4. I'll let you both know if the secret reveals itself to me. :) The extra puzzling bit remains the fact that I happily read _other_ people's tweets. So surely I can figure out why they're valuable to me and turn that around to make myself feel that my own tweets are valuable, right? Wrong.

  5. I love Facebook. It lets me connect with my old friends. But Twitter? I don't do Twitter. I just can't get into that one...

  6. I said "both", and then saw that Noelle posted while I was typing. :) Hi, Noelle! Thanks for the welcome, and welcome to Rambling Chicken. Yep, I tweet at least some of my new posts, and once in a while I'll tweet my Scent Of The Day, but otherwise... still don't get it.

    And, howdy, Kyna! I don't use Facebook yet, but that's more privacy paranoia than being unable to understand how I could use it. That business of having my _real name_ out there just makes me twitch. I realize that it's not a long trip to find my real name from the blog, but I'm just so much more comfortable as ChickenFreak. :)

  7. I follow 1200 people, and have 1400 followers, and still often feel just like you. I think, "I have nothing to tweet about. I work and I blog." I have often that twitter has a slight bias in favor of those who travel for work because they can often tweet about being in new and exciting places.

    But what I've learned about twitter is that there are real niche communities on it. I can meet online people who are as excited about my niche as me. I'm sure it must get old for people to constantly hear which coffee I drink with breakfast, but that is my niche.

    Don't give up on twitter. Maybe you can find the hot chocolate niche on twitter! :-)

  8. Well, so pleased to know I'm not the only one who doesn't really see any point to twitter. Thanks for making me feel normal - at least for a few minutes.

  9. Howdy, Melody! Yeah, I'm sure there's something to get. Surely. Hot chocolate, yes. :) And I've had one or two perfume conversations, and there are certainly plenty of perfume people there. So, eventually. Maybe. Possibly.

  10. Hiya, Tina! Welcome! Yep, I'm increasingly reassured that a _lot_ of people don't get Twitter. I wonder what percentage of people using it are using it but don't get it?