My relationship with twitter sprung forth in April 2009, next month will be our 2nd year anniversary, I wonder what that bird will get me? Hmmmm
So if you remember this post, I really played hard to get. Twitter seemed so complicated and difficult to use, despite my newly completed IT degree I was just not feeling it. It took me like a month to understand the twitter nitty gritty. As you will read here, I was very faithful to my then obsession Facebook.
I decided to give Twitter a chance, and I slowly learnt the ropes, got new followers, got over the awe of being able to follow celebrities. That right there was what fascinated me the most. I used to go through peoples followers to see which other new celebrities I could follow. Well I got over it since I do not wish to come off as a groupy, so I unfollowed them after realising they do not tweet anything of value. Apart from Alyssa Milano, her tweets are so cool usually supporting a cause or sharing interesting links. RevRunWisdom was also cool, till everyone on my timeline used to RT him, plus it seemed like he ran outta wise things to say so he started recycling tweets so I unfollowed him.
I now only follow celebs who follow back like Carson Daly (if he is still even considered a celebrity), those who tweet back like Alaine and Cecile, people who have random, crazy, cool rants like Kanye West and most recently Charlie Sheen #winning
Wow, I really digressed. Anyway twitter has grown to become a revolutionary social media platform, which I can honestly say has changed my life.
The following are, in my opinion, the pros and cons of Twitter.
It puts the S in Social
I have met so many people through twitter, some of whom have become my good friends in real life and in cyber space. It has also brought me closer to people I already knew since it provides an avenue for me to interact with them more often. I also got a chance to interact with people I would normally never attempt to talk to due to my own harsh initial first impressions or sordid opinions.
Thanks to applications like Foursquare, I can track you down every time you check into a location.
I can share with the world what is on my mind any time I want in 140 characters and in form of twitpics. In my opinion, it is a place to be heard, RT’s and replies are just added wins which justify whatever statements we make.
The more followers you have, the more clout you seem to have. I must confess I check my follower count daily. The day I clock 1000 followers I think I will break into a happy dance of some sort. Last time I checked I had 734 followers, so log in and follow J
It is also a great feeling when people RT your tweets, though people have turned it around and used it as a way to reply to tweets. But either way, the more RT’s you get, the better.
Twitter has also led to the birth of trend setters. Trends on twitter are words, phrases or topics that the entire world is twitting about. If you start a trend and it trends globally, then you definitely have rights to have an inflated ego.
It makes the unreachable, reachable
You get to ‘interact’ r
ead as stalk, all the famous people that you admire and spam them with tweets at the risk of looking like a groupy (which apparently gets you hoisted up on the stage to dance with said celebrity, mikefromruai and antoneosoul have restored my faith in tweeter groupyness lol. Maybe there is something to it, who is the next celeb slated to come to Kenya I tweet them to death? )
Google may be the answer to everything, but twitter is a close second. Ask anything and tweeps will have an answer for you accompanied by links, telephone numbers. Whatever you need, twitter will help you find it.
Tweeps are like CSI investigators, I remember the time there was a very hot lady pictured on the local dailies for robbery and in no time tweeps had already located her on facebook and sent her friend requests. That kind of creeped me out lol.
Twitter has a great searching tool, which enables you to look up a word and it displays all tweets relating to that word.
I remember when I first joined twitter, majority of the tweeps were mostly techies and bloggers, but now every Tom, Wanjiru and Ondiek is joining.
You will find students, fashionistas, radio personalities, TV and movie stars, presidents, MDs & CEOs, dead people like Bob Marley, and different people from all over the world that you get the opportunity to interact with via twitter. It truly is a global platform.
Cheap Marketing Tool
Twitter is a great avenue for product placement and is very useful for spreading the word about a company’s products and services, websites and blogs.
If you want to attract more hits on your website and blogs, you can open official twitter accounts for them, or make use of your personal account and tweet the links to encourage your followers to visit your site.
If you want to promote your products and services, tweet about what you have to offer, post twitpics and offer customer service to your clients by responding to customer queries via twitter. I believe many organizations have not tapped into social media as an essential marketing tool which can be utilised to create brand awareness.
One of the fastest avenues to spread breaking news is definitely Twitter. Most major news agencies have twitter accounts which they use to let the world know what’s going on. Once they tweet, word spreads like wild fire.
Window of opportunities
If you make use of Twitter in the right way it can work in your favour in different ways.
Some people have found ‘love’ via twitter, having been wooed by just 140 characters. Okay maybe they weren’t wooed by simply 140 characters, anyhoo those who have found partners from there can tell us how the magic happened 🙂
Companies are now recruiting employees from Twitter and some tweeps have been fortunate enough to actually find jobs now that big shots from successful companies are seriously tweeting.
Twitter provides a platform to exchange ideas with other dynamic individuals’ facilitating the development of new software (yule msee), events (wamathai), and campaigns (Feb 28). Etc.
Hub of activity
Thousands of tweets are posted per second so there is always action. People share interesting links to blogs, websites, and pictures. Every day there are new trends which not only keep you entertained but give you stuff to tweet about as well like #MusicMonday #FollowFriday (which really needs to be revived) #np etc
I get cheap thrills from tweetifying words like peeps = tweeps, fam = twam etc etc I love how it confuses non tweeps.
Cons of Twitter
You know what goes down every Tuesday and on twitter after dark. Not to mention the millions of weird people who join twitter for disgusting reasons yuck!!!
There are so many creative people out there, who tweet cool things but do not get credited for their ‘work’ despite that clearly labelled Retweet button present on twitter and all other 3rd party applications.
It totally sucks when you see someone parading tweets that you took time to think up and they fail to accredit you. I immediately block such shameless shady characters or expose them.
More often than not you will discover people have stolen/copied/borrowed (potaytoe, potuhtoe) peoples ideas and implemented them in various other forms like web sites, newspaper articles, blogs etc.
The most irritating bit is when Facebook gets wind of a twitter trend days later, it is so boring and irritating, and the culprits still do not give credit when it’s due. There are some tweeps who also post peoples tweets as their status on Facebook, so not cool!
Spam and Bots
Thanks to that nifty Twitter search engine, people search for words relating to whatever they value and spam you with tweets. This is mostly done by entities and it is really irritating. There are also twitter bots which correct me if I am wrong are twitter profiles which follow you for mentioning certain words that refer to them, then they unfollow you after a certain period of time.
I am a certified twaddict (twitter addict) which is a fact I am totally not ashamed of. But unfortunately it preoccupies a lot of my time leading to procrastination, introvertness?, and my phone battery is lousy as a result.
Tweet Beefs and other Duramas
Maybe this should be a pro coz it is just so entertaining seeing people squabble on my timeline. People with differing opinions choose to fight it out on twitter and then guys get on board, pick sides and RT, okay I really think this should be a pro.
There are also occurrences of those unfortunate events when people’s accounts get hacked and the hackers do all sorts of damage using their accounts.
Difficult for beginners
Despite having studied IT, I found twitter really difficult to use and as a result I was dormant for the 1st few months after I joined. All these @, #, RT, were syntax that seemed very foreign to me, and I had no idea where to figure it out from. Learning the ropes, and trying to teach them to someone is a very daunting task, I wish it were more user friendly.
Twitter provides various avenues for stalking, via unprotected profiles and foursquare.
It’s a small tworld
You would be shocked to discover who some tweeps are in real life if they maintain different personas on twitter. I got one hell of a shocker earlier this year, as a result, catch me dead at a tweetup, I am too young for any more shockers : )
People tend to over share on twitter be it in 140 characters or in picture form. I will not deny that sometimes I am a culprit, and I feel nothing but some people push it to the limit. Why should you post pictures of the anatomy of your body? People like some mystery, or did things change and I missed the bus?
We also do not need to know what you are doing each and every other umpteenth minute.
There are some people who retweet every single mention they get, and you can imagine how many these mentions are given the fact that their followers have probably surpassed 1000. They just fill your timeline with irrelevant tweets, this really needs to die!
Social networks have basically become an avenue for everyone to brag about how wonderful their life is, the cool stuff they are doing, the amazing places they are going to, and the influential people they meet. Twitter is no different and I am sure it is difficult to resist twitting about the great things happening in your life. For the rest of the tweeps
All sorts of made up stories spring up on Twitter. People keep ‘killing’ famous people like Dj Tiesto who supposedly died in a car accident, Nelson Mandela who died from I do not know what disease, it’s beyond me why people would start such nasty rumours. Justin Bieber is murdered every other day on cyber space as well.
Lack of authenticity
You can create fake RT’s of supposed mentions, trying to manipulate things and make it seem like someone tweeted something they do not. This can really be misused by malicious people.
Wow this has to be like the longest post I have ever written.
Clearly the pros outweigh the cons, feel free to share any good or bad things that I may have left out. If you’re not on that Twitter tip yet, get with it and sign up. If you are already an avid user, make sure you make Twitter work for you.