I’m a late-comer to Twitter. It sounded like a distraction and quite frankly sounded a bit silly (seeing people in Facebook who were “twittering”). While at Lotusphere I sat and had lunch with some guys from a very important Lotus customer, and Mark the CIO asked why I wasn’t on Twitter. One of my reasons, jokingly, was that I couldn’t bear the thought of signing up and having the embarrassment of no-one following me… so round the table I received a number of pledges to follow me if I joined. And join-up I did…

TwitterTwo weeks later I have 54 followers and I’m following 58 people. Some of the people I’m following are celebs (Stephen Fry, Alan Carr, Chris Moyles) so I’m not expecting them to follow me.

So, is Twitter useful? I’ve got to be honest… not really. Well, maybe it has been a couple of times. Paul Mooney made the point that it was incredibly useful at Lotusphere for letting the gang know where you were, where you were going and so on. But here’s the issue… Paul is following 250 people. How does he cope with potentially so many updates and filter out the useful from the noise and the blabbering?

It is wholly possible that I’m not using Twitter to the best of it’s ability. It was only over the weekend I discovered that I was missing personal replies to my ‘tweets’. My biggest wish-list item for Twitter would be filtering into groups… for example during the week it would be useful to just track a group of work colleagues, or at Lotusphere just those people attending. It’s possible that one of the various Twitter companion tools can do this but as yet I haven’t had the time to look… perhaps someone can put me straight. For now, I refuse to have it on my BlackBerry – I had Facebook on there for a while and the constant alerts drove me mad.

This article has 6 comments

  1. Grant Norman Reply

    I agree, its not too useful from a business point of view though it is an easy way to contact people and find out what people are doing, but there is so much non-work stuff wrapped up in there that things get missed easily. Particularly if following lots of people in the US or further afield. First check of updates in the morning is time consuming as a lot of people I’m following tweet while I’m asleep.

    There are some apps that can help filter things, though I haven’t looked into that either. #tags can help identify posts per topic and there are search sites to help follow particular tags http://hashtags.org/. Another way is to take business followers away from personal life followers and set up another account.

    Also, you might want to put your Twitter name in the post so people can find you easier.

  2. Geoff Higgins Reply

    Hi Darren,

    Like yourself I’m a relative newcomer. Believe me, I don’t need anything to waste time however I signed up to follow Lotusphere and can say I haven’t regretted it. I think it makes you feel better connected to people in the Lotus community and for people like myself who don’t have time/inclination to blog it can help reach out to partners, customers etc.

    FYI – we use Yammer internally and it has a lot more features than Twitter including using groups.

  3. Paul Mooney Reply

    Hi Darren

    I do follow approx 250 users, but I just do a quick scan of twitter from time to time. I dont think anyone would have the time to review everything people says. Keep with it – its very useful. And take a look at google latitude when you can.

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