I don't use Social Web stuff... so why Twitter?


I don't use Hi5, don't like MySpace and deleted (or should I say, disabled) my Facebook account. So, why do I use and even like Twitter?

On social networks, I have to post personal information, keep it updated, reply to friends, decide whether or not to install some viral widget... I have to commit to spending time on it.

I don't mean that all of the social web is a time-waster, the Social Web can be useful. The extreme example is possibly LinkedIn, the social network meant for people who don't want to or can't afford to lose time. But to take something useful out of it, we still have to commit.

For me, that's the main advantage of Twitter: it doesn't require commitment!

I can have my client on for a whole week or not even visit the website the next week, because using Twitter is communicating non-essential information.

Twitter can be valuable if you somehow leverage the relations you have with the persons on your network, it's a matter of seizing opportunities. But most of the time you can just do with it something useful, fun, or simply post whatever you want. No commitments.


imkira said...

Hi, interesting article you got here ^^
About what you wrote, that doesn't work for me :) I have already discussed about Twitter with some friends, and I have to disagree with you when you say Twitter doesn't mean commitment. Then I ask you about the other social applications you stated before like MySpace. Why doesn't the same rule apply to them? I mean, why no commitment with Twitter but with MySpace, etc.?
Good post!

Joaquim Rendeiro said...

Well, I think it's essentially because when signing up for stuff like Hi5 or Facebook, there's a lot of information they try to compel me to give away. Call me paranoid, but I don't like to share too much information on the Web.
Also, when I get messages from friends or requests to share this or that... I'd feel bad if I didn't reply!

Twitter is much more on par with a blog -- you only share the info you want, but people don't really expect anything from you! So, no fear of not living up to expectations :)
My own way of leveraging Twitter for a useful purpose is keeping in touch now and then with people I don't meet everyday. Some of them I only met once or twice!

imkira said...

I think you have a point and I understand when you say that about the information you have to give away, in order to register or something, and I share the same "paranoia" you're talking about: I think it's just natural. Nowadays there's no "Me myself and I" like there was maybe 10 years ago, when the Internet was used by a small community of "crazy guys"...

Anonymous said...

I don't see the problem with sharing information online... at all!

Call me crazy, but do you think I care the CIA has access to my profile on Facebook (the only social network I use actively, although I'm a member - read: have my personal info shared on - most of them, including myspace, orkut, etc...). Do you think that if they REALLY needed your info they couldn't get it somewhere else??

And just a note: sometimes a personal blog post reveals more about a person than your likes/dislikes on a social network... Just a heads-up!

In other news, Twitter rocks and has become the primary news source for tech stuff! And I have a pretty stuffed Google Reader which I read intensively as well!

Just to finish up, and going back to the social networks vs privacy issue: Nobody makes you disclose ANY kind of information. And on Facebook, nobody but your friends can access your profile! Heck, you can even hide your picture and disallow anyone from adding you as friend but the ones you add yourself, if you really want to!

But again, Twitter is teh awesome! ;)

Joaquim Rendeiro said...

You're right when you say we're not forced to share anything... but I also take into account the time I had to invest/lose in updating that info from time to time. And context-switching is a b*tch...

Regarding CIA, I'm sure they can get all the info they want on me if I'll ever be watched, hope not! (maybe I will just by having the term "CIA" in this blog :P ). I'm not concerned about giving personal info to the authorities, I'm concerned about giving personal info to just about anyone. Sure you can infer that I've been to BarCamp and TakeOff and all sorts of other (un)interesting stuff about me by reading this blog, but at least I can focus on what I want to do with it and keep a distance (as opposed to having 4 random "friends" suggested to me every day, for example).

Just to get back on topic, Twitter really rocks! :D
(except when Optimus decides you can't have text messages for a whole day, like yesterday :< )