Twitter is one of the most interesting web services to come out in recent memory. Many are aware of it but most don’t use it. The reason is usually one of these two:
- Not knowing what it is.
- Thinking it’d be a constant annoyance.
What It Is
Twitter is basically a text message broadcast service. When doing something interesting (interesting is key, as we’ll see later) we are often compelled to send one or more of our friends a text message. With Twitter you send that same text message to a single place and have everyone who’s following you on Twitter receive it at the same time.
That’s how it works, but it’s not the important part.
The important thing to realize about Twitter is that it gives us the ability to reconnect with the lives of loved ones that are outside our geographic area. It’s so easy to let people slip from your mind — people who’d be part of your daily life if they lived closer. Nothing is more sad than realizing that you haven’t communicated with a friend or relative that was once so close to you in months.
Avoiding the Annoyance
Another problem with Twitter for many is the fact that each tweet represents an interrupt. If you subscribe to any of the Tim Ferriss or David Allan systems for time management, you’re likely to be adverse to the idea of having people constantly blasting you with text messages. Fair enough.
The trick is to come to an agreement with those you subscribe to. It all comes down to managing the quality and frequency of what gets Tweeted. If people use it too infrequent you don’t feel entwined with your them, and if they abuse it it’ll become a nuisance.
Try and communicate that tweets should be interesting to others (it’s been called micro-blogging). Posting things like, “Going to the bathroom again.”, or “Heading home from work.” is likely to make people stop following your account — or even unsubscribe from Twitter altogether.
So that’s the balance we’re looking for — get the benefit of re-connecting with friends while simultaneously avoiding the annoyance of too many interrupts. If we keep this in mind it’s possible to get quite a bit out of Twitter. Give it a second look.: