In his last post Matt Lombard let out some steam as he let his readers know exactly how he felt about people who tweet about their coffee. The thing about Twitter is the signal to noise ratio. When it gets too much to handle people usually unfollow the person.
One fine morning I finally reached that point and told myself, “I will unfollow each and every person who comes close to mentioning the word coffee“. As it turns out, if I had actually gone through with my plan, I would be unfollowing a whole bunch of people who actually interested me. In fact, that was why I decided to follow them in the first place.
It was then that I decided to do some introspection. I pointed my browser to my Twitter page and took a good look at my tweets. Although my tweets were mainly about CAD, they also ranged from the Indian politics, the economy, the mess in Pakistan, the mess in Iran and even about how my 5 year old son and I were enjoying a belly dancer shake her stuff on a boat cruise.
If you are reading this post in a feed reader you will not see it, but towards the top right corner of this page there are links asking my readers to follow me on Twitter and Facebook. Deelip.com is a CAD blog. So obviously people clicking those links will expect me to talk about CAD or something related to it, not politics, terrorism and belly dancers. After I took a good look at my tweets for the past couple of months, I realized that I did talk a lot about CAD but there was a lot of other stuff as well. Quite a bit, in fact. So while I thought I despised people tweeting about coffee and believed that they were wasting my time, I was not doing something very different either.
I believe we are taking this social networking stuff a bit too seriously. People will tweet about what matters to them. If that coffee mug sitting on their desk means the world to them, they will tweet about it. If Pakistan going to the dogs means the world to me, I will tweet about it. Someone’s coffee does not mean crap to me and my worry about Pakistan does not mean crap to the person enjoying his coffee. That’s just way it is and that’s just the way it is going to be.
I know Matt was making a larger point about the use of Twitter by marketers and I agree with a lot of what he said. I am one of those people who does not yet know what to make of Twitter, and its been quite a while. But the more I think about it, I get the feeling that Twitter is not for serious stuff. Maybe that’s why I don’t spend too much time using it. Sure it does play an important role at times (like in the recent Iran protests) but that is the exception and not the rule.
My point is that everything does not have to be useful all the time. Twitter is one such thing that swings between useful and useless almost every time you decide to use it.
And by the way, till recently I thought that tweeting about coffee was as bad as it could possibly get. That was till I read this. A couple gave regular Twitter updates about their location during a vacation and returned to find their house burgled. This guy has an online video business with 2,000 followers on Twitter. The burglars took all his video editing equipment but didn’t touch any other electronic devices in his house. He is now putting two and two together.