A little bird once told me: Twitter… and why I can’t really connect to it yet

twitter-bird

Twitter.    Everyone has heard about it.     Some know what it is.      A few use it regularly.

I don’t.

I mean not really.

Well, I have an account but that’s it.

All the time spent in the Twittersphere has been rather work for me than pleasure until now. I just can’t really connect to it yet. But I swear, I’ll keep on trying.

Okay let’s first see what Twitter really is.

Twitter is a social media service that allows people to connect in real-time to the latest news, opinions and topics. In fact, it’s about short data messages containing not more than 140 characters, which are distributed online by a variety of official and unofficial sources; that is from you and me, but also from big companies, such as BBC News, or celebrities, such as Justin Bieber (who btw leads the TOP 100 Twitter ranking in terms of followers).

It’s a micro-blogging service that has been described and analysed in various ways by scholars and non-scholars; especially, since it has become a major and important communication tool during crisis or other breaking news events, such as the Mumbai attacks, the Iranian election protests of 2009, or, very recently, the Boston Marathon Bombings. In addition, Techradar gives an interesting overview about 10 news stories that broke on Twitter first.

I clearly understand the noticeable significance of Twitter in these kind of circumstances as Twitter’s immediacy and ability to provide “news first” via witness accounts, photos, soundbites and immediate reactions to that extent can be evaluated as unique within today’s online world. Some scholars, such as Malone et al. (2009) refer to it as “collective intelligence”, which enables millions of people to communicate directly, sharing and discussing events.

I mean apparently a lot of people use it. A nice and compact infographic, 20 amazing Twitter stats,  gives us an impression how BIG it really is.

20-twitter-stats

But, for me personally, I don’t see the point yet, particularly beyond the case of breaking news events.

I don’t really know what to share and why?

Most of the things people share are not interesting to me.

Most companies use it as an advertising tool and I don’t want to be exposed to it.

It’s another time-consuming thing and I already have no time.

I admit that during breaking news, it can provide faster information, which could be interesting. But it then still lacks verification. So it’s rather an entertaining tool than really an informational tool, I would say. You can follow in real-time the process of making sense of the flow of information. I guess that’s cool, if you’re in for something like that. But in the end, I would I would still rely on (hopefully) verified information from big news organizations.

But maybe I haven’t understand it completely yet. So I probably should just throw me out there and try again.

References:

Malone, T. W, Laubacher, R & Dellarocas, C 2009, ‘Harnessing Crowds: mapping the genome of collective intelligence’, MIT Sloan Research Paper No. 4732-09, retrieved on 14.09.2013, from http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1381502