The idea of Twitter has never been my thing. It's just too, well, short. Any of you who have been around here for any length of time will know that about me. Brevity is not exactly my strong suit. There are reasons for that, most of them having to do with the lack of anything meaningful that usually accompanies brevity. Still, there came a point when I thought I should probably give Twitter a shot, so, almost a year ago, I did.
I have to say: I have not been impressed.
Before I get into that, though, I heard some interesting research the other day about followers on Twitter and other such things, actually about the value of purchasing "followers" by the thousands. This was in the wake of the Instagram purge and the resulting conversations about all the followers that Beiber (and others) lost and, actually, what it meant that Instagram was willing, now, to purge all of those fake accounts. Interestingly enough, the research shows that the numbers really matter even if people know that the numbers are fake. Basically, if you have 10, 017 followers and 10,000 of those are fake, people will be more willing to follow you than if you have 100 followers who are real even if they know that the 10,000 followers are fake.
Because people are weird that way.
At any rate, my view of Twitter, which I've said somewhere or other before, is that it's like being in a cave, somewhere back in the dark, and yelling at people as they pass by and hoping that someone will stop to listen to you. The problem is that everyone else is busy yelling from their own caves, and no one is listening to anyone. At least, that's the way it seemed, so I decided to see if I could figure out if that was true.
For a while, I had been considering writing a twitter story, which is not a story about twitter but a story told in 140 character bursts via twitter, but I wanted to pre-write it so that I would have every tweet prepared ahead of time. Yeah, I'm not a pantser. But I've been busy with other things and hadn't come to any decision about story ideas for a twitter story, so I kept putting it off. BUT...
Back at the beginning of December, my cat did this thing, an interesting thing, and I decided to just start writing the story with that thing as the catalyst and, yes, I pantsed it.
A few times a day, for three weeks I added to the story about a cat that started with this thing my own cat did. It was more fun than I thought it would be. BUT...
As far as I can tell, no one noticed. Maybe some people saw some tweets here and there, but there were no comments or reactions at all. Which, actually, is something I have found to be the case in general where twitter is concerned.
All of which leads me to my general conclusion about twitter: Unless you are a celebrity and are giving your fans some sense of connection to you, twitter is completely worthless. Okay, maybe not completely worthless but pretty close to it. It makes a good texting substitute for short directed messages to people, and that can be nice, but it's not necessary for that, because you can always send an email. Twitter just allows you not to have to know the person's email by just following them instead. Overall, it's not a better tool than, say, Facebook; Facebook is much more versatile.
None of which is to say that I'm going to drop twitter, but it's certainly difficult to take the thing seriously. It's lousy as a marketing tool and generally worthless as a vehicle for even saying stuff. Not if you want anyone to notice, anyway. If I want that, I'll go out in my front yard and yell stuff.