Twittering Naked in the Bath

My latest twitter is ” I still think Twitter is as useful as trying to water roses with an over salivating dog.” Which when you think about is is the secret of link building.

I find it as banal as left wing performance artist on the streets of Grantham on a wet Thursday afternoon.

But, and this is the important bit. It carries conversations of people in my industry, and thus, although I would rather rub my own eyeball with high grade sandpaper; I don’t want to be left out of the conversation, however banal. I can count on the fingers of one hand when I actually found it useful, other people may find it more useful than me. Particularly those of a burning need to announce that they are sat in an airport lounge.

Not sure what the waiting-at-the-airport twitter is meant to tell me. Maybe that the twitterer is:

  • Wealthy enough to fly
  • Courageous enough to fly
  • Not discounting the fact that the plane may crash and wants to send one last message
  • Wants us to show sympathy with having to pay 10 quid for a sandwich
  • Telling us they don’t find the book they brought with them as interesting as texting twits on their mobile phone
  • Giving us the opportunity to say bad things about them whilst they are in the air and unable to reply.
  • Letting us know they are important enough to allow their carbon footprint to enlarge to the size of a pregnant elephant.

There are lots and lots of bloggers raving about existing within the Twitisphere. I’m not one of them, as you have no doubt guessed. I am sure those who rave about it do love it and there is no harm in that. People have their favourite communication tools and that’s great, how you use that tool and how much use you get from it is up to you.

I think there is a cultural divide too, as a Brit, I naturally take the piss and when people leave inane messages it’s hard to keep your fingers away from the keyboard. I think Americans take it a lot more seriously and respectfully.

But hey, I don’t want to get into a social/cultural debate here. At the end of the day you have to use what works for you. But sometimes you have to look beyond the hype and honestly ask yourself.

Is there any benefit for me here?

BTW, if you want to follow my Twitters and I don’t really recommend it as I will probably just be taking the piss click here.

22 thoughts on “Twittering Naked in the Bath”

  1. So much has been written about what people use twitter for there is no use me repeating it here. It’s one of those things that either clicks with you or not. It took me two tries, first time I didn’t get it, second time, thankfully, I got into it. For me there is a lot of value but I can understand when people don’t find it useful as things like FaceSpace and MyBook et al just leave me cold while others think they are going to replace the web as we know it 🙂

  2. Like Chris, I’m on attempt #2 with twitter and it’s starting to click (I think). So far I’ve found that twitter is even more superficial than the facebook crowd, and that’s quite the statement. One line updates, like the airport example, are only important to me if its from say, my wife. I really don’t care much about the person standing in line for some conference party. What are they saying? That it must be some party for there to be a line, or that they are wanting pitty because they didn’t get VIP passes to bypass the line? I dunno.

    However, I do find value in twitter in a couple of places. I’ve seen Michael Gray use it a couple of times to send out a request for help (wanting to know where he could get more information on something or the right link someplace) and get answered immediately. I’ve also found value in the quick link. Though I hate the tinyurl function because I never know where I’m going, I still click most the links from those that I trust. They are passing along a link, usually a blog post (ahem), just like they would in stumbleupon or pownce. So to me, I find twitter valuable in the fact that it can be used as a quick distribution method.

  3. @Chris, I agree with you. It’s important to find the tools which work for you. And I’m still keeping an open mind about it.

    @Jason, good point Jason, it certainly is a quick way to reach your followers. I think it’s worth giving it a few tries to find it’s worth.

    @Juile, I’m certainly freaking something…..

  4. I like Twitter for two reasons:

    1. It’s like an early warning system, helping me get the buzz from early adopters and therefore get a bit of a heads up so I can do some research before opening my mouth.

    2. I can easily reduce the signal to noise ratio by not following people. I only follow those whose EVERY post is interesting and regularly trim my follow list. There are some interesting bloggers and talented SEOs out there that think I’m interested in when they take their kids to school or motorbikes blowing over, but they’re not getting my attention.

    Other than that, I agree that the yanks suffer from SOH failure, the temptation to wind them up and watch them go is very strong.

  5. My girlfriend tried to drag me along to a Belarusian theatre group performing the work of Harold Pinter (in Belarusian). That makes the link to Grantham look like a wild night out with Hunter S. Thompson, Girls Aloud and a never-ending supply of Makers Mark.

    In summary, Twitter – not as bad as crap fringe theatre, not as good as going down the pub with your mates and finding a tenner on the floor.

  6. I personally was only able to restrain myself from the obligatory “I’m stuck at the airport” twitter when I actually was stuck at the airport last week because (A) I’m not paying $10 for airport internet access, (B) I was too busy using the text messaging feature of my cell phone to tell people I actually care about that I was stuck at the airport, and (C) I actually found the book I brought completely fascinating…

  7. I’m not going to name names, but this reminds me of someone we all know that was going to an big event in another country, “those of a burning need to announce that they are sat in an airport lounge.”.. this same someone tweeted later “I know, I am boring”

    Oh, and booo! Are you ever going to accept my follow? I don’t even have to like me.. *-)

  8. @spostareduro, I’ve been following you for ages.

    It seems every day there is an airport twit, but then I’m probably following too many jet setters.

    I still need to devise a twit bingo.

  9. OK, so I guess I’m one of those people who just don’t get it. Now, I’ve never used Twitter, and I’m not saying that I never will, but as of right now, I just plain don’t want to. Why? Why are we all so interested in what everyone else is doing? No, my life isn’t THAT fascinating that I don’t care about anyone else’s. I just don’t need to know every detail of every waking moment of … you get it.
    This really has less to do with Twitter (which is actually a pretty cool idea and has proven very useful for many people and situations) and more to do with my need to vent about America’s tolerance for crap! So, yes, I agree with you about there being some cultural distinction in regards to these types of things. Alright, I’m done.
    Love the title by the way and the invite at the end! Good stuff! 🙂

  10. @Rachel, I am a real people person, I am fascinated with other human beings, what they do, what makes them tick. Big people watcher, and I’m very nosey also.

    But twitter does not give us the fascinating about the person, the information is highly mediated, sculpted even. It would be amazing if people actually twittered what they thought. I would say anyones life is fascinating, but how much you give away is up to the person.

    Given that the people in my twitisphere are online to make money, build personal brand, increase their business network; people take great care to not do the, “oh my god, I can’t believe he just twittered that”.

    It is safe and therefore boring.

    My twits are mostly fishing lines, baiting the water to see what I catch. I think my twits do reveal something of myself and I feel that it does of most people, even if you are very careful.

    What I’ve learned is a lot of top class bloggers who I read and respect are really quite boring. But I guess even Oscar Wilde had his moments of banality.

  11. Being a “Yank” myself, I do not often get to see the culture/technical divide you are talking about (which probably stems from our very common egocentric attitude to the international community). I would be very interested in a future post on this subject.

    As far as Twitter goes, I understand the negative attitude most have about the technology. Twitter truly is the first human RSS feed. Most of our lives are too boring to deserve a RSS feed. Yet, we still tweet on in hopes that this fact will change!

  12. I’m like you. I find some value in twitter (enough to leave it on my Netvibes and check it now and again) but it’s mostly just a sly form of bragging/whining.

  13. I twittered “waiting at gate C” once and then met two SEOs from Vancouver also waiting for flights. The hour plus delay flew by, and since Vancouver is a short drive from my home base, I’ve got new associates.

    Twitter is definitely a sausage grinder.

  14. WAIT are you seriously telling me twitter has a business use beyond tweets about cats twit text lingo twitter friend numbers and social media cool point?

    I didnt know we were supposed to read all that stuff, twitter as a research tool what a juicy linkbaiting title idea that could make. Never would have guessed tweets provide useful information. Now I see theres a twitter secret code.

    Thanks mr linkbait expert, you must be a twitter expert by now to & I have so many new keywords stuffed ideas after this bloated way past the standard 140 characters my tweet abusing fingers are used to.

    wonderful twitter post m8 now i dont feel like a twit, i may learn how to utilize twitter after all.

    Mich D. aka @MichDdot 😉

  15. I think Twitter is getting surfacier and surcfacier, to paraphrase someone who once drank a potion and got very tall – or was it a biscuit labeled “eat me”?

    Scads of scammers and spammers are drinking the twit elixer, artificially pumping up their numbers of follows and followers. Are we bored, or do we have the social media munchies? Or are we cutting back on gas (as in petrol for the SUV) and gassing about online instead?

    I suspect that like generations untold we are simply fixated on size. The tools have changed, the fixation remains the same.

    Size is not everything. The more aps there are the fewer real people are generating and clicking on content.

    I’ll keep tweeting as long as once in a while I really do hear back from a non-bot who bumped into me via Twitter.

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