Sunday, 26 April 2009

Café Chick on Twitter

I have been an irregular tweeter for the past year and a half in the context of my job. I remember raising an eyebrow to Twitter in the early days and wondering when or how (and why) I would want to use it. I set up an account and released a few hesitant tweets. My network slowly grew as colleagues and other work associates also came on board, but mostly I sat back and lurked while the Twitter world exploded around me, participating occasionally.

I found some tweets really helpful when compiling work-related resources, looking for research and supporting links, or for keeping up with who was doing what in their professional lives. What quickly became tiresome, however, were the exhibitionist-type tweets from people who including tweets such as these:
"Putting on my pyjamas now, ready for a cup of tea and bed. Night!"
"Just been for a run. Hope it motivates me to work now."
"Sitting at the airport waiting for my flight to Nelson. It's late, grrr."
"Flight is delayed further. Damn *insert airline name here*"
"The kids are still awake way past bedtime. Any suggestions?"
"Morning all. Another gloomy day in Rotorua but heading home tonight.""Not sure what to have for breakfast. Toast or cereal?"
"Toast it is, then. Now, jam or peanut butter?" etc ...
Ahem. Yes, I realise that Twitter's strapline is What are you doing? but isn't this taking things a little bit too far? I guess it depends on your purpose for tweeting, and which kinds of networks you wish to develop. While I'm sure some people would find the tv programme they are currently watching to be fascinating, I don't really need a minute by minute update of what's going on. Then there are the repeated tweets back and forth between two people, ie a complete conversation but in full view of the rest of the Twitter community. I have a suggestion, people: instant messaging.

The thing about the Twitter monster is that the bigger it grows, the more it consumes you. Once you starting following 100+ active tweeters, or have them follow you, then the frequency of updates can easily run away on themselves. Logging in less frequently only results in hundreds of tweets banking up to be read later; in reality, I skip them by refreshing my Twitterrific to start each session with a blank slate. Ahhh.

The international media's recent interest in Twitter intrigues me. Seen as the 'latest' trend, I don't think people realise that micro-blogging has been around for a few years now. I also smile at the way some try to get to grips with the associated terminology: a Twitter page/site (technically: account), "Twitter about it" (tweet), etc. When Ashton Kutcher attempted to break the 1 million followers mark (and succeeded), it started a Twitter-war with CNN, Jessica Simpson and Britney Spears also jumping on the bandwagon. In New Zealand, there are newspapers and airlines trying to drum up followers, whereas an RSS feed will work just as well.

As a side note, I'm both chuffed and amused to see that a former student of mine is just starting out with Twitter. She follows all of the above-named celebrities, and me, LOL. :-)

And now here I am with a brainwave: in order to avoid being an exhibitionist in my professional life, I'm going to set up a second Twitter account (yes, another one!) for Café Chick. Yes, folks, two for the price of one. I'm not sure it's really necessary, but I've opened the account and started transferring some of my more frivolous links. (I'd imagine Zen Cupcake would be perfect to follow on this account, lol.) Feel free to join me for the ride.


Blogger In Middle-earth said...

Kia ora Café Chick!

What wit would twitter
a single tweet of note and
get no twitter back?

Catchya later
from Middle-earth

Café Chick said...

I love it! :-D
It would appear that indeed there are many twits who tweet!

Evelyn said...

LOL, I hope you'll just keep your blog going........ twitters, oh dear! TMI, in general, I think!
Just in case this is an americanism..... TMI is too much information! :)

Café Chick said...

@ Evelyn
Absolutely no change of giving up my blog and shifting to the Twitterverse! I'm very familiar with TMI ... it's going around in abundance as we speak. ;-)