Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Blogging and Twitter: Love it or Leave it?

In a quest to better organize my social media presence, I've been having an internal debate about the merits of Twitter. I love Instagram, and you can find me pinning and perusing on Pinterest fairly often. However, Twitter seems to come and go in phases for me; I'll use it for a few days, then not again for months. Lately, I've considered getting rid of it all together.

Rather than continuing this "To tweet or not to tweet" conversation in my head, I thought I'd do a little crowd-sourcing to see your thoughts on the little blue bird of few words. Here's my current list of Twitter pros and cons.



To tweet: 

  1. Instant gratification. Often when you tweet a person or a brand, they respond back right away. To ask a simple question or to give a shoutout to someone who has done something notable, Twitter is the quickest, easiest way to go.
  2. Communication.  Although it's possible to have real-time conversations through blog comments and Instagram, Twitter takes the crown for best real-time conversation platform. I believe that's why there are Twitter Chats and not Instagram- or Pinterest- chats. 
  3. Sharing. Twitter may not be the only way to share a blog post, article, or video that you love, but I think it's by far the easiest and quickest. 

Not to tweet: 

  1. It's overwhelming. I can't scroll through Twitter like Instagram or Facebook. As soon as I read the newest tweet there are 3 more that have just posted. The constant need to refresh makes me crazy. Can't. Keep. Up. 
  2. It seems meaningless. This may sound a little harsh, but I feel like tweeting seems pretty pointless in the grand scheme of things. When I share a blog post or a photo on Instagram, I'm sharing a bit of myself, of my family, or even just my day, and it's there on display, at least for a little while. With twitter, I share something and if you don't catch it in one to three minutes it's as if I didn't share anything at all. Twitter = one big black hole. 
  3. It's not my go-to. When I first got into blogging, there was this sense of "must use all the social media!" that has turned into "just use a few, but be consistent". I like this direction, and it's pretty much been my excuse to not tweet ever. When I want to share something or connect with someone, Twitter just isn't the place I first go to. 
  4. 140 Character limit. You can see where I'd have problems with that.

What do you think; would you add to or elaborate on this list? Are you a Twitter user? How/when do you use it? 

25 comments:

  1. I totally get this - I had really fallen off with Twitter for quite awhile and was only using it for blog reasons, but then I made a few friends recently who use it a lot and I've found myself back with it a little - I get a little more candid there because it's someplace that pretty much none of my family follow me - I know that sounds bad! I keep trying to clean up my list of who I follow too because like you, I find it to be overwhelming sometimes with the amount of people I followed back in the day! And yes, 140 characters for a limit is kind of frustrating too!

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  2. Hmm, this is good food for thought Beth. I think maybe I could be more candid on Twitter too--for your reasons but also maybe because it's more fleeting and more like a real conversation. Also, maybe if I clean up my following list a little it will be more manageable and readable. Maybe I won't throw it out the window just yet!

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  3. I just totally don't get Twitter for some reason. I have to use it for work (somehow I've morphed into a kind of social media manager) and I'm so terrible at knowing what to do with retweets and how replies work and everything. I finally got a personal account and wish I were better at utilizing it it, but I feel like the people who are interesting to follow are clever/pithy. I'm really bad at being clever in 140 characters so mine's just going to be lame!


    And while I love to scroll through Instagram (and check it way too often), I just totally forget to even look at Twitter feeds! So really I'm no help on this. Just kind of oblivious/ignorant. It took me a while to even realize that Bloglovin' was automatically posting my new posts there, ha!

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  4. Pretty much everything you just said. Yep. Especially the cleverness/pithiness. By the time I come up with something short and clever to say, the moment has passed.
    And I never think to check Twitter either. Instagram, yes, constantly. But twitter--like I said it's just overwhelming to me! But I like Beth's idea of cleaning it up...maybe if I followed fewer people I'd be more inclined to check.

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  5. I haven't figured out Twitter and get overwhelmed by it. I can't constantly be checking it and so i miss things. I've heard of the value of twitter chats for bloggers, but they all seem to happen at the most inconvenient time for me. Also, I'm not very good at the whole hashtag thing. Although I'm not very good at posting, I'd love to find more interesting people to follow, but I try to find people who post the funny jokes and comments about current events and not just announcing a new blog post or instagram picture if that makes sense. But I love reading the twitter round-ups of current events, such as Jon Stewart's announcement. I wish I could be as witty as them in 140 characters or less.

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  6. Overwhelmed is exactly how I feel too. And I don't ever remember to join twitter chats too. I agree, it's more interesting to follow people who have clever updates or round ups. I think I just need to do a following clean-up!

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  7. I agree with all your points, Shea! I use Twitter a lot less, but... I still continue to use it some what for sponsors (in fact, some expect it) + as a way to connect with bloggers and brands. On weeks when I'm feeling super organized... I'll take 5-10 minutes on a Monday morning and schedule my tweets for the week. But it's been awhile since I've been that on top of it!! ;)

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  8. Twitter is not my favorite. I use it for sponsors but I personal love instagram.
    Melanie @ meandmr.com

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  9. twitter was the first social media thing i remember signing up for, but man do i not use it that much anymore.

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  10. I used to really love Twitter and used it in the evenings to chat with readers while watching TV. But its changed a lot and I don't feel like it's as social anymore, which is sad.

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  11. It's all about personal preference, really. I use Twitter as a curated news feed (as a reader) and a place to connect with other content strategists (my day job), bloggers (yay), and Jayhawks (I may go on full-stop rants during KU games, ha). But there are TOTALLY "meaningless" points to it, because some of it is really stream of consciousness stuff that doesn't apply to you, and that's cool. You gotta find your social niche and roll with it. :) It's SO HARD to be on all platforms at once- there are so many!


    -Ashley
    http://lestylorouge.com

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  12. That's a good point about sponsors--when working with brands many do expect twitter buzz, you're right. And I think organization may help me--maybe if I scheduled a few tweets throughout the week it would give me a nudge to check in on Twitter more!

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  13. Me too, I'm constantly on Instagram! But good point about sponsors, that's true.

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  14. Mine was totally Facebook, but that was just for my personal account. Twitter was the first blog-related social media for me too.

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  15. That's an interesting point. I haven't really been enough of a twitter user to see just how much it's changed, but you're right, I have noticed that it's not the same as what it used to be. It seemed easier to connect before, I think.

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  16. You're right, there are too many to keep up with! BUT after reading all this great advice (why I love my bloggy friends so!) I won't be too quick to throw it out the window. I agree, it's a great source for up-to-date news and sports. Although I have to say I'm a purple-bleedin' K-State fan...I hope we can still be friends, hehe :)

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  17. Of couuuuuurse we can! I have quite a few Wildcat pals. :)

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  18. Good deal. I have lots of Jayhawk buds too :)

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  19. I think Twitter is kind of hard to use.... I dunno. I just haven't gotten into it. I am going to attempt to do it better... but I'm focusing on IG right now. :) Good luck deciding! XO -Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

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  20. I agree, I love Instagram, and most of my effort goes there. I'm going to work on getting better at Twitter though I think.

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  21. 1. Google search (before going into Twitter) to find conversations/people you want to follow. Search hashtags, as those are clustered around topics/events/people/places. For instance, I just found my favorite chef on there and a photographer I liked. I've found a TON of my favorite authors too and I've known a few friends to actually get a direct tweet BACK from their favorite author.
    2.Most of the normal every day stuff on there IS meaningless. I use it professionally as well as personally, and FIND THE MEANINGFUL. #edchat #teched #librarians etc...
    3. nothing new is comfortable or will be an instant go-to. set a goal for yourself of trying to find a certain amt of peeps to follow and tweets to do per week or something. start small. you won't really know if you like or dislike it until you learn to work it.
    4. it is rough...but it helps you clarify your thoughts. a lot. try it!

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  22. Thanks for these tips Erikka! I like the idea of google-searching hashtags, I've never thought of that. I do agree that people do respond on twitter, and it's pretty amazing actually the kind of direct communication that can happen.
    I also agree with your thoughts on #3--I think I will start setting goals for myself so that it will become more of a go-to.
    Anyway, thank you for this thoughtful, helpful response!

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  23. If you couldn't tell, I'm a teacher :) More specifically a Library Media Specialist. So it is through credding and validating new tech that I strongly recommend twitter as a cutting edge, real time tool to you. Not as someone who is hooked to it as a fad, though it can also be SUPER entertaining. I read this sometimes when I need instant laughter - https://twitter.com/shitmydadsays

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  24. Oh, that's awesome! I'm actually about 3 semesters away from completing my MLS (I took a little break though after I had my son, but I hope to get back to it soon). If I finally get back into it, I may have to chat you up sometime on how you use twitter for work!
    Thanks Erikka!

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  25. You can contact me anytime! We can "talk shop."

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I really appreciate hearing from you!