Wednesday, April 22, 2009

my wife thinks twitter is weird

Public Service Announcement: This is where I start saying fuck on my blog. This will likely continue. You've been warned.

I am obsessed with like Twitter. Lisa thinks it's weird. Being honest, I thought Twitter was weird too before I figured out why it rules and became obsessed got into it.

I've been on Twitter almost a year, but most of that time didn't count because I didn't know what I was doing Twitter hadn't gotten cool yet. My brother suggested I join. He's techie and knows stuff so I thought sure, I'll try it. In the beginning I didn't get it. But once I figured some things out it got much cooler. Here are a few errors I made when I started on Twitter. I share them so that you may avoid them and learn from my mistakes. I'm a giver.

My 1st Twitter error: Tweeting (that's the verb for posting updates on Twitter) exactly what Twitter asks you to tweet, "What are you doing?" The lesson? No one give a fuck what you're doing most of the time. Be selective. Be interesting.

My 2nd Twitter error: Using it only one-way. I posted status updates mostly via instant message. This is like tossing messages over a wall to a crowd you can neither see nor hear. This is lame. Don't do this. Lesson? Twitter is a conversation. Read more than you tweet. Respond to others. Interact.

My 3rd Twitter error: Using Twitter like Facebook. At first I only followed (that's what it's called when you read what someone else tweets) people I already knew. It seemed weird to follow people I didn't know. What the fuck did I care what THEY were doing? The problem with this is very few people I knew were on Twitter, and most of them didn't tweet very much. So my Twitter feed (the stuff I saw going by on Twitter) was kind of dead. Lesson? Follow interesting people. And don't be afraid to unfollow (stop following) people who aren't interesting or who piss you off. Who has time for that shit?

With all these things working against me, I lost interest in Twitter.

About this time I started reading blogs. Mostly mommy and daddy blogs. I'll write more later about my journey into the blogosphere (how insidery and annoying is that word?). Reading these blogs, I discovered a lot of the bloggers I was reading were on Twitter. So I followed a few. And once I got over being annoyed about them constantly plugging their blogs (which of course I now also do), this was the beginning of my obsession what got me interested again, for real this time.

Here's something I discovered about blogs and Twitter - both are a conversation. At their best they're interactive. Comment on blogs. Respond to tweets. There are exceptions. Some bloggers and Twitterfolk (I use this because I hate the term tweeps, which many use to describe people on Twitter. I'm not a fucking tweep. I am Twitterfolk.) are funny one-way. They say stuff that makes me laugh, and that's enough. @badbanana is a great example:

Now that's funny. But much as I love me some @badbanana, he's not what got me hooked. What got me hooked was conversations. Conversations in 140 characters or less with people. Interesting people, funny people, insightful people. People with questions I had answers to, and answers to my questions. Twitter is like a massive water cooler conversation. It's the ham radio of our era. You can decide who you want to talk to, how often, and when.

And this is where Lisa starts thinking it's weird. I've made friends. Most of these friends I've never met in person. And I follow them on Twitter and I read their blogs and I know things about some of them I don't know about people I know IRL (In Real Life. That's more Twitterspeak. Or maybe it's blogspeak. Not sure.).

Her thinking it's weird could also have something to do with me tweeting during dinner. Maybe I should knock that off.

EDIT: For some rather more coherent and potentially useful tips on using Twitter, check out Matt Singley's post on 5 Ways to Follow Good People on Twitter.



  1. LOL That girl above me tweets during dinner. She tweets to me when we are sitting across from each other at dinner.

    But I dont recommend you do that. Your wife is awesome, leave twitter alone during dinner!

  2. Jeez, lost the comment when I tried posting it.

    So, my two Twitter rules today: Posting 10 tweets in a row isn't a clever use of 140 characters. It's a blog post.

    And the follow follow follow thing filling my page with blue re-tweets. Feels like a weird game of tag. You're it! Tag as many as you can so we can all prove . . . what are we trying to prove?

    And I've wondered about the cyber-friend, real friend thing myself. Best wishes!

  3. Your insistence on using "Twitterfolk" made me laugh. I reminds me of a running joke in a favorite series of books...but that's not interesting to anyone but me.

    I absolutely agree that the conversations are what make Twitter what it is. The one-way people are eventually going to get bored (as you learned) and will miss out on the fun we will continue to have.

    And families? Yeah, they pretty much don't get Twitter and really don't like it when you tweet during dinner. But, I've found, they get used to it...when you give them no choice. :-)

  4. Thanks for the link love! Good tips, I like what you said about throw comments over a wall to a crowd, very true. It's a great conversation!

  5. I love that twitter is as interactive as it is . . . I tried to walk a work colleague through what twitter was all about and I could see that her brain just couldn't quite connect the dots, it was very sad. Now at work I have this stigma about being a 'geek'. Ah well. Great post! :)

  6. Elly - There are worse things than being a geek! Embrace the geek! Thanks for the comment. :)

  7. I think Eau D'Pig Poop would sell BIG at Nordstrom's and Macy's... also, being harnessed to a non-internet person, myself, NEVER tweet during dinner.

  8. twittttttttttttttttter. i still screw it up all the time. i can't get it right.

  9. My husband is the same way. He doesn't get it. But then he doesn't me blogging either. Maybe that's because he thinks the internet is only good for porn ;)

  10. There is getting to be a lot of noise/spam on Twitter these days, but it's still fun. I'm checking out the Singly post.


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