Why Twitter?

TwitterNot much happening here lately. Busy times (as usual) but also spending more time microblogging on Twitter. Took a while to figure out its usefulness, but after giving it a good go for a few months now I’m getting the gist of what it’s all about. Seeing as people always ask what the attraction is, I thought I’d share some thoughts on it:

Twitter is:

  • Pithy, straight to the point.
    140 Characters. That’s it.
  • A good networking tool
    Yes, yet another one, but probably one of the better ones
  • There are better ways to Tweet other than the website
    Its API means you can use Twitter lots of ways other than the website. I don’t like to use the Twitter website very often, I much prefer to use Tweetdeck (an Air desktop app) on my lappy and Tweetie on my iPhone. There are lots of other apps for using Twitter on your PC or phone. That plus support for good ol’ SMS make Twitter super convenient. You usually get better features on the other platforms too (like re-tweeting, URL shortening, and linking to images via Twitpic.

Why Twitter and not Facebook?

Twitter is:

  • Open and public, like a blog (unless you lock your updates);
  • Able to reach and network with people you don’t already know.

Twitter and Facebook do different things. Facebook is brilliant for keeping up with my friends and family all over the world, seeing their photos, videos and updates. I don’t use Twitter for that.

Why Twitter instead of blogging?

Twitter is:

  • More conversational, not so much one person writing long passages of text followed by comments;
  • It requires less time than blogging. 140 characters does not allow for lengthy research and background information.

However Twitter doesn’t replace blogging, it’s the more frequent little brother of blogging. They go quite well together. If you’re marketing yourself or your business, it’s another useful channel and quite helpful in driving further traffic to your site.

In general, I find Twitter a great source of information (as well as entertainment). I get as much or possibly more news and information via Twitter as I do via my RSS feeds. Twitter is a great tool, as useful and enjoyable as the people you follow.

As an aside, I plan to shuffle a lot of things around this site in the upcoming redesign. Seeing I’m on Twitter more I’m going to try to simplify this site a bit. A bit less emphasis on the blogging (seeing as I’m not doing it regularly anyway) and just more of a landing page aggregating feeds from Twitter, Delicious, Flickr, etc. The blogroll (“Elsewhere”) column will be deactivated and replaced with Delicious for ease of RSS subscription (and ease of updating for me).


  1. Well said Henry! I do agree. I am loving my first few days of twittering about food. :)

    It’s a definite tool for publishing your thoughts and snippets of ideas for things too.

  2. Looking forward to lots more food updates from you!

    Thanks for stopping by.

  3. It also took me a while to find the benefits of using Twitter too. I’m glad I joined up though! I find lots of useful resources and articles from all sorts of networks and it’s certainly pulling more visitors to my website too! (Another benefit right there :) )

    I’ve just started using Tweetdeek after some a good recommendation from someone I know very well ;) and I agree that it’s a great little application!

    Having put a little Twitter feed on my website also keeps my visitors up to date there as well! So yes there’s lots and lots of ways to use Twitter. :)

  4. As long as you stop following the pointless ranters, then twitter is great way to keep up with the feeling of others who also live on the internets (as opposed to normal people, who’s feelings we don’t care about at all)

  5. Hey, I heard that!