The latest internet fad is Twitter. Last year it was Facebook. The year before? MySpace. Is Twitter just a trendy fad, destined to be replaced by next year’s new kid on the social networking block? Or, is Twitter something more, better, cooler, funner and longer lasting than Windows Vista?
I’m officially on record as saying that Twitter is much ado over not much, despite the rapidly growing number of internet users who follow others on Twitter.
Larry King and Ashton Kucher had a race to see who could get to 1-million followers the fastest. King lost, but not by much. Most who use Twitter are followers, not tweeters. A recent study said the average Twitter user had a single tweet.
Facebook has far more users than Twitter, and they’re more active. That can’t be a good trend for Twitter. Twitter users, it appears, are mostly followers, not leaders.
Twitter, or RSS?
My Mac360 friends encouraged me to set up a Twitter account, add to it regularly, and give it a try. I did. It’s interesting, but not exactly fun.
I follow Ryan Seacrest of American Idol fame. He’s a busy guy. I can’t believe he writes all those tweets, so I’m sure he has someone who does it for him. I think of Twitter as Ryan Seacrest’s personal RSS feed.
The tech side of me also follows Om Malik. Seriously, how is Twitter not an RSS feed wannabe?
Twitter on a Mac
Do you have any idea how many Twitter applications there are out there, Mac and Windows? Dozens. I tried a bunch before settling on Tweetie.
I’ve settled on Tweetie for both my Mac and iPhone. I’ve totally failed to get my fiance’ or family members on Twitter, or even to follow my tweets. They’re busy. Plus, they need to sit in front of the computer for something other than baseball scores or YouTube.
Tweetie does a nice job of making the various social interactions easier to follow. I can scroll to see what those whom I follow are saying, one click gets me to personal tweets, and I can easily follow those conversations via Direct Message threads.
Think of it as integrated chat to the masses or chat one on one. I’m just now getting into searches, and Tweetie does something unique; start a search, then tear off the search results into a separate window, then watch the tweets that match.
URL shortening is a must for Twitter users, and Tweetie has that built in. Twitter is some kind of massive cross referencing tool, too. I can drill down and check out details of a user, view their tweets, and their replies, favorites, and bio.
Twitter is interesting as a follower, and something of a challenge as a tweeter (it takes thought and effort to engage; maybe that’s why so few Twitter users actually tweet)
Facebook (yes, I know it’s not the same, but it is a social phenomenon) seems far more interactive. The Wall is a cool feature. While Twitter seems like a personal RSS feed, Facebook is really a personal web site with scads of bells and whistles, and lots of interactive connectivity.
Twitter has plenty of interactive connectivity, too, but much of it seems shallow, vapid, more a curiosity without any real purpose. I do like that there’s not much evidence of spam. Yes, obvious spammers are on Twitter and they follow, but they’re easily ignored.
So, I’m on Twitter here. I follow and I tweet, but not as much as others. Yet. As a Mac user, do you use Twitter, and if so, how and why? Do you Tweet regularly or just follow? And, which Mac Twitter utility is best for you and why?
As if to emphasize my point, Jared Newman of PC World points out that Twitter plans changes to get more people to Tweet.
Friends of mine drop the service after a post or two, if they ever post at all. More importantly, they don’t follow anyone because they don’t know where to begin. If Twitter needs to address anything, it’s not the home page, but those first steps after you get an account, when you’re out in the Twitterverse with only a cold list of suggested users for guidance.
Twitter asks the question, “What are you doing?” For most, not much.