We were pissed up in the American bar at the Savoy on Monday night (best martinis in London) and I was like Sir Bob, we should totally join Twitter. And Sir Bob was like get stuffed mate, I’m not joining Twitter. And I was all you’re just scared that I’ll get more followers than you and he was all am not and I was all are so. And then he was like fine so I said I’ll get a round and you break out your smart phone and sign us up. Only he doesn’t have a smart phone, all he has is an old Nokia 3310. The dude is old school. So he got the drinks and I signed us up. And then we just sat there ripped and playing Bantumi until about 2am.
Now it’s Thursday and he’s got 710 followers and I’ve only got 1.
What was I thinking?
Actually it didn’t really happen that way. But it should have. In truth, Bob and I joined separately and for totally different reasons than described above.
I’m not comfortable with Twitter. The word evokes memories of meeting Phil Clark for a chorizo sandwich in Borough Market only to have him greet me briefly and then excuse himself for a minute so he could tweet that he’d just met me for a chorizo sandwich in Borough Market. Phil has chilled out considerably on the Twitter front since then but for me that summed up the danger of tweeting.
And not everyone has chilled out over the years. Signing up has confirmed my suspicions that Mel Starrs requires urgent intervention. And Nick Duxbury is a lost cause.
Joining wasn’t an easy choice. I’d manfully pitched my tent in the anti-Twitter camp. But I was on the Housing Today website a couple of weeks ago, where they’ve got a live Twitter feed of #greendeal and I picked up quite a bit of information in a short time. I thought, wow this is a really good resource.
In addition, since I started blogging again about a month ago (inspired by a conversation in a wine bar with Mel – this one actually happened), I’ve noticed that people don’t comment on blogs as much anymore and instead they tweet their comments. Now I’m getting far more referrals from Twitter but fewer site comments. Bit sad as it makes it hard to have a meaningful exchange.
It’s as if blogging is too slow a medium to capture people’s opinions. They’d rather fling their comments into the ether, where they spark for a moment and then burn out.
But Twitter’s so easy. In fact you don’t even have to have 140 characters worth of original thought. You can just retweet and remind your followers that you exist. It seems to be more about presence than about content.
Anyway, I’m in – for now. My big questions are:
- Will Twitter actually improve my quality of life? This is the number one criterion for new technology (and my reason for ditching LinkedIn).
- Can you actually have a meaningful exchange via Twitter?
- How do I get value out of this thing and filter out the spam?
Deep breath. Keep calm. We’ll see how it goes.
And finally a PS: leave a comment, you buggers. You’re just being lazy.