Lots of people I know aren't on Twitter. They see no reason to be. They see it as just another fad and they're already on Facebook and its not something that they find they're 'expected' to do for work. They also tell me that they've not much to say, even in 140 characters.
I used to agree. To anyone not on Twitter I say this: You can use it how you like. You don't have to be trying to market something or to be 'networking', or even to care about celebrity gossip. I use it as a fantastic resource. I use it for news and information. To my friends who are unfamiliar with Twitter (and my mum) I describe it thus:
Twitter is like walking in to your local WH Smith, going to each Magazine and News section that interests you and reading the headlines. For free. And if you really want to, if something puzzles or concerns you, you can turn round and ask the Author or Journalist about it. Or you can pick the paper up and wave the headline in the direction of your friend across the street.
Twitter can get more interactive as you use it. It can as a by product lead to 'social networking' as you interact with other people and businesses. However, I use it primarily as a resource for many facets of my life.
I recently Tweeted a technical question regarding the Sony FS-100 camera that we use for corporate video productions and got a professional and helpful response from a colleague in America:
Frank Glencairn @FrankGlencairn
@butchershookev Ninja2 or Samurai with an Atomos "Connect" - hands down best bang for the buck IMHO.
That narrows down my search for a suitable technical tool, thanks Frank (who I've never met).
The other day I read through the 'headlines', as I regard Tweets, and it meant I wasn't late for a meeting because I read this:
St James's Street currently closed for utility works due to reopen Thursday 18 October bus diversions are in place http://ow.ly/eu4bM
So, I caught an earlier bus and my virtual activities led to a productive real life exchange.
As well as business related Tweeters , such as Frank I also follow local information services like the council and other local services. I also follow newspapers, and the odd person who is entertaining because its not all serious, but doesn't have to be all X-factor gossip either.
My favourite ever Tweet was from the QI team, or 'Elves' as they call themselves:
The QI Elves @qikipedia
LEGO is the world's largest tyre manufacturer - they make 318 million tyres each year
This fascinated my children.
So for all you Twitter dismissive out there, realise that you can get out of it what you want, and a whole lot more. The most important thing is to be selective as to who you follow. I never follow people just because they follow me, I don't regard this as impolite, after all I've never expected @stephenfry to follow me back. I choose to follow people that I can learn from or who are interesting.
I bought the weekend paper for the first time in about two years last week. It cost £2.10. It didn't tell me anything about my special areas of interest. It didn't tell me if a certain road in Brighton had closed in the last ten minutes. It didn't tell me any news that I wasn't already aware of. I did the crossword. I did enjoy the feel of the paper.
Twitter is free. It has links to videos. Just saying.
You could follow me @butchershookev but you should be warned I am more of a good listener.
Butchers Hook Video