In defence of twitter

Joseph Stashko has detailed here his reasons falling out of love with twitter.

Joseph’s argument is based around the over-consumption of nuggets of information. Chunking and bite-sizing news so we lose the big picture or don’t study it enough depth.

I’m in near complete disagreement with Joseph. Twitter has made the web more relevant again and opened it up massively.

By following like-minded or people with relevant interests I’m open to new content, new blogs, new ideas much more so than if I’m an individual staring at a Google screen.

I’m able to engage, I’m much more motivated to create and the wealth of what I’ve learnt is staggering. I’ve probably learnt more from those I follow on twitter than any of my lecturers.

A lot of people need to optimise twitter to filter out the noise. Make a list of the core people you follow for great content. Separate from those likely to tweet about their breakfast.

I’ve accepted it’s not about consuming every tweet and every link but I’m reading a lot more than I would have if I actively tried to search for such things.

Twitter also provides an angle. If I look at a news story on BBC there’s barely any analysis of it. But if it’s a significant enough story and it has its own hashtag I’m able to follow what people are thinking about it. They may link to relevant information for example, it provides a better understanding of the issues. In that respect it broadens my knowledge base rather than bite-sizes it.

In further defence, and this is my own personal use, it’s easy to build communities around hashtags like friends meet in a pub, much more flexible than a forum. I and many other Burnley fans use the hashtag #twitterclarets for Burnley news, gossip and general bitching before, during and after the match.

What this allows is for the other Burnley fans to see the discussion but also my followers who may have an opinion on the match (and believe me many had an opinion of our 6-1 thrashing at the hands of Man City). Likewise millions of Dr Who fans can augment watching the show on a Saturday night with discussion of it.

It’s ultimately a great thing to have in addition to what was there before. It doesn’t stop me checking my bookmarks every morning but there’s numerous issues I wouldn’t have been aware of without it and for me that is it’s greatest value.

One thought on “In defence of twitter

  1. Said most of what I wanted to say in the comment on my blog, but 1 more point.I follow 100 people. That is more than enough, and it’s also being “nice” to people who don’t particularly provide stimulating comment but I’m obliged to follow as dictates convention. I can’t imagine what it’s like to follow 500+ people like you do. Too much info. I generally feel I’ve learned a lot more reading a book or a newspaper than virtually anything on the internet. Maybe I shouldn’t be comparing the two, but I think the Google culture is both worrying and self-defeating. Like I said before, I don’t think I was entirely condemning of Twitter. More that it has flaws which people normally skirt over, particularly amongst people in the media industry. Besides, I dm’d you a ticket, I’m clearly a media guru…

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