Chris Brogan has published an interesting article where he reviews his use of Twitter and comes up with a few different classifications of Twitter users.
Out of the different classes of Twitter users that Chris presents, I have determined that I am within the Announcers vs. Conversationalists class.
Announcers vs. Conversationalists
This is a current hammer-target for Eric Rice. He’s railed out about people (including me) using Twitter as a promotion engine. I understand this, insofar as some people do nothing but twitter links to their blog posts, their flickr pictures, and whatever else turns them on. (Note: I will Twitter that I posted this article when I’m done writing it).
But conversationalists know to use a mix. They talk with other Twitter users, using the @ function to make sure people see the threaded conversation. They engage with the flow of people twittering around them, building a social sculpture, and engaging in what Jeff Pulver calls amorphic communications. Conversationalists reach into Twitter and move people back and forth.
In the beginning, Twitter was a social networking tool that I believed I could use as a promotional stepping stone for my blog. I added all sorts of people to my friends list because I knew, most people would end up following me simply because I chose to follow them. After using Twitter for a few months now, I have changed my way of thinking. I still use Twitter as a tool to share postings on my blog that I think are good conversation starters, but I also participate in conversations with those I follow. I’m also beginning to follow only those people that I actually have an interest in.
I’m currently being followed by 54 people while I’m actually following 84 people. I wonder just how many of those that are following me actually give a damn as to what I post on Twitter. I am also starting to wonder if I should delete everyone that I am following and start over from scratch. Now that I have a sense as to the correct way of using Twitter as a social tool, I think I should either start over, or I should fine tune my friends list.
Thank you Chris Brogan for the inspirational post. It’s really made me step back and realize how and why I’m using Twitter.
If you enjoy what I write on this blog and you have an account on Twitter, consider adding me http://twitter.com/jeffr0 I need more social-media, social-web, web2.0 people to converse with. Outside of the Internet, no one has a freaking clue about Web 2.0 or any of the cool stuff going on in the Cyberworld.
7 thoughts on “Which Class Of Twitter Users Are You In?”
1st, I am a follower of your Tweets– please keep me on! :)
2nd, I also use the mix. I am a PR guy, so I cultivate marketing folks, as well as occasionally Tweet about clients– with disclosure.
I also bring up blog posts, podcasts, and other postings– trying to frame them with context so you know what you’re clicking on– or more important, that I make you interested enough to click (or know enough not to if not interested).
The other thing I do is look for information– ask questions or quick polls. I am finding Facebook is actually better for this, but still.
Most important is to give back what you ask of others. Answer threads, click on links that interest you, offer new information and not just regurgitations. Help us all out and we will help you back!
As for choosing followers, I have pruned people I follow that are inactive, and check people that friend me to make sure they are of value before following them back. I set a low bar, but there are a few “spammers” (every post is a promotion for the same thing, or worse just useless).
Keep on Twittering– I am fascinated that a very simple communications tools is outstripping a lot more complex systems in terms of popularity and usefulness!
Twitter makes for a great go-around to some other more complex systems. Doug’s right about that. And there are certainly lots of ways to use it. What I’m starting to wish is that I could have gradation of usage. I have friends that I enjoy seeing their chatter, and I have friends that I need to pay close attention to what they say. It’s a strange mix of usage on Twitter, and I just wish the system would let me spend a little more time parsing people into various categories.
Hi Jeff I like to use twitter to promote my blog posts also podcasts. I just don’t like to tell folks I’m picking my nose. Or Im drinking a cup of java.
But I do ping my twitter now and then. And it is kind of addicting. Any way Great post.
Now, I must know when Pete picks his nose. Every time. Pete, if you won’t tell us we’ll find someone on Twitter who will :)