Friday, June 26, 2009

I Have A Horrible Feeling That I'm Boring

Today I was chatting to a friend of mine who's a PR manager for a multinational IT conglomerate, and we were brainstorming about how he could use Twitter more effectively in his business.

We were also talking about mutual acquaintances who are also on Twitter, and the conversations that they are having etc. And it struck me that I'm not listening to many of these conversations. I'm not even following many people on Twitter. And I'm not saying a lot either.

In fact, I'm among the majority of people who register on Twitter and then hardly ever use it.

Lest I be misunderstood, let me clarify that I believe that Twitter is a great social networking tool for the individual, business and to campaign for social change. It works real well for me in the client campaigns, where I have a specific message that I wish to convey and Twitter is linked to the blog and other social media.

I also agree with Deboah Ng that writers should embrace social media as job search tools and have used Facebook and LinkedIn quite effectively. But somehow, when it comes to Damaria Senne being on Twitter, I'm not so effective. Here are the issues I grapple with:

1. Do I have something interesting to say: While I think my life and the projects that I'm involved with are interesting, I'm not quite sure that other people want to know. And what if, God forbid, my tweets go way beyond "not interesting" to "seriously boring?"

2. Microblogging is more intenstive - I like communicating through a blog because I can take time to decide what I want to say, then say it. It's still a conversation, but it is more structured, and I can come back at my leisure. Tweeting is more immediate, requires a quicker response and engagement. And as in real life, sometimes I'm left tongue-tied.

3. My time is limited - Sometimes I look at the Twitter conversations going on and I wonder where the people get the time. It's all I can do to balance my time to write, be a parent, renovate my property, be partner, parent, sister, friend, new aunt... and still have time for myself. And I do realise that we all get the same 24 hours in a day, I have to make time for things that are important.

I welcome suggestions on how I can use Twitter more effectively.


Ms Lona Lee Hart said...

I must say that I don't get Twitter at all, but then again Ms Lona didn't get blogging for the longest time and now look - I'm right out there with my own blog. Fearing any blog I wrote would bore the wings off a bee, I postponed blogging and then one night just had that light bulb moment that Ms Oprah so often speaks about. One of these nights maybe the Twitter light will blink on, but for now, I just don't get why anyone - Ashton Kutcher for example and his "looking at wifey's weird collection of dolls"! - wants to tell the world the dull details of moment to moment. Now if I were pole dancing for Mr Made My Heart Skip A Beat, those Twitters might elicit some twitters from a rapt following of voyeurs. For now, I'm with you, D, and I don't Twitter.

Damaria Senne said...

@Ms Lona-Lee - I think you underestimate how interesting it might be to get a blow-by-blow account of your dates with the prospects you meet on dating sites. The voyeur in me certainly wouldn't mind hearing about it.

And I do Twitter for clients, live blogging events and posting links to interesting articles I found. Just not my life moment to moment.

Ms Lona Lee Hart said...

The problem with twittering on those dates would be explaining why I was texting rather than gazing raptly into the eyes of the date. Although truth be told, I did have one date who probably wouldn't have noticed what I was doing since he didn't seem to notice that he hadn't given me even a breath to get a word in edgewise throughout our three hour of nonstop monologue (his) date. I take your point about Twittering for business and I DO get that. Enjoy your weekend, D, so far Ms Lona-Lee is dateless in Johannesburg but the sun is shining and Little Miss has decided NOT to go to CT with a bunch of strange people who might be white slavers. The world as I know it is still good.

Muhammad Yaqoob said...

let me remind you that Twitter has one question and one question only - What are you doing? How you answer this question is completely up to you.

A lot of people simply post about what they are up to. You'll see a lot of posts like "Just finished eating lunch." or "Working on a project." But you'll also see a whole lot more. If you're having trouble answering the question "what are you doing" try thinking of it in terms of "what are you interested in" or "what has your attention."
To start out with, you'll want to post things that are related to you personally and not your blog directly. Remember, first and foremost Twitter is a social networking utility. People have a low tolerance for blatant advertising.
any way you have discussed it very well here on your blog.

Pamela said...

I don't have any advice. I also don't "tweet" or twitter or what ever it is called for exactly the same reasons you don't. I love blogging and I update my facebook status as and when. But constantly updating stuff..... I don't thinks so. Seriously - my life is pretty ordinary so I think I would be more inclined to bore the pants of any followers than anything else.

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