Sunday, 15 November 2009

POV: Twitter This Twitter That

I've been on Twitter for a while now, and I must say that I haven't gotten it yet. I follow a handful of talented photographers and other professionals, and I am extremely happy to be followed by many more...I must be doing something right... but here's what I find rather puzzling:

1. I only "tweet" my blog posts, and on occasions some stuff that I find interesting in the realm of photography and photojournalism. I do not "tweet" about trivialities that occur in my daily life, since I suspect that no one is (nor should they be, frankly) interested in those. Others do "tweet" about such stuff, and I don't understand why they think that anyone is remotely interested if they suddenly sprout a pimple, or whether Grandma Ida's apple pie tasted like cardboard last night. Isn't that what is diagnosed as narcissism ??

2. There's the phenomenon of "re-tweeting" which I also find puzzling, especially when a group of photographers "re-tweet" each others tweets as a matter of course. Now, I understand the concept of tribalism, and how 're-tweets' are useful for marketing purposes, and that it's to show membership in the good ol'boy network kind of thing, but why re-tweet virtually everything???

3. There are tweeters who follow thousands of other tweeters...when do they find the time and focus to read/scan/parse/skim all these tweets? As I said, I follow a handful of talented people, and I still don't have time to do their tweets full justice.

All this was triggered by an article appearing in The New York Time titled The Value of Twitter Data which in essence, tells us that a start-up company is selling very large sets of data harvested from 500 million Twitter messages, which also include the senders and recipients of 1 billion @ messages, re-tweets and favorites.

Since it is probable that I have no say in that data mining activity, I'd rather my tweets to have a little substantive content than being about nothing...but perhaps that's only me.

Seriously, I believe that Twitter can be a useful marketing and networking tool, but will quickly loses its efficacy if not properly harnessed and used.