How Many Forms of Communication Do We Need?

You must have heard of Twitter: If not, it’s the latest craze for social networking.

Hotel Window Twitter sits somewhere between IRC, IM, blog comments and moblogging.

The basis of Twitter is (supposed to be) the question “What are you doing right now?“. You answer the question – possibly in the third person – and your friends can tune in and see what you’re up to.

Yet I dislike twitter. Nobody but me needs to know what I had for dinner last night, nor what I am doing right now, nor what’s on the agenda tomorrow.

Yes, I remember when I disliked Twitter.

Whilst there is still elements that I do NOT enjoy, I have recently found it to be a great way to connect with both people and businesses in your local area, specifically relating to any project you are pursuing. I still say nobody needs to know what I had for dinner last night, yet I might still tell you!

Most recently (November 2010) I have had the good fortune to find an iron-gate manufacturer to make new gates for our backyard! I’ve also connected with local and world-wide photographers for inspiration and conversations. I’ve discussed photoshop issues with graphic-artists, food and health with friends, plus camera and tech’ support with people whom I’ve gone on to met at SocNet meetups in Adelaide.

Twitter is good for is a “people finder“. If you want to follow someone of interest, you can find them via their tweets and profile. Finding family and long-lost friends is easier; Then you can talk with them without leaving the comfort of your home.

Reserved Reflections II (For Babuska)

Yet, for all that, some people need to realise a few interesting points about Twitter, and any other form of online communication:

[1] I may not always respond to your question/statement. It’s not because I dislike you – but because I have decided not to respond.

[2a] Take a non-response as a no. Having to send that email, twitter, SMS, etc of response to tell you I am not responding is redundant and a waste of binary code.

[2b] Respond occasionally, just to remind people that you are listening/reading. Having a weblink or friend who can help is an answer, even if always accurate – it’s a good start, and may lead to a new friendship!

[3] Don’t keep advertising like a news-bot. Say something real, about yourself, your day, your life. Keep it real.

This article was born from these many articles by people who have also hated Twitter for a short while – yet now can be found chatting online via many sites!

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5 thoughts on “How Many Forms of Communication Do We Need?

  1. Ah I agree so much. Twitter is one of the things I almost despair of in web2.0. I mean I fully support things which increase social contact and integration, and anyone who can make a web2.0 startup grab the attention (and thus money) of the people is to be applauded. But… I remember a post by Maddox about blogging- that it was just a way to share meaningless things about yourself in the only medium where no-one is reminded that no-one cares. I used to agree, but I’ve since seen blogging become a more serious thing. Twitter though… Can it go the same way? I don’t think so.

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  2. Twitter can be seen as a form of micro-blogging. Some people have closed of the viewing of their posts so only friends can see them, so the real community aspect is formed, in a way. Mind you this makes it harder for people that don’t know each other to connect up.

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  3. Twitter can be a very useful form of communication. As much as i dislike people who rabbit on for hours, a little light chat is nice sometimes. I respect those who feel the need to conserve their words for fear they will run out but there is no need to reproach those who do “twitter”.

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  4. Peggy, Writing micro-blogs is an amusing concept. Journals were developed to enable people to regularly post information, news, events, etc in a network environment to enable groups of people to have access to mutually beneficial information. Micro-blogging is just a shorter tract of information. So, if anything, twitter is just a CMS with limited character-usage.

    Let me make this clear: It’s not the people who use twitter I dislike, its the reasoning for needing a system that persuades people to send quick, short and limited messages from their portable device to an online-network. Yes, there may be circumstances where this could prove useful.

    As you can see, I rarely write “short messages”. I prefer lengthy, thought-out sentences to increase my vocabulary and improve my spelling and inter-relational skills. Whereas many twitter messages appear to be either rhetorical or not meant for response [Nov 2010] – including some of my own!

    [Nov 2010] I’m now using Twitter as a great way to promote and push my photography, plus to communicate with like-minded souls. So, yes, I have succumbed and joined the hordes who use twitter religiously. I wonder what great form of communication will come next?

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