I took some persuading to even try Twitter. But the challenge of communicating meaningfully in 140 characters or less intrigued me. (131 chars, inc spaces).
It’s a useful discipline. Already I find it helps me be more focused, concise and precise, not jst in Twitter but other communications too. (140 chars, inc spaces).
But with Twitter, I find there is a very, very big BUT...
Communicating meaningfully, to me anyway, means that the content of any message has to be interesting, or amusing, or potentially instructive, or helpful, or provocative, or charming, or entertaining. At the very least, I assumed, it should have the capacity for one of these. Think before you tweet is my approach. But in this I seem something of a minority. So while there are many folk in my Twitter circle who I really enjoy following – and I do mean that, sincerely – I’ve started to unfollow more and more. And I find that after a quick look at their recent posts I’m rarely encouraged to follow someone newly following me, either.
People tell me Twitter is a social space wherein to build your personal brand. Sounds a tad pretentious, but fair enough. This means, so I’m told, that you shouldn’t over-use Twitter (well that hasn’t been universally appreciated, has it?) and that it’s ok to ‘drop in the occasional bit of trivia if it projects your humanity’. Again, so far so good, but honoured in the omission more than the observation, from what I see. Or rather, the excessive over-inclusion.
I mean, do I really want to know what Whatsisname from Barnsley’s children are up to? Or how much Thingy from Co. Wicklow enjoyed her breakfast, or a run in the park? Or that So-and-so from Poughkeepsie has another day of meetings and interviews coming up?
And that’s the problem with Twitter. Its potential is drowning in a sea of trivia. And if trivia is the point, then there’s no point. Twitter suicide beckons.
Life is too short. There’s no time for gibberish. There never was. Its existence is why so many people are put off Twitter.
Enter Twitter Elite. Or Twitter Inspire. Or Whatever.
It is brilliant, because it’s exclusive. Entry is by invitation only. Anyone can follow, of course. But you can tweet to this group only if its members want you to. They’ll only invite you in when they are confident that your tweets to them will be interesting, thought-provoking, entertaining, informative, useful, or in some other way worth hearing about. Let me stress; others can freely follow. But active participation will be only for the invited. Privilege decreases when shared.
Twitter Elite is coming soon. And already, I’m opposed to it.
To be honest I’m not. Really, I think it will be brilliant. I’m opposed solely because I’m worried that I won’t be allowed in.
Will you be?
Please tweet about this article, if you will. And ‘Follow me’ too please, on @kenburnett1. Thanks awfully.
(499 words, precisely)
© Ken Burnett 2009