17 January 2011

Twitter: Why I like it

As followers at Facebook and Twitter already know, baby it’s been cold outside with lots of snow. Then, out of nowhere, a warm front moved in and a massive melt ensued. To paraphrase Forest Gump, the weather in Montana is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get.

Over the week I have added new images to the North American Deer, Skyscapes, Lakota Sunrise galleries and one new limited edition entitled “Yellowstone Lily Pads”. I shot Lily Pads on my junket to Yellowstone last fall.

Koty Manning the Polaris Ranger

Koty Ponders the Ice

Alrighty then, on to the topic of this post.

I’ve been playing around with the social media sites Twitter and Facebook and have decided that I really like Twitter. At first I thought Twitter was terribly superficial. But, I’ve found a way to make it more fruitful and now I find the site quite productive.

When not engaged in my photography I think I have a form of ADD and Twitter is perfect for those with such a malfunction. Twitter is a very fast paced place. One communicates via things called Tweets. You are allowed only 140 characters, not words just characters, spaces and punctuation are counted. Shakespeare wrote in Hamlet “Brevity is the soul of wit”. I hereby coin the phrase “Brevity is the soul of Twit”.

I don’t think it’s the place to form deep relationships. Some people have over 100,000 followers so you know that read every single Tweet, not. A large number of people are just chasing some get rich on the Internet scheme. Many I think are getting paid for every time someone clicks on a particular link. In many ways the place reminds me of a 21st Century pyramid scheme. Our current economic situation is certainly ripe for any angle that promises income pouring right out of your computer. I’ve been around for a while and most of these schemes generally only generate much income for the one selling the scheme.

As of this writing I am approaching 6,000 followers 95% of whom I follow back. I can assure you that I can’t really follow that many people nor can they me. I couldn’t do it if I sat at my computer 24/7. 6,000 sounds like a lot but at Twitter I’m only in the minor leagues. As I mentioned some Tweeters have over 100,000 followers. Many people have their accounts completely computerized. They follow, un-follow and send messages all computer-generated. If you’re one of those just trying to get clicks I think that probably works out just great being on autopilot. But, I really like to connect with people I find interesting. And the business I'm depends greatly on forming relationships. For that one must be personally proactive.

With all that said, why do I like Twitter? Ironically, I like it because I have found some of the most interesting and helpful people I’ve ever met anywhere on the web. I don’t think I would have met them any other way. I’ve have also learned valuable new things about SEO (Search Engine Optimization), found great resources for marketing my photography and promoting my blog. I've also connected with people I just find interesting and want to hang out with.

Like most things in life Twitter is a numbers game. I would guess that I actually truly connect with around 1% of my followers. How do I do it? Well, the old fashioned way. I work at it. There is no way to cheat the Tweet.  Every morning I spend an hour or so going through new followers and looking  at the bios and Tweets of those that I think I might relate too. Then I follow back and/or send a message to those that I would like to get to know. If we are in accord we usually arrange to connect on Facebook. Facebook is much better for making real connections. For one thing, at Facebook you aren’t limited to 140 characters, it’s a much more “social” media.

Twitter isn’t for everyone, I am quite sure of that. But, I quite like it and would recommend giving it a try if you haven’t already. For a richer experience I recommend sending personalized DM’s (direct messages) to new followers that catch your eye and start making “lists” early on. Lists can really help you keep track of those Tweets you are most interested in following.

Here are a couple of interesting pie charts comparing Twitter and Facebook demographics. Statistically, I probably should not be even fiddling with this because the 55 plus group is the smallest user group of both media comprising only 9%. I guess us old doggies aren't swift enough? Well, I like to hang with younger people anyway so I'm doin' it!

©Kinsey Barnard Photography


Anonymous said...

We're old-fashioned. We chose carefully who we follow and read/scan most of their tweets. We sob when someone is unfollowing us (which of course almost nobody does...) and do nothing automatically. So, this exists. Is it true that people like to have 100.000 followers & to follow so much people? Help! @MidasplusTijs

Bob Fisher (@RFPhotog) said...

Like this commentary. Maybe I like it because I agree with it. Might not be quite as enamoured with the Twitterverse as you. But maybe I'll get there at some point.

Walker said...

Hey Bob:

Thanks for stopping by. LOL! I don't think I am enamored of any social media on accounta I'm not all that social which is of course why I live in the wilderness.

But, the truth is I am trying to peddle my wares and they are a necessary evil. :0)