Thoughts on Twitter

I still do not know exactly what to think about Twitter.  I use it, and often leave it up all day, but it seems a little bit superfluous for most of us.

I completely understand how it makes sense for a famous person to have ‘followers’, though I hate the cultlike sound of that, because they are public figures and people are interested in what they are doing.  For example I ‘follow’ both Newt Gingrich and Richard Dawkins.  Therefore it makes sense for me to follow them if I am interested in some nugget of a quote from Dawkins or Gingrich’s take on a political news story, and often those ‘famous’ people turn around and follow me in response, presumably looking for more feedback from ‘the choir’ in most cases.

But for people like me, meaning broadcasting my status updates, Twitter is basically a glorified Facebook Status string wrapped up in an application.  What I do not get is why regular people like me start picking up followers that we do not know.  I am going to play around with writing an application that goes through others’ lists of followers and followed to see if it can figure out where some of  these rogue followers came from.

Anyone else using Twitter with anything interesting to add here?

2 responses to “Thoughts on Twitter

  1. I started using Twitter a few weeks ago. I only follow 4 people (2 famous) and am not sure I would be able to manage many more.

    I imagine people follow “normal” strangers in the hope that they will attract some followers of their own.

    As with most new developments, the most effective uses will be determined not by what the thing was designed to do but by what people decide to do with it. In Twitter’s case, I’d say this will be a combination of promotion (e.g. directing people to a blog) or as a means of staying up to date (e.g. with news, technology etc).

  2. I agree completely with your point about the end-result of Twitter being determined by what imaginative people end up doing with it. I have worked on numerous software packages only to have end-users awe me with how they end up using it.

    When it comes to Twitter I just have this feeling that I am missing something, that there is something there upon which I can leverage, but that I am not grasping it yet.

    I am a 20+ year software developer trying to come up with some way to leverage technology to fight back against the current tech advantage held by the collectivists. I blogged about it here:

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