Twitter is What You Make It


If you follow people that don’t interest you, then you won’t be interested in Twitter.

If you follow people that interest you, then you’ll be interested in Twitter.

It’s just that simple.

brent-ozar-on-twitterSaying Twitter sucks is like saying the web sucks, or that music sucks, or that talking sucks.  It just indicates that you’re unclear on the concept.

When I hear people saying they don’t like Twitter, and I start asking about why, it usually falls into one of two categories:

  • They didn’t have enough spare time for it. If you don’t have enough spare time to do something, that doesn’t mean it sucks.  I don’t have enough spare time to go fishing right now, but that doesn’t mean fishing sucks.
  • They followed the wrong people. Just because somebody follows you doesn’t mean you have to follow them back.  As of right now, I’m only following about half the number of people that are following me.  I follow people ***I*** find interesting, not people who find ***ME*** interesting.  To those of you who are following me and I’m not following back, don’t take it personally: it’s not you, it’s me.

If you want to enjoy Twitter, follow people who really interest you, and only follow as many as you have the spare time to interact with.  That’s why I only follow a fraction of the people who follow me – it’s not that I don’t like everybody, but there’s just not enough hours in the day to hear everybody.

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10 Comments. Leave new

  • Agreed @BrentO :{>
    Like everything else in life, some folks enjoy it and some folks don't. I only hear folks that don't understand the technology criticizing it…

  • "It's not you, it's me." But Brent, can't we stay together for the sake of the children? 🙂

  • Hahaha… "Think of the child tables!"

  • The hyperbole is in a response to how over-hyped Twitter is. It's great for some people. For for most, it is just not at all worthwhile.

    After hearing blogger after blogger, and podcast after podcast laud how amazing Twitter is (even without providing any real reasons why aside from promotion and marketing), I finally gave it a chance. I did my best to find people who I'd find interesting. I didn't follow spam accounts who clearly only followed me in hopes I'd follow them. I tried applications like Tweetdeck. After about of month of sticking with it and following all the advice, Twitter has provided me with absolutely zero value. I'm still going to keep trying. But, it's becoming even more clear that the few who do get value out of twitter can't stop talking about it. While most of us can't get find anything to get out of it.

  • bfos7215, the same could be said of email at some point in its evolution. It is what it is. Part of the mystique is trying to figure out new ways to use Twitter. It's innovation. That appeals to developers.

    Admin folks define innovation differently. For them, it's about more monitoring and control, better visibility into the systems that keep the plant floors and banks and schools and hospitals running smoothly. Thank goodness for admins!

    Twitter is still new. And some folks like it just because it's new. And that's ok. Others don't like it because they can't figure out any practical use for it. That's also ok. Both groups need to either find a new mule or (better yet) put down their sticks.

    That said, I offer this prognostication: One day, you (or some application / utility you use) will use something very much like Twitter to communicate.

    :{> Andy

    • I'm not arguing that no one will ever be able to leverage a Twitter-like platform for something useful in the future. The point is, right now, most people find little to no value in Twitter despite the genuinely excited group of those few who do.

      As for your prediction, I already do use something very much like Twitter. I use Facebook, along with most of my friends. And, I've also used a feed reader for several years to subscribe to RSS feeds from all over the internet.

      • That's so funny – I abhor Facebook. I use it to stay in touch with my high school friends, but beyond that, it's too much noise for me. All the little apps and games with their wars and stuff – bah. Funny how one of those can be seen as a time waste while the other isn't, eh?

        • Oh, I hate the apps too. Every time I get one I just block it. Don't see many at all any more. Heck of a lot easier than having to install third party apps, read through the 133t speak, short-urls, and hash tags people use to try to cram their posts into 140 characters.

          By the way, I don't think twitter is any more of a time waste than any other social network. I just don't see it as nearly useful to the average internet user.


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