Monday, March 28, 2011

On #givingitanothergo

In the past, my experiences and impressions with Twitter have been low, to say the least. I guess Twitter's first impression doesn't appeal to me - it's too fast-paced and ADD for my taste. Also, paying attention to trending topics make me wonder if there is hope for humanity - often the keywords and hashtags people use are so stupid, ignorant or pointless that I can't help wondering what the hing is wrong with people. Finally, I saw the best and worst of Twitter during the recent crisis in Japan when it was an instant source for new developments, but it was an equally unreliable source - people seem to care less about whether what they retweet is true or even likely than if it will put them on top of other people's searches.

However, I still like the concept. Twitter is a very informal arena for connecting with people with similar interests to you. I feel it is far less committing to follow someone on Twitter than it is to friend someone on Facebook. Plus, the likelihood of finding kindred spirits randomly is far larger on Twitter, as Facebook is primarily based on connecting with people you already are in contact with. On Twitter, on the other hand, you can make a new friend because you both happened to tweet the word "shaddock" that day.

Thus, I decided a while ago that I wanted to give it another go. I created an account, wrote down a few essentials, uploaded a photo to my profile, and was set to go. Following was easy - I clicked on the "usual suspects" - Stephen Fry, Obama, Neil Gaiman, HuffPost and so on - plus the majority of the Norwegian "cultural elite" (and if there ever was a doubt that the cultural elite hangs out on Twitter: I've recently been followed by Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra. So there). Then I hesitated. It was easy adding these far-away, random people, but what about people I'm already connected to through blogging or Facebook or whatnot? They already have an impression of me - and now I was about to contribute to this by connecting on yet another arena, one I wasn't all that comfortable about.

I waited. Tweeted my first tweet. Felt like a twat. Couldn't keep up the pace, and I didn't even want to. I don't have enough opinions for Twitter, it seems. Or perhaps I'm more of a bird-watcher (listener?) than a tweeter? A couple of times I tweeted a shout-out about my blog, earned a few hits, but nothing big. Not that I expected that - I wasn't really connected to anyone yet. Well, a few. I had a few random followers of the "I'll follow anything to earn followers myself"-variety; perhaps one or two who genuinely were curious of what I might tweet (which so far have been nada); and then those whose policy it is to follow back anyone who follows them. One in particular cheered me up:



Still, given Sheldon's poor social skills I probably shouldn't rely on him alone. So I eventually started following some actual friends, who in turn followed me. I have briefly started connecting with new people. I will eventually learn the whole hashtag/retweet/mention thing. It's not all that complicated, but I am also not all that motivated.

If you're a Twitter-enthusiast, I urge you to show me what's so great about it. As of now, I'm still a skeptic. But at least I'm a skeptic with a Twitter account. As shown in one of my very first twitversations (I'm just making up words now - I've no idea if that's what they're called...):


HartJohnson: @Stacy_Gail_ @CruellaCollett is NOW in da house...
CruellaCollett: @HartJohnson In da house 'cause I got tired of peeking through the window... But I haven't taken my coat off yet!



(And just to be incredibly clear: I'm CruellaCollett, and if you follow me on Twitter I've learned that it is proper twittiquette to follow back...)

21 comments:

Jennifer Hillier said...

I always feel slightly lost when I'm on Twitter. I feel like I'm crashing a party where everybody knows everybody else, and while nobody's asking me to leave, nobody's talking to me, either. I'm getting better at tweeting but it's really not coming naturally. At all.

LL Cool Joe said...

I really have no desire to twitter or Facebook. It's all far to fast and superficial for me. I'm happy to blog.

Cruella Collett said...

Jennifer - my feeling exactly! I suspect it currently has to do with my not having found my "crowd" properly, but for now I'm not loving it. Gonna try to find you, though, as we seem to be in the same, confused category of twitterers (twits? :p).

Joe - Facebook I'm okay with, but I know my way around there, plus for me it's mostly for staying in touch with people I already know, and not so much for connecting with new people (for which I suspect Twitter is superior). But yes. Blogging is gold.

Holly Ruggiero said...

You already know more than I do! I'm a skeptic without a Twitter account. I will be tracking the comments. I’m very curious what people have to say.

welcome to my world of poetry said...

I have tried a few times on Twitter and just can't seem to get the hang of it so have goven up....for now.

Yvonne.

Hart Johnson said...

I think you have exactly the right attitude: What a PRIME opportunity to make up vocabulary! I am a tweet myself. I use it almost exclusively for blog promotion... once a week or so, I will go to #amwriting or #askagent and see if anything good has been discussed, or I will follow my feed for 10 minutes and see if anyone says anything interesting and then i reply, but I've had the account for a year and a half and am at about 800 tweets, so obviously I'm not obsessively there (erm... unlike facebook or blogging--those conversations really ARE at a better pace for my attention span.) I think you said it well--it is too ADD (especially for someone who runs slow, rather than fast, like me)

H.B.Markor said...

I signed up for twitter so I could basically stalk a certain celebrity, is that not what twitter is for?

I generally check it once or twice a day from my blackberry, but other than that I don't actually use it since I haven't found a good purpose for it yet.

Deb said...

Tweet/twat-made me laugh! I am not on Twitter but it fascinates me. I think it would overwhelm me though. Husband is on it but he only uses it for promotion and such. Sometimes I feel I am missing the party and sometimes I'm glad I am!

Jules said...

LOL, thank god I am not the only one. I use it only as a means to put my blog out there. Don't want to tweet to feel like a twat. :)
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Michelle Gregory said...

not yet, and maybe not ever, but i'm learning that as soon as i say never, i end up doing it.

Tundiel said...

Yeah, I'm still not getting it either...

Tweet, twat.... *snort*

Kelly said...

I've never cared anything about Twitter or FB. Never say never, though. My brother has convinced me to set up a Twitter account so he can tweet about weather updates. I did it to satisfy him and he's the only person I follow (and he follows me in return... my only follower!). He's a weather freak and I know I can count on him to alert me if there is severe weather in my area (lots of tornados in my parts). I have it set up for my text messaging, so it's not like I have to have my computer on.

Okay...sorry. That was probably far more than you wanted to know!! Not exactly a tweet!

Marjorie said...

Mari- I totally understand. I don't get hash tags and I hardly @ anyone and hardly anyone @'s me. I'm such a bore on Twitter that from now on when you tweet in Norwegian I am totally going to retweet it no matter what you said. It gives me the appearance of knowing what the hell your saying and second it is just the sort of ridiculousness that needs to ensue on my twitter feed anyway. So next time you tweet in your native tongue remember I will be retweeting it and looking as stupid as it gets! Woo Hoo!

Marjorie said...

NOTE: And not looking stupid because of you but because I know zero words in Norwegian.

Cruella Collett said...

Holly - I'm not sure I know it, actually. Or, maybe I know in theory, but not in practice. Or something...

Yvonne - yeah, so far I don't feel too comfortable. But then it's oddly intriguing all the same...

Tami - #askagent? Not a bad idea! I must track your tweet-twat!

Maria - uhm, yeah, you got me... Okay, so I too did that, but then I realized I could ALSO stalk everyone else at the same time. Makes my life as a closeted stalker SO much easier (it's crazy!) (Now I only need Verizon wireless...)

Deb - okay, so can I please have the permission to stalk your husband? ;) Only on Twitter, I swear, and almost only because I adore you (though I also adore him). I'm gonna assume your silence for two seconds means "yes". Okay, here we go!

(Sorry, the whole "crazy" comment seems to have had an odd effect on me...)

Jules - have I found you yet? The last few days I've been looking for my blog crowd, but I know I haven't found everyone yet...

Michelle - never say never, eh? Yeah, I've been there. Said never. And here we go...

Tara - don't go tweeting your twats... (any chance I'm taking this too far..? Nah... The joke still stands...)

Kelly - *snort* Well, good that you know the weather! I suppose there is no use trying to find and follow you, then, since I nearly never tweet about the weather... ;)¨

Marjorie - still giggling ;) And I knew what you meant - besides - Norwegian DOES look a little stupid (but don't tell anyone I said so...)

Cold As Heaven said...

Maybe a ", PhD" get's you more followers >:)

Cold As Heaven

Michael Offutt said...

I love Big Bang Theory. And I joined Twitter and thus far have been unimpressed. Everyone's tweets seem to be really dumb. "I ate a sandwich" "I went to a show" etc. OH and then there are the ppl spamming "buy my book" or "visit my blog". Blah. Advertising sucks.

Cruella Collett said...

CAH - tee hee, "Cruella Collett, Phd"? Right... We shall see!

Michael - you must be referring to twitvertising, which is the new term I'm intending to coin... And yes. Dumb tweets. And YET I feel I have nothing to say because I cannot think of anything clever. Even I could say something about sandwiches, probably...

LTM said...

I'm like you--still haven't made it over to the Twitter side... I'm bloggin and Facebookin and who's got time for more?

Maybe one day~ :o) <3

Cruella Collett said...

True - it's a time steal. I seem to be fond of those...

Katie Rob said...

I've had a twitter account for a while and have been totally uninterested in it. And I do mean totally. I did a few back when I had belles-lettriste (which, perhaps not coincidentally, I also got tired of). However, I would like you to know I just logged in for the first time in about a year and I am now following you. That makes a total of 2 people! Now, let's go have a conversation.

And in the meantime, I'd like to give you the "Second Follower" award. You must now display the award in your sidebar, tweet about it, and link to my site that sells shoelaces.

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