Monday, May 23, 2011

Is Three years on Twitter worth Celebrating?

I suppose you could call it a milestone; I'm celebrating my three year Twitterversary. Yep, I joined Twitter on May 22, 2008 and as I near my 4500 tweet, I've been averaging about four tweets a day since. As a web designer and content manager, it is sort of my job to know, understand and use, but as a Twitter user, I'm completely apathetic. I find myself questioning it's purpose once again.

My brush with celebrity; Crystal Method direct message me after I mention them in a tweet while running.
I'm sure many people would argue with me, including the folks at Twitter, but I consider it nothing more that a communication service; a utility. Just like the telegraph, telephone and email, it delivers messages from one person to another person or group. There's no smoke. No mirrors. It's great for blasting out my thoughts, photos, videos and geo-location, but I just can't see it as anything more than a soapbox.

Considering there are 200 million users creating 65+ million tweets daily - that's 752 tweets a second - I'm wondering just who is listening? And more importantly, how do you connected with even a fraction of those people? Fact is, if you really want to succeed on Twitter, you need to develop your brand.

Developing yourself means a lot of work - the biggest misconception about social media is that branding yourself and growing your fan base is easy. It's not. You did read my award winning blog about social media misconceptions, right? I thought so.

Want a case study? Look to the once silent Bob. Sure, it's funny to laugh at Kevin Smith's crazy tweets, but he's also the daddy mac of shameless - and social - self promotion. This is a guy who knows the meaning of a hard days work.

I'm just not sure I want to spend the time to develop my brand on Twitter. Between my Tumblr and this blog, I'm working hard to develop content and I'm just not sure I see how a utility like Twitter helps with that. At least not with out even more work and it just doesn't feel right to blatantly regurgitate the same stuff I'm pushing to Facebook or Tumblr. At least I know that I'm just one of the bungled and the botched - I'm just not wiling to play into it.
"You ever read any Nietzsche? Nietzsche says there's two kinds of people in the world: people who are destined for greatness like Walt Disney... and Hitler. Then there's the rest of us, he called us "the bungled and the botched." We get teased. We sometimes get close to greatness, but we never get there. We're the expendable masses. We get pushed in front of trains, take poison aspirin... get gunned down in Dairy Queens."
- Jack Lucas, The Fisher King
So, for now, I suppose I'll continue to toil on with the status quo. Any suggestions about how to better manage Twitter without making it just another redundant source for the same content?

I really disappointed that I can't access my first tweet. The "new Twitter" profile always errors out before I can get to the end of my stream. The "old Twitter" profile allows you to view your profile as pages, but it'd won't return anything before page 160. I tried a bunch of the "what's my first tweet" services, but there seems to be an issue indexing anything past the 3200 tweet. If anyone knows how I can go further back in time, please let me know, I'd love to the see the ridiculousness of my first tweet.

If you have any solutions, please let me know. I'd really love to see what insanity I published three years ago.

Oh yeah, if you want to follow me on Twitter, I'm @rooksjeff. And yes, I tweeted this blog.

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