Twitter – The Verdict

A while back (see this blog post) I posted that I was starting to investigate Twitter, and set up my own account there.  And in the blog post I wrote:



Usually, I give these tools a try for about a month, and if they’re not bedded down in my working practices by then, I drop out of them (e.g. Facebook).  It will be interesting to see if Twitter does continue to provide value… and if I can remain productive at the same time (a bigger issue for me, I suspect).


It’s not quite a month yet, but I thought I’d wrap up that experiment.  Twitter was quite the opposite of what I initially expected.


The Good

  • It is a good means of communicating with a range of people that I don’t normally communicate with quite so regularly,
  • It also regularly provides stimulating links; I’ve read a couple of great papers that have been pointed my way, and some good web pages,
  • It’s addictive and provides quick feedback as you use it (especially when you use a range of tools with it, so you can access it from various places), and
  • There are an increasing number of people I respect, admire and, well, just plain ‘like’ on it.


The Bad

  • It is hard to keep up with the barrage of links etc that you do get – you have to be judicious about what you click on, or when you keep your Twitter tools open,
  • There are heaps of people who follow anyone, and there are lots of bots.  After a while I decided to stop looking at who was following me.  That’s a big down side of Twitter; the community seems to have a lot of ‘paddding’,
  • It sets a new bar for communication and co-operation.  Forums and wikis feel a bit clunky now, and my participation in these has dropped off over the same period I’ve been playing with Twitter, and
  • It still makes me feel arrogant and elitist to announce what I am doing to the world.


Despite the equal points, I think the good outweighs the bad, and it will remain something I use for a while.  Over time, communication tools change (remember when we used to talk?) so I think as professionals we have to make sure that we keep an eye out for these, and at the least try them.  So, if you’re on Twitter, I hope to get a Tweet from you soon.


Email me directly here, skype me at piers_higgs, and Tweet at me here.

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