To Twitter or to not Twitter

I have been aware of the Twitter phenomenon for awhile but was not really interested in it – seemed it was random people sharing their banal life with the rest of the world. But a recent article by Adam Engst, of TidBITS fame, got me thinking about it in a different way. He uses Twitter only when at his computer – not when mobile, which is the source of much of the banality.

Currently I use iChat for short informal communication between my friends and Skype for business instant messaging. But when using iChat/Skype the recipient feels obligated to reply, which takes time away from what he/she is doing and turns iChat/Skype into an interrupter.

On the other hand Twitter is a short one-way message to notify your audience of something you want to share. It does not require, or expect, a reply. And since you are limited to 140 characters you have to keep the message short and to the point which makes it a quick and easy read. This can reduce the “interruption” to a couple of seconds.

Adam asks the following questions to determine if it is worth Twittering about:

  • What do you think about some current event?
  • Tell us about something funny you just saw.
  • What neat thing have you learned recently?
  • What have you done lately that was particularly cool?
  • What question would you like to ask your followers?
  • Give us a link to the last great article you read.
  • What was your last blog post/Flickr photo/YouTube video?

If any of the questions are yes, your audience most likely will find some value with what you have to share. I think I might have to try out this newfangled technology. And I promise to keep my banal comments to a minimum – unless of course it as to do with my fascination with all things Saab.

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