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My Twitter Experiment Is Over

I am not perfect and I like to remind folks of that fact on a regular basis. Back in March 2007 when I wrote this, I had given up on Twitter. How wrong I was … in fact, a lot of my news comes from Twitter first today. One thing I was correct about, it can be a huge time suck if you let it.

Here is the original article:

I tried Twitter. I really did give it a go. More than I anticipated I would. But it’s not for me.

Don’t get me wrong, I won’t be pulling my account, just won’t be using Twitterific and apart from once or twice a day will not be checking messages.

While it is fun, I don’t know how anyone can get any work done while it is on. Far too distracting.

For those who say it is the next big thing? Not convinced. I haven’t seen a single worthwhile message, not a single scoop, not any content of note that I couldn’t get through another channel with more context and depth.

I’ll keep one eye on progress but if I want to chat with friends I will do it through Skype and IM.

Have you tried Twitter? Am I wrong? Let me know in the comments …

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Comments

  1. I feel like Twitter has some potential, but I think that, like any new technology, people are still trying to figure out exactly what that potential might be. I laid out a few potential ground rules in this post: http://www.didntyouhear.com/2007/03/23/twitter-needs-rules/ and I’d love to get your input. I feel like if Twitter use was reserved for Twitter worthy things, it would be a more valuable service for everyone.

  2. I feel like Twitter has some potential, but I think that, like any new technology, people are still trying to figure out exactly what that potential might be. I laid out a few potential ground rules in this post: http://www.didntyouhear.com/2007/03/23/twitter-needs-rules/ and I’d love to get your input. I feel like if Twitter use was reserved for Twitter worthy things, it would be a more valuable service for everyone.

  3. I feel like Twitter has some potential, but I think that, like any new technology, people are still trying to figure out exactly what that potential might be. I laid out a few potential ground rules in this post: http://www.didntyouhear.com/2007/03/23/twitter-needs-rules/ and I’d love to get your input. I feel like if Twitter use was reserved for Twitter worthy things, it would be a more valuable service for everyone.

  4. I gave Twitter approximately 48 hours of my (limited) attention before giving up with it. Have to say I really don’t quite get what it is ‘for’ — if, indeed, it is ‘for’ anything. But perhaps I’m not part of their target demographic.

    I’d be quite interested to see statistics on the ages of its most prolific users, and whether they remain users over a long period, or whether it’s another ‘Second Life’ phenomenon.

  5. I gave Twitter approximately 48 hours of my (limited) attention before giving up with it. Have to say I really don’t quite get what it is ‘for’ — if, indeed, it is ‘for’ anything. But perhaps I’m not part of their target demographic.

    I’d be quite interested to see statistics on the ages of its most prolific users, and whether they remain users over a long period, or whether it’s another ‘Second Life’ phenomenon.

  6. I gave Twitter approximately 48 hours of my (limited) attention before giving up with it. Have to say I really don’t quite get what it is ‘for’ — if, indeed, it is ‘for’ anything. But perhaps I’m not part of their target demographic.

    I’d be quite interested to see statistics on the ages of its most prolific users, and whether they remain users over a long period, or whether it’s another ‘Second Life’ phenomenon.

  7. @Cory – so far 99% of it is “making a snack”, “going to sleep”, “going to work” … stuff I can do without reading really

    @Ian – my circle seem to be using it as a many-many SMS. Kind of like a geek party line. Too much noise to get any work done though.

  8. @Cory – so far 99% of it is “making a snack”, “going to sleep”, “going to work” … stuff I can do without reading really

    @Ian – my circle seem to be using it as a many-many SMS. Kind of like a geek party line. Too much noise to get any work done though.

  9. Hey I resent you dissing on twitter. :P ;) I use Twitter to vent about little things I don’t want to write more about. It’s a no-sweat component of my whole PR strategy. I know some of my friends like to read my twitters and sometimes even call or email to know more about the more cryptic ones.

    The lost productivity might be a concern, though…. Maybe I should try switching off for a few days to see if I get more work done. Hmmmm.

  10. Hey I resent you dissing on twitter. :P ;) I use Twitter to vent about little things I don’t want to write more about. It’s a no-sweat component of my whole PR strategy. I know some of my friends like to read my twitters and sometimes even call or email to know more about the more cryptic ones.

    The lost productivity might be a concern, though…. Maybe I should try switching off for a few days to see if I get more work done. Hmmmm.

  11. Funny, I haven’t used Twitter because I sensed this very thing. I thought it would take too much from my work day – and that’s rarely good.

    Were there any benefits you found to using Twitter? If so, is that they didn’t out weigh the distractions?

  12. Funny, I haven’t used Twitter because I sensed this very thing. I thought it would take too much from my work day – and that’s rarely good.

    Were there any benefits you found to using Twitter? If so, is that they didn’t out weigh the distractions?

  13. @Hsien – I did, do, enjoy it, but I am the sort of person who is easily distracted – ooh, shiny! … where was I? ;)

    @Dawud – It’s nice being connected, but the connections are quite shallow and the conversations feel like snatches of shouting across a crowded bar as opposed to an in depth chat over a coffee

  14. @Hsien – I did, do, enjoy it, but I am the sort of person who is easily distracted – ooh, shiny! … where was I? ;)

    @Dawud – It’s nice being connected, but the connections are quite shallow and the conversations feel like snatches of shouting across a crowded bar as opposed to an in depth chat over a coffee

  15. I’m with you on that. The tweety sound is cute but my email and Google Reader are bad enough already. Plus the fact that none of my friends are using it. Who really wants to see when a bunch of strangers are going out for coffee?

  16. I’m with you on that. The tweety sound is cute but my email and Google Reader are bad enough already. Plus the fact that none of my friends are using it. Who really wants to see when a bunch of strangers are going out for coffee?

  17. Actually, it just occurred to me that although I knew who you were before I saw you on twitter, it was your twitter monkey background photo that made me think you were cool. And it was there I learned you were very approachable and very funny too! :) So twitter did get you just one more loyal fan.

  18. Actually, it just occurred to me that although I knew who you were before I saw you on twitter, it was your twitter monkey background photo that made me think you were cool. And it was there I learned you were very approachable and very funny too! :) So twitter did get you just one more loyal fan.

  19. I admire those (bloggers) who even bother to try at least a day or two.

    Anyone who uses skype, IM, email, blogging, comment, social network to connect with others, will know that these alone can really take up a lot of your time and energy. And to add Twitter, it’s like instant connection on steroid.

    I’m not a fan of one-line chatter. I rather spend time chatting with my friends over an afternoon tea, that’s if I’ve some spare time. :(

  20. I admire those (bloggers) who even bother to try at least a day or two.

    Anyone who uses skype, IM, email, blogging, comment, social network to connect with others, will know that these alone can really take up a lot of your time and energy. And to add Twitter, it’s like instant connection on steroid.

    I’m not a fan of one-line chatter. I rather spend time chatting with my friends over an afternoon tea, that’s if I’ve some spare time. :(

  21. @Charlie – even silent it gets in your face, I feel compelled to read every little idiotic “having sausages for lunch” message ;)

    @Hsien – very kind of you to say, yeah I love that monkey :) Not sure it is a strategy that will work for everyone though ;)

    @Renée – absolutely, it is like working in a busy open-plan office with lots of people with not enough work to do. Fun if you don’t have any work either but sooner or later just stressful if you really ought to be concentrating :)

  22. @Charlie – even silent it gets in your face, I feel compelled to read every little idiotic “having sausages for lunch” message ;)

    @Hsien – very kind of you to say, yeah I love that monkey :) Not sure it is a strategy that will work for everyone though ;)

    @Renée – absolutely, it is like working in a busy open-plan office with lots of people with not enough work to do. Fun if you don’t have any work either but sooner or later just stressful if you really ought to be concentrating :)

  23. Twitter is banned in the UAE. No cookies for me.

  24. Twitter is banned in the UAE. No cookies for me.

  25. I have a twitter account and I really don’t see much point in it. The only thing its cool for is updating what I’m doing to show on my blog, but that’s pretty much it.

  26. I have a twitter account and I really don’t see much point in it. The only thing its cool for is updating what I’m doing to show on my blog, but that’s pretty much it.

  27. Chris, I used to be in your camp. For weeks I thought Twitter was pointless. But then last week I actually picked up several useful pieces of information that I would not likely have found elsewhere. So I’m sticking with it for now, but leaning toward thinking that if I pick the right people to follow, I can extract value from it. It also seems that as this trend has advanced rapidly over the past few weeks, people are starting to sort out how to use the service and I have noticed far less of the “what I’m eating” type posts.

  28. Chris, I used to be in your camp. For weeks I thought Twitter was pointless. But then last week I actually picked up several useful pieces of information that I would not likely have found elsewhere. So I’m sticking with it for now, but leaning toward thinking that if I pick the right people to follow, I can extract value from it. It also seems that as this trend has advanced rapidly over the past few weeks, people are starting to sort out how to use the service and I have noticed far less of the “what I’m eating” type posts.

  29. Twitter isn’t about publishing content, per se. It’s about sharing presence or status. It’s like a persistent IM channel. Maybe more like IRC than a blog. I think of it more as “what are the people I care about doing right now” rather than a source of information.

  30. Twitter isn’t about publishing content, per se. It’s about sharing presence or status. It’s like a persistent IM channel. Maybe more like IRC than a blog. I think of it more as “what are the people I care about doing right now” rather than a source of information.

  31. I think a 12-step program for leaving twitter may be needed for some, including me. Just yesterday, may wife and I were twittering each other back and forth. While that’s great that we can keep in touch in (almost) real time, it’s not a good thing when I’m in the family room and she’s upstairs in the bedroom.

  32. I think a 12-step program for leaving twitter may be needed for some, including me. Just yesterday, may wife and I were twittering each other back and forth. While that’s great that we can keep in touch in (almost) real time, it’s not a good thing when I’m in the family room and she’s upstairs in the bedroom.

  33. @Ashwin – really? why?

    @vozzon – no I am struggling too

    @Chip – I will keep one eye on it, right now though it doesn’t really help me day to day. Some of the people who are figuring it out are submitting so much stuff that the quantity creates its own problem

    @D’Arcy – I guess that is my problem, while I am interested in what folks are up to I don’t really *need* to see others status

    @Steve – Heh that really is a “step away from the keyboard” moment :)

  34. @Ashwin – really? why?

    @vozzon – no I am struggling too

    @Chip – I will keep one eye on it, right now though it doesn’t really help me day to day. Some of the people who are figuring it out are submitting so much stuff that the quantity creates its own problem

    @D’Arcy – I guess that is my problem, while I am interested in what folks are up to I don’t really *need* to see others status

    @Steve – Heh that really is a “step away from the keyboard” moment :)

  35. I’m going for the Luddite vote here…I already hear (and sometimes have) far too many cell phone conversations that are totally unnecessary, and nearly bump into too many people who are texting while walking and not paying any attention to what (or who) is around them. The only thing I like about Twittering is the name, it’s a pretty descriptive word.

  36. I’m going for the Luddite vote here…I already hear (and sometimes have) far too many cell phone conversations that are totally unnecessary, and nearly bump into too many people who are texting while walking and not paying any attention to what (or who) is around them. The only thing I like about Twittering is the name, it’s a pretty descriptive word.

  37. maybe that’s the difference… I don’t have a cell phone. No SMS, no calls while wandering the halls, etc… But twitter gives me the opportunity to see at a glance what people are doing, without being intrusive (on them or myself)

  38. maybe that’s the difference… I don’t have a cell phone. No SMS, no calls while wandering the halls, etc… But twitter gives me the opportunity to see at a glance what people are doing, without being intrusive (on them or myself)

  39. Ironically your blog post prompted me to start up Twitterific and post something. I’ve also been following Blogger, Nick Wilson’s observations about Twitter and how to use it creatively. If I follow him correctly he is using it as a “digg” from your closed friends or rather twitter friends.

    I personally wish it had more features i.e. making web addresses “hot”, posting status from my applications like iTunes, colaborative project apps, etc. Right now it’s kind of formated to the point where it’s too easy or it encourages more people to write silly stuff about what they had for lunch.

    Of course I see quite a few twitter posts being nothing more than people “testing out twitter” but not really using it.

    I don’t really have any twitter friends so to speak. I don’t know the general people who are twittering and don’t really see a use to connect with them yet nor do I have a good selling point for me to convice my real friends to use twitter.

    I think it would be a better app if it was a plugin for other programs. I think it would be neat for example if when I bookmark a web site or feed that my wife who is also my co-worker would find out about the link as well. y current routine is to save a bunch of bookmarks and them forward them to her later in the week. I’ve tried De.lico.us but it’s not really for me eithers. Seems like too much work with too little reward.

    I suppose it’s a little “snarky” but I mainly using twitter to provide some P.R. spin on the status of my small business.

    This sort of reminds me the early days of “personal home pages” i.e. Geocites, Angelfire, Tripod, Hometown, etc. with people “posting photos and stories about their cat.”

  40. Ironically your blog post prompted me to start up Twitterific and post something. I’ve also been following Blogger, Nick Wilson’s observations about Twitter and how to use it creatively. If I follow him correctly he is using it as a “digg” from your closed friends or rather twitter friends.

    I personally wish it had more features i.e. making web addresses “hot”, posting status from my applications like iTunes, colaborative project apps, etc. Right now it’s kind of formated to the point where it’s too easy or it encourages more people to write silly stuff about what they had for lunch.

    Of course I see quite a few twitter posts being nothing more than people “testing out twitter” but not really using it.

    I don’t really have any twitter friends so to speak. I don’t know the general people who are twittering and don’t really see a use to connect with them yet nor do I have a good selling point for me to convice my real friends to use twitter.

    I think it would be a better app if it was a plugin for other programs. I think it would be neat for example if when I bookmark a web site or feed that my wife who is also my co-worker would find out about the link as well. y current routine is to save a bunch of bookmarks and them forward them to her later in the week. I’ve tried De.lico.us but it’s not really for me eithers. Seems like too much work with too little reward.

    I suppose it’s a little “snarky” but I mainly using twitter to provide some P.R. spin on the status of my small business.

    This sort of reminds me the early days of “personal home pages” i.e. Geocites, Angelfire, Tripod, Hometown, etc. with people “posting photos and stories about their cat.”

  41. I havent tried it, not a big fan of the myspace type things. I checked it and it looks lame

  42. I havent tried it, not a big fan of the myspace type things. I checked it and it looks lame

  43. I tried it for two weeks. Found it fun but my lack of Twitter friends made me totally sad. Uninstalled it after not a damn person wanted to ‘Follow me on Twitter’. :)

    Seriously.. fun if you have lots of close friends on it.

    Twittering alone is boring.

  44. I tried it for two weeks. Found it fun but my lack of Twitter friends made me totally sad. Uninstalled it after not a damn person wanted to ‘Follow me on Twitter’. :)

    Seriously.. fun if you have lots of close friends on it.

    Twittering alone is boring.

  45. Chris, I agree with you–can’t really figure out something useful for it. If I could, wouldn’t that be really swell linkbait! But, right now, it seems like just adding more noise to one’s life.

  46. Chris, I agree with you–can’t really figure out something useful for it. If I could, wouldn’t that be really swell linkbait! But, right now, it seems like just adding more noise to one’s life.

  47. I don’t get the big thing about Twitter. I looked at, but that was enough for me. I did blog about though trying to get some answers about it and why people are drawn to it. Anyone? ;)

  48. I don’t get the big thing about Twitter. I looked at, but that was enough for me. I did blog about though trying to get some answers about it and why people are drawn to it. Anyone? ;)