Thursday, August 06, 2009

The Day the Twitter Died

I'd gotten up this morning and read an article by Robert Scoble on unfollowing people.

To be honest, I thought, oh great, yet another article by the in-the-know, internet intelligensia about why you shouldn't be following people like me, who may not really offer the sort of Twitter ROI that is important. Or is it important (to me) ?

It must not be- for me. I've been languishing at approximately the 400 user mark for a while now. I continue to tweet the beers I drink each night, provided sporadic twitter race-day coverage of Ironman Lake Placid, comments on the Tour de France, and frequently add tweets on politics, technology, and even the Daily Show. Taken as an aggregate, there's probably something not to like in my stream for just about any of my followers.

Twitter is at once this great democratizing force, unless Twitter decides to 'rationalize' the tweet-stream, which has been discussed by Twitter recently, and this obsessive playground for control-freaks. Who follows you, who you are following, how many are there, what's the value, and other questions are constant discussion points on Twitter, and that's fine. But I think there is maybe to much ROI on something that is basically free- or free plus the cost of the time you put into it.

However, I found the article really actually useful. There's nothing wrong with using Twitter whatever way you like to- as a communication tool, a means of self-expression, a resource for answers to your questions. Complain, philosophize, agitate, even market. it's all good. But there's no reason to handicap your account and your experience, either.

Example- your bio line. Mine said almost nothing about me except that I like Battlestar Galactica. While this is true, it doesn't tell you who I am, what I do, or what I tweet about. So, as the article suggested, I changed it.

Then I sat back, made this one change, interested to see what might happen.

And Twitter took a giant face plant a few minutes later. It's been down about two hours now, I think, and yeah, here I am, writing about it being down on my blog, partially because you can't tweet about twitter being down. You can, however, go to for a status update.

Anyway, read the article. I think there are some great tips for being as 'good' a twitter user as you decide you want to be.

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