Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Why should you use Twitter?

Why should you use Twitter? Here goes my vision of it, and definitively not in a tweet format! :) 

(I originally wrote this to answer that same question in The Reign of Kindo Facebook page, and amazing band I invite you to listen)

Twitter is a very good way of keeping track of things that interest you, and despite it’s very similar to Facebook in some aspects it’s a different thing indeed. For me
it’s the newspaper of the digital era, but way more direct and flexible. The fact of having such a short space to write means that only short ideas/phrases can be shared. That’s a huge difference with Facebook. So It’s kind of similar to the headline of a newspaper, right? You can add a link if you want your follower to have more information about what you’re talking about. For example, you may share something like “Pat Metheny’s last album is simply great” and the link to PM website presenting that album or to a review of it. Your followers will get instantly the “core” of what you mean: that you’re loving his last album. But if somebody is interested to know what album are you talking about, etc. they simply click the link and get that information, so it’s like reading newspaper article itself. The fact that they don’t need to read a long post to extract the basic idea you’re sharing with them is something very valuable, as it saves them time, and in the end, allows you to be sure the message you want to share is being got by more people.

Being the tweet that short allows you to write it almost immediately, and anywhere, so it makes it kind of more direct than Facebook’s post. And that means there’re more chances of getting things written “in the heat of the moment”. For example, a tweet from some musician saying “Finally! I found the title of my next album looking at this amazing picture” is more likely to appear as a Tweet than on Facebook.

Going back to the comparison with newspapers: in newspapers you just get news, or articles written by reporters. But that is not the case of Twitter, where individuals are the source also. And just that is something which was almost impossible a few years ago: getting information directly from the source. They can retweet also things they’re interested about, so you may find, for example, the bands that a specific musicians like or his/her political orientation (another discussion would be if you can regret or not about such finding, hehe).

In my case I use it to a) follow certain individuals who interest/inspire me for some reason (from musicians to scientists) b) websites/newsgroups, etc which publish news of interest for me but also to c) share with my followers information about my projects or the things I’m interested about.

As you may expect then there's a mix of both professional and personal tweets (in the case of following individuals). Personal tweets may be a bit mundane in some cases but helps to illustrate how these people live, so somehow that makes them feel closer to you as human beings, and also that may allow you to have some kind of idea about what inspire them (for example in the case of an artist).

I have to say also that I don’t usually use Twitter's website or official device clients, but applications which format tweets on some way to make it easier/more friendly to read. I STRONGLY recommend getting something like Flipboard, for example, available for both Android and iOS devices. It formats tweets –but also post from Facebook, feeds, etc- to create a kind of newspaper.

Last thing I’d like to say: Give it a try. Before using it I also thought “I already use Facebook, so why should I use it? It’s the same”. It’s not, you’ll see. Or putting all the things I wrote above in tweet format: “Twitter is the ultimate way of getting information you’re interested about. Or to share it. So don’t miss it!”