Sunday, 13 December 2015

Sticking Up For Twitter

I just want to revisit Twitter for a mo. The recent social media post led to a bit of feedback which I think is worth attention.

Twitter gets flack. Here are a couple of typical criticisms...

A lot of folks on Twitter want to tell you the kettle's boiled, the toast is burnt or that their guppy has just given birth...and so on ad nauseum. The suggestion is: if you've got nothing to say, why say anything? A good question. If you're interested in trivia like this you can follow such micro-diarists; if not, you don't have to.
Some tweeters are too political. Stop press! People have opinions! Shock! Horror! To follow someone is not obligatory. Don't like their posts? Don't follow.

When people follow me on Twitter I will at some stage take a look at what they post. If I think it will interest, amuse or educate me, etc., I will follow them back. Some individuals with a Twitter account post nothing at all. Evidently they see Twitter for what it basically is - a source of digital reading material - and tap in to what interests them. Twitter is really just so many blogs with lots and lots of tiny posts. Reading any of it is a conscious choice. Interacting with any of it is a conscious choice. However, to label the whole thing as trite, superficial rubbish is entirely missing the point.

Another criticism is that Twitter only gives you 140 characters per post. What can you meaningfully say in just 140 characters? Fair question. There are (arguably) some examples below.

I posted this on Saturday, 7 February. It was kindly retweeted, thereby reaching a wider audience. By the end of the same day my unwanted publications had not only found a new home, but had also been picked up by relatives of the new custodian who coincidentally happened to be in the Seaton area that day, and were heading his way.

Read this sequence of posts from the bottom upwards. Notice that 140 characters wasn't enough in this case, but it ain't rocket science to use two posts if you need to! Again, thanks to retweeting I was put in touch with relevant interested parties and ended up satisfied that my random encounter with an unfortunate Otter had sent data which might be of use to where it should go. Thank you, Twitter.

Everyone needs a good coffee shop. And a good coffee shop needs custom - especially when it's in the seething metropolis (not!) that is Seaton. Twitter is a great way to endorse a watering hole.

This one is nothing more than a micro-blog post. Imagine it on NQS, with more words. Designed merely to induce 'mmm, look at that' and 'lucky beggar!' type responses. And what's wrong with that?

A handy tip for the newly long-sighted, which of course is (at some stage) almost all of us over 40. Please consider a tweet like this as part of my NQS public service mandate.


  1. Great blog, sums up exactly what a good source of info Twitter can be and how it can be used effectively , and I would say especially useful for fellow birders.

    1. Many thanks for the comment Ian. I'm glad others see it that way. I know Twitter has its detractors - and not without reason - but like a lot of other resources it is often possible to extract what you want from it without having to be saddled with the rubbish that doesn't interest you.