I am still fairly new to the Twitterverse and I’m finding it’s a lot like parenting, nobody tells you exactly what to do, you just figure it out as you along and hope not to make any fatal mistakes.
To start with it felt a lot like I was talking to myself, well with an initial six followers, or thereabouts, I pretty much was. A few times a day I would tweet, telling myself, and any of the six that happened to be around, what I was doing and what sort of mood I was in. It all seemed quite pointless really.
I gradually got more used to Twitter and started following more people, and, in turn, being followed. I currently follow and am followed by 57 people, not entirely the same 57, quite a large proportion of my followers are the dreaded ‘bots’.
Nowadays I tweet in several different ways, there are still the random ‘I’m eating a chickpea curry whilst reading the paper, nom nom nom’ type tweets, (just in case anyone has a burning desire to know that kind of thing). There are rather too many ‘Oh dear me, I am the most bored person in the world, I am so miserable, nobody loves me, blah blah blah’ type tweets, (wouldn’t want anyone to mistake me for a happy little soul would I). There are the tweets that promote my blogs, (I feel quite ashamed and a bit self-conscious doing those, but I do want people to read it, so…. I force myself). Finally, more and more frequently, there are conversational tweets, either answering something that somebody else has said, or starting new conversations myself. I enjoy that part of Twitter.
So I’d reached a stage where I was starting to feel quite comfortable in the Twitterverse, quite at home in fact. Dare I say that I was starting to think about moving in permanently, telling silly old Facebook, (with it’s farmville, zooville, mafiaville etc), to get stuffed, (apart from Scrabble, obviously).
Last night somebody posted a tweet commenting that people were starting to use Twitter as a free SMS service, and it was getting on their nerves, (I forget the exact wording of the tweet, but that was the gist), several other people immediately retweeted it, (which is how I saw it, the original tweeter being neither a followee or a follower of mine).
This made me think about how I am tweeting, about the tweets I’d posted that evening. Some of them were indeed similar to conversations that I might have with non Twitterverse friends, (yes, I do have a few), via texts, (SMS). For example, two friends and I, both people who I do know on Planet Real as well as online, had been trying to arrange a ‘girly’ lunch for later in the week. Should we have been having that conversation on Twitter, in full view of anyone following us? Would it have been more suited to direct messaging, or texting?
Many Twitter conversations will start off with one tweet using the @insertnamehere facility, which alerts another twitterer to the fact that you are mentioning them. Sometimes a whole conversation will ensue just between you and that other person, I guess that could be more suited to a textual conversation, or to direct messaging. However, often other people will start to join in with that conversation, something I find very interesting as it is always good to get other viewpoints, and it’s a way of getting to ‘meet’ potential new people to follow, or to find out more about people I’m already following.
There are many people using Twitter in many different ways. Some just post a selection of ‘witty’ comments or observations each day; some, like me, tweet in a number of varying ways; some tweeters are promoting events or businesses; some are happy; some are sad; some are kind; some are cruel…. Is there a right way to do it? Is there a wrong way to do it? Is there even a wrong way to do it right? A right way to do it wrong? (Do we know a song about that?). Does it really matter? The way I see it is that all inhabitants of the Twitterverse have the power to choose who they follow, and by one simple click they have the power to unfollow if that person turns out to bore them/annoy them/anger them.
I’m going to carry on doing what I do, if it turns out I’m doing it wrong I will soon be back to six, or even no followers, then I might have a rethink. Until then, happy tweeting!
Oh, in case anyone is worrying – the parenting thing – no fatal mistakes so far