I'm having a lot of thoughts about twitter. There are plenty of good primers on twitter, and lots of discussion of how the API traffic far exceeds site traffic. There's plenty of discussion about web metrics that suggests that such a service really can't be accurately measured by panel based or site-side analytics services. What this post is about, though, are the twitter use cases, the experiences of using the service.
One thing that I have observed from a conversation about a rash of new twitter followers coming out (apparently a couple of days ago the twitter mail queue held its breath and then burped out a whole bunch of notification e-mails) that in many cases these followers had a kind of artificial quality- particularly in cases where they are following dozens and being followed by far fewer. That irks a lot of people, because it suggests that you are not contributing as much as listening, or dare I say, stalking.
Twitter, to my mind, will lose value if it moves toward to the 90/10 rule participation - Twitter is no fun if you never send anything, as many people have pointed out to me. What twitter really does is force you to think about the balance...unless you're a bot.
When is it best used? When you send a lot and listen a lot. Charlie and Nate's video about Jamba Juice and Twitter or Michael Arrington's Comcast Outage or HR Block experiences are perfect examples of this. There is of course the infamous @jasoncalacanis passport debacle.
The twitter audience is kind of fickle..and the twitsphere really centers around tech right now, with @jasoncalacanis kind of the king of twitter self promotion. He can cause weird stuff like this to happen:
One mention by @jasoncalacanis and I get a torrent of new friend requests. Howdy folks!
I probably err on the side of being too human, in that I follow too few people who are following me. I try to exercise judgment about how much information I can reasonably consume- I am noticing that if you follow enough high volume twitter users, you can miss a lot of stuff, even @ messages from real-life friends. I try to make my tweets a mixture of the immediate, the insightful, the random and the humorous.
I've never met @mikedoe in person but I really enjoy his tweets. Most of thew original people I followed on twitter were NextNY people like @innonate @ceonyc and @quirk. Jason Calacanis sent a whole bunch of people to follow @alanataylor- I'm sure she's gonna go far.
So, if you got here from twitter, say hi here in the comments or D msg me- er, do they have bots that do that?