Sunday, February 21, 2010

Temporary(?) Twittersphere Trek

I don't hate Twitter, but I have to confess I have seen very little use for it. It is just more noise in an increasingly noisy and impractical internet.

I am also turned off by the near ubiquitous insistence that anyone who "takes himself seriously" as a writer, (or seller, artist, photographer, seamstress, cardiologist) MUST be on Twitter, if they expect anyone else to take them seriously in their field.

I will always disagree with this. It may be persistent one, but Twitter is truly a fad. It will stick around for a while, perhaps forever in some fashion. But it will be replaced one day. As will its replacement, and on and on. This is a given. Yet even while it is still "king", I have many problems with the assumption that it will drive traffic to one's sites or products or pictures.

What causes my to doubt the biggest internet "media" force seen by humankind in, well, about two years? Nothing you haven't heard before; 140 characters is too short for much thought. It encourages net speak. The frequency and size of tweets invites for an especially clogged system, given the ease with which total pointless garbage can be produced. It enables even further our short attention span society. It's yet another internet popularity contest. (Which I never win.)

The list goes on and on. I stand by those conclusions about Twitter overall.

But in an effort to be open minded, (without having my mind made up FOR me be Twitterers) I have over the last month sought opinions from those in the know on other sites of which I am a member. I've sought out, (with more effort than I think ought to be required...another drawback of the service) Tweets that are intelligent, or at least a step above the average, and have concluded that I will try Twitter myself. For about 30 days. If no demonstrable uptick in my followers there, or readership in either of my blogs takes place, I am pulling the plug on the experiment.

No doubt people will say the 30 days is not enough to become a Twitter god, or drive the world to my sight. Neither of these are my goal at this time. My goal is to simply see if using Twitter, by it's very nature, will attract more people to my writing, and encourage them to get to know my work. Some amount of indication ought to begin with 30 days or so. If none does, I think it is the service, more than it is me.

I was also glad to hear from other writers who find no use for the service. It confirmed what I already knew; that writers don't NEED Twitter to be taken seriously as same.

That being said, you will NOT find Tweets from me that:

--Post stupid updates on how my lunch turned out.

--Mundane weather observations.

--Net speak. (EVER. I will not be using abbreviated words or contracted phrases that are not otherwise noted by say, the Associated Press or something.

--Celebrity gossip.

--Tweet pics. Too much to worry with.

In general, I am hoping to think of grammatically correct thought provoking yet entertaining Tweets that will start some conversations. I doubt personally think it is going to work much, but I am willing to try now.

If you would like to follow me, or just read my Tweets, my account is TyUnglebower.


Empoprises said...

Ty, I surfed from Brazen Careerist to your Twitter profile to your blog (I'm now subscribed via Google Reader) to this post.

Personally, I feel that Twitter is almost becoming a must-have, in the same way that you needed a Yellow Pages ad in the 1970s or a fax number in the 1990s. It almost seems like a Twitter presence (or perhaps a Facebook presence) is expected. Even if Twitter truly is a fad, you almost need the presence for as long as the fad lasts.

Whether the Twitter account is truly USEFUL or not...well, I suspect that you're forming your own opinions on that from your experiment.

Ty Unglebower said...

Thank you for your comment, and for reading the blog. I hope you continue to do both.

But as for your actual point, I only agree in a limited fashion. Twitter, like any fad, really should not be followed just because it is a fad, by any serious people. If something is popular because it is highly effective, that to me is not a fad.

In the case of Twitter, I think that the disparity is too great between those for whom it works and those for whom it fails, to declare it a "must have". To be suckered into doing something you would not otherwise do simply because everyone is doing it, only to have it fail to achieve anything for you, is wrong to me. And not something I will allow myself to do.

But that being said, I am attempting it's use, to see if it brings me success. Thus far, I cannot claim that it has done so to a great degree. But the experiment is not over.

If, however, I do not feel any satisfaction from it's use at the end of my trial period, I will delete my account, fad or no fad.