Ok, So I Don’t Hate Twitter

A little over a year ago, I wrote a post on my personal blog, “Why I hate Twitter.”

The post was done somewhat in the heat of the moment, but I also had some constructive criticism for the service.

Since then, I’ve been epitomized as the “Twitter Hater”, being the link out on countless blog posts when people are talking about the lovers vs. the haters. Reason being, I rank pretty well for “Hate Twitter” on google. Looking for an example of a hater? There I am.

In the past year, I’ve had occasional dalliances with Twitter. I’d give it a shot every few months and it normally wouldn’t last.

But recently, something different happened. I don’t know quite what, but I like Twitter now. I think it’s a combination of who I continue to follow (about 150 people) and how they behave. It’s sort of a perfect storm of who I’m interested in and how they actually use twitter.

My major complaint back over a year ago was so many people were having lengthy personal conversations with each other. The one-off reply tweets are no problem at all. It’s the full on, IM-like discussions that were turning me off.

I think at some point, probably much sooner than I realized, people finally got that Twitter is a broadcast. Early on, many people who I wanted to follow because I knew they were interesting were also treating more like a telephone conversation where the boring personal dialog would go on and on. and on. and on.

That killed it for me.

Now, people still broadcast their random thoughts at random times, but most seem much more conscious of the fact that they’re “on the air”, and that there’s only a certain level of one-on-one dialog that people will take. Most anyway…

So, What do I l..ll…love about Twitter?

I enjoy knowing what’s going on in my friend’s lives both personally and professionally. Right now I know that a bunch of people I know like @StephAgresta and @GaryVee are at the SXSW conf, and it sounds pretty damn fun. I know that @SamHarrelson and @wporter got together and did a big long podcast last night and I’ll want to check that out. @toddcrawford is out on his bike. @LisaP is chilling on the patio (and ragging on me), and @MissyWard is a proud mom today.

That’s a bunch of weekend type stuff. How else would I ever know these things about my friends who are all over the place.

If it were a weekday, there’d be lots of industry related stuff, which is also great to know about.

There are other people who I don’t really know personally, but I am interested in what they’re thinking about. So I follow many people who have no idea who I am, or if they do, we’ve never met.

There are people I wish I’d hear more about, but are probably of the mindset that random messages on Twitter are spammy or otherwise haven’t yet seen the light and don’t say much. (You know who @you are.)

Like everything, you’ve got to take the bad with the good. I’m pretty tolerant now of folks who share a little too much, make little sense to me, or do little but draw attention to themselves and their blogs. And there’s a point where I will simply stop following.

So if you’re like me, a (former) Twitter Hater, or even just a skeptic, give it a try. Take it slow. Don’t follow too many people, and if you find yourself saying, “so what?” more than anything else, just be ruthless with the Un-follow button. There’s definitely an equilibrium you reach between who you follow and who you don’t. Lighten up and have some fun.

And if you still don’t get it, read this.

About Scott Jangro

You can find Scott on Twitter: @jangro.

8 Responses to Ok, So I Don’t Hate Twitter

  1. Glad to have you back in my Twitter stream, Jangro.

    Wait… that sounds weird.

    Anyway, glad you’re back.

  2. Missy Ward says:

    So glad that you have become one with the Twitter 🙂

  3. Scott Jangro says:

    Thanks guys. I didn’t realize how hard it is to talk about twitter without sounding dirty.

  4. Linda Buquet says:

    I’m a twitter virgin, just finally gave in today.
    Be gentle with me. 😉

  5. Todd Crawford says:

    Scott, you hit the nail squarely on the head. I am new to twitter since ASW08. I resisted it because of the reasons you mentioned above but so far am finding it an interesting way to keep up on what others are doing and thinking as well as sharing my thoughts and ideas.

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