Shhh, no one is on Twitter

If no one is on Twitter why am I getting a new Tweet every second?

Yeah, Kara Swisher’s friends aren’t on Twitter. Of course they are the same type who would look at you strange back in 1977 if you bought an Apple II for $5,000 like my dad did.

Jeff Clavier explains how this works.

Me? I have already turned off the autofollow because too many of Kara’s friends were following me. Heheh.

82 thoughts on “Shhh, no one is on Twitter

  1. Incidentally, I thought I was one of the only strange ones in Boston to be using Twitter, until I went to a Knowledge Management session at Bentley College a few weeks ago, and 30-50% of the KM people (most of them older than me, and I’m an Apple ][+ kinda guy) had heard of and were using Twitter.

    I was flabbergasted to be honest. As a result of twittering, found out one fellow works not 2 blocks from me. This isn’t just a Silly-Con Valley phenomenon. ;)

  2. Incidentally, I thought I was one of the only strange ones in Boston to be using Twitter, until I went to a Knowledge Management session at Bentley College a few weeks ago, and 30-50% of the KM people (most of them older than me, and I’m an Apple ][+ kinda guy) had heard of and were using Twitter.

    I was flabbergasted to be honest. As a result of twittering, found out one fellow works not 2 blocks from me. This isn’t just a Silly-Con Valley phenomenon. ;)

  3. Twitter is no more or less of a time waster than e-mail, IM, blogging, reading, ‘riting, ‘rithmetic.

    Once you start to get a following, like on any ‘social network’ then you can do awfully useful things like quickly poll the crowd on simple things like “is website x.com down for anyone else? (typepad for example)” to feedback on new web designs, what cell phone to buy out of a handful of choices, etc..

    The virtual watercooler effect is pretty handy, and doesn’t require firing up a “room” in any sort of IM/IRQ/ICQ-style parlance. You step in and out of the flow as you like.

    But Twitter certainly does bad things for you if you lean at all towards ADD! :)

  4. Twitter is no more or less of a time waster than e-mail, IM, blogging, reading, ‘riting, ‘rithmetic.

    Once you start to get a following, like on any ‘social network’ then you can do awfully useful things like quickly poll the crowd on simple things like “is website x.com down for anyone else? (typepad for example)” to feedback on new web designs, what cell phone to buy out of a handful of choices, etc..

    The virtual watercooler effect is pretty handy, and doesn’t require firing up a “room” in any sort of IM/IRQ/ICQ-style parlance. You step in and out of the flow as you like.

    But Twitter certainly does bad things for you if you lean at all towards ADD! :)

  5. I live in the Midwest (Ohio). The first time I heard of Twitter it sounded dumb. I signed up, though.

    Since then:
    -I recruited my entire office to sign up and use Twitter on a daily basis
    -My workmates post updates about our clients’ successes and updates about our software on Twitter (shameless promotion: http://twitter.com/donordrive)
    -I got my MOM to sign up and use Twitter on a semi-regular basis
    -I’ve met new people from my area
    -I’ve attended more local events and got other people to attend

    You’re saying Twitter isn’t useful? It’s sure working out for me.

  6. I live in the Midwest (Ohio). The first time I heard of Twitter it sounded dumb. I signed up, though.

    Since then:
    -I recruited my entire office to sign up and use Twitter on a daily basis
    -My workmates post updates about our clients’ successes and updates about our software on Twitter (shameless promotion: http://twitter.com/donordrive)
    -I got my MOM to sign up and use Twitter on a semi-regular basis
    -I’ve met new people from my area
    -I’ve attended more local events and got other people to attend

    You’re saying Twitter isn’t useful? It’s sure working out for me.

  7. Signed up at Twitter a few months ago out of curiosity, but after spending some time there, I simply can’t figure out what to do with it or what problem is solves for me. Nobody I know uses it. Haven’t gone back to the site since.

    Same story with Facebook. I signed up a year ago, but probably logged in twice in my life. I can’t figure out why people use it, but they apparently do.

  8. Signed up at Twitter a few months ago out of curiosity, but after spending some time there, I simply can’t figure out what to do with it or what problem is solves for me. Nobody I know uses it. Haven’t gone back to the site since.

    Same story with Facebook. I signed up a year ago, but probably logged in twice in my life. I can’t figure out why people use it, but they apparently do.

  9. @larryborsato – actually, DC has a pretty large tech/web 2.0/start-up community. I agree that random wedding guests may not be the best option (DC being a transient town, and guest maybe from out of town) – but as a whole there is a big community of users in DC. Even if you look at the political community, many politicians are turning to Web 2.0 technologies to reach constituents.

    @lyf108

  10. @larryborsato – actually, DC has a pretty large tech/web 2.0/start-up community. I agree that random wedding guests may not be the best option (DC being a transient town, and guest maybe from out of town) – but as a whole there is a big community of users in DC. Even if you look at the political community, many politicians are turning to Web 2.0 technologies to reach constituents.

    @lyf108

  11. Twitter is for attention seekers

    Yup. Broadcast mode to your cult followers, and the conference crowd party-modes. But give it time, their attention will wane, and either Twitter will do something to collectively tick them off, on their road to making money, or some bright sparkle-shiny new toy, will grab all the new attention.

    A nifty feature perhaps, but hardly something to wrap an entire company around.

  12. Twitter is for attention seekers

    Yup. Broadcast mode to your cult followers, and the conference crowd party-modes. But give it time, their attention will wane, and either Twitter will do something to collectively tick them off, on their road to making money, or some bright sparkle-shiny new toy, will grab all the new attention.

    A nifty feature perhaps, but hardly something to wrap an entire company around.

  13. I hope your post was ironice from the start, including your question in line 1, asking why you get a twitter every second. I think we all know the answer why Mr. Scoble gets a Twitter every second. I don’t get one every second and I never will want to get one every second. I have never seen a bigger waster of productive time like Twitter before.
    I have a little suggestion for an interesting EXPERIMENT for you:

    STEP 1: Count the time you spent on skim reading the following tweets or starting to read tweets that you do not finish reading because:

    - they do not tell you anything you did not know already

    - they talk about things that do not interest you (“I am your follower number 5036 and i am going to my aunt’s birthday”)

    STEP 2:

    - count the time you spent on reading tweets that really interest you, where you learn something viable and valuable in a sustainable matter.

    Step 3:

    - compare the time you spent on reading step-2 tweets with the time you spent skim-reading or partially reading step 1 tweets. (even if it is just two word you read, there will be hundreds such post and you will spent a considerable time reading these airy posts) I BET YOU 10 $$$$$ b (maybe some other readers want to bet with me???????) that you spent more time on the latter.

    But now lets just look at the interesting step-2 tweets: do you honestly believe that it makes sense to spent all that time reading these tweets? think about what else you could do with that time, think about the scarcity of time: you could read blogs, books, scientific research, all treating the same subject matter that interests you and that those step-2 tweets relate to. There is so much more relevent content out there than those tweets. And the learning outcome of tweets is minimal, because the time you spent on them is so little. Sustainable learning comes in other ways. Or you could do productive work, answer all those unanswered mails, maybe spent more time on getting more and better interview partners for fastcompanytv.

    Twitter is for attention seekers, people who prefer going to conferences than sit behind their desk and work (I actually do prefer that as well), people who prefer holding a meeting than getting things done. It is the ultimate waster of time and does not play a role outside the tech bubble, where people do not have to spent so much time working, because their VCs see them as part of the product as well. And what better way to self-market yourself than building yourself a neat following base. Twitter will never make it mainstream and attention addicts will move on to other services. If Twitter will ever be a profitable company, please do send me a tweet though.

  14. I hope your post was ironice from the start, including your question in line 1, asking why you get a twitter every second. I think we all know the answer why Mr. Scoble gets a Twitter every second. I don’t get one every second and I never will want to get one every second. I have never seen a bigger waster of productive time like Twitter before.
    I have a little suggestion for an interesting EXPERIMENT for you:

    STEP 1: Count the time you spent on skim reading the following tweets or starting to read tweets that you do not finish reading because:

    - they do not tell you anything you did not know already

    - they talk about things that do not interest you (“I am your follower number 5036 and i am going to my aunt’s birthday”)

    STEP 2:

    - count the time you spent on reading tweets that really interest you, where you learn something viable and valuable in a sustainable matter.

    Step 3:

    - compare the time you spent on reading step-2 tweets with the time you spent skim-reading or partially reading step 1 tweets. (even if it is just two word you read, there will be hundreds such post and you will spent a considerable time reading these airy posts) I BET YOU 10 $$$$$ b (maybe some other readers want to bet with me???????) that you spent more time on the latter.

    But now lets just look at the interesting step-2 tweets: do you honestly believe that it makes sense to spent all that time reading these tweets? think about what else you could do with that time, think about the scarcity of time: you could read blogs, books, scientific research, all treating the same subject matter that interests you and that those step-2 tweets relate to. There is so much more relevent content out there than those tweets. And the learning outcome of tweets is minimal, because the time you spent on them is so little. Sustainable learning comes in other ways. Or you could do productive work, answer all those unanswered mails, maybe spent more time on getting more and better interview partners for fastcompanytv.

    Twitter is for attention seekers, people who prefer going to conferences than sit behind their desk and work (I actually do prefer that as well), people who prefer holding a meeting than getting things done. It is the ultimate waster of time and does not play a role outside the tech bubble, where people do not have to spent so much time working, because their VCs see them as part of the product as well. And what better way to self-market yourself than building yourself a neat following base. Twitter will never make it mainstream and attention addicts will move on to other services. If Twitter will ever be a profitable company, please do send me a tweet though.

  15. I’m sorry to seem like I’m just coming here to whine but Robert, I really wish you and a lot of the other “web2.0″ commentators would wake up.

    Very few people outside of the usual suspects have heard of things like twitter and very few of them care when they are shown it.

    What problem actually suffered by “real” people outside of the cutting edge of on-line IT folks like us do things like twitter actually solve?

  16. I’m sorry to seem like I’m just coming here to whine but Robert, I really wish you and a lot of the other “web2.0″ commentators would wake up.

    Very few people outside of the usual suspects have heard of things like twitter and very few of them care when they are shown it.

    What problem actually suffered by “real” people outside of the cutting edge of on-line IT folks like us do things like twitter actually solve?

  17. It is, in fact, somewhat true that almost no one outside Silicon Valley really knows a thing about Twitter, o cares. Even among the hardcore geek/engineer circles in which I move, Twitter is still a mystery. We had Tech Valley’s first Code Camp last week, and only one or two of the presenters were on Twitter, and neither of those is a heavy user. I think we got one or two more on board in the meantime, but still, if Twitter hasn’t penetrated to the geeks on the East Coast who are respected in more than just one metro market, then it really hasn’t penetrated, has it? Then again, same thing could be said about Facebook four years back.

    I think Twitter is the biggest current challenge to Facebook, both in geek and marketing circles — and that’s really saying something. Yes, they’ve faced technical challenges, but usage is growing rapidly, name recognition is greatly increasing (thanks in no small part to your efforts, Scoble — I don’t cast everything you do Twitter-wise in a negative light, but I certainly examine all aspects and facets in their own right) and third parties are building entire ecosystems around the API.

    Facebook is overgrown, Twitter is minimalist. Twitter can put niche experts in touch with their audience, or community, in ways simply not possible before. That said, Twitter is still in its infancy. I predict great things to come.

  18. It is, in fact, somewhat true that almost no one outside Silicon Valley really knows a thing about Twitter, o cares. Even among the hardcore geek/engineer circles in which I move, Twitter is still a mystery. We had Tech Valley’s first Code Camp last week, and only one or two of the presenters were on Twitter, and neither of those is a heavy user. I think we got one or two more on board in the meantime, but still, if Twitter hasn’t penetrated to the geeks on the East Coast who are respected in more than just one metro market, then it really hasn’t penetrated, has it? Then again, same thing could be said about Facebook four years back.

    I think Twitter is the biggest current challenge to Facebook, both in geek and marketing circles — and that’s really saying something. Yes, they’ve faced technical challenges, but usage is growing rapidly, name recognition is greatly increasing (thanks in no small part to your efforts, Scoble — I don’t cast everything you do Twitter-wise in a negative light, but I certainly examine all aspects and facets in their own right) and third parties are building entire ecosystems around the API.

    Facebook is overgrown, Twitter is minimalist. Twitter can put niche experts in touch with their audience, or community, in ways simply not possible before. That said, Twitter is still in its infancy. I predict great things to come.

  19. Also…

    When I was in Dallas last, my 16 year old cousin was having a party. There were about 20 16 year old girls and a few boys there, and I showed them Twitter.

    They didn’t get it. They thought it was pointless. They said “why do i need this?? I have myspace bulletins and text messaging and instant messaging. Why would i use this over those?”

    It didn’t even hold their interest longer than 10 seconds, even as they saw me using it.

  20. Also…

    When I was in Dallas last, my 16 year old cousin was having a party. There were about 20 16 year old girls and a few boys there, and I showed them Twitter.

    They didn’t get it. They thought it was pointless. They said “why do i need this?? I have myspace bulletins and text messaging and instant messaging. Why would i use this over those?”

    It didn’t even hold their interest longer than 10 seconds, even as they saw me using it.

  21. Robert. Leave the west coast. Nobody outside of the west coast is on twitter.

    It’s something that’s really popular in your world, but not in the rest of the world.

    You and your friends are a niche. All the names you drop, people you follow and link to, unheard of outside of the west coast.

    I’m not trying to be mean, just trying to put things in perspective.

  22. Robert. Leave the west coast. Nobody outside of the west coast is on twitter.

    It’s something that’s really popular in your world, but not in the rest of the world.

    You and your friends are a niche. All the names you drop, people you follow and link to, unheard of outside of the west coast.

    I’m not trying to be mean, just trying to put things in perspective.

  23. Sorry to here that Kara can’t find anyone at a wedding using Twitter and only the Echo chamber of Silicon Valley can even know about Twitter.

    I live in Calgary and I use Twitter.

    Maybe it is not so important to everyone else, maybe we are early adopters, or maybe it just doesn’t matter and we have found the 24×7 online party that everyone else doesn’t know about yet

  24. Sorry to here that Kara can’t find anyone at a wedding using Twitter and only the Echo chamber of Silicon Valley can even know about Twitter.

    I live in Calgary and I use Twitter.

    Maybe it is not so important to everyone else, maybe we are early adopters, or maybe it just doesn’t matter and we have found the 24×7 online party that everyone else doesn’t know about yet

  25. I still maintain that just because a niche wholly embraces it doesn’t mean it’s the future or the second coming. I fear for people who want to be that connected all of the time. Lots of attention whoring and narcissism if you ask me.

  26. I still maintain that just because a niche wholly embraces it doesn’t mean it’s the future or the second coming. I fear for people who want to be that connected all of the time. Lots of attention whoring and narcissism if you ask me.

Comments are closed.