Why is Twitter More News Medium Than Social Network?

by Mike Wise on February 23, 2011 · 3 comments

Mike is the founder of  WebWisedom LLC ; an Enterprise Social Technology/EMarketing/E-Business consultancy, WebWisedom is helping sales and marketing organizations develop customized sales and marketing strategies leveraging Social Technologies within the unique environments of the organization and its markets.  This post is a response Mike provided on Quroa.com and thought this would be an appropriate post for this site.  Thank you Mike for sharing.

If we analyze how people use Twitter, we find that it doesn’t compete with Facebook as a social network, but it functions better as a news site where anyone can be a reporter (or when it is used as an alternative RSS channel). Why?

Great thread and great writing. Without clicking through on the authors of all the comments, my guess is many of them are bloggers in addition to tweeters. Starting to become easier to see based on writing style and content….

Agree with all the sentiments and perspectives. Been using Twitter for a couple years now. My habit is to use Tweetdeck as the interface, rarely using twitter.com except to follow some of my followers, those that I feel are likely to contribute to the streams of information I’m building (key point).

Twitter is an extension of my blog as well. I think the key to understanding twitter, as well as other Social platforms, is blogging. Without a blog, people seem to have a hard time understanding Social. With a blog, people seem to be much more engaged and savvy. It’s early, but do others see a similar connection there?

I also use twitter as a search engine, almost every day. If there is any useful bit of information I’m looking for – case studies, statistics, brand info, trend info, etc. – I’ll go to Tweetdeck and set up a new search on the topic. Twitter search seems to be the reverse of Google search – it displays the most recent items, so the freshest content, versus Google which often displays older content first. Both are useful, to be sure, but I’m finding Twitter search more useful. I do wish the advance search feature actually worked, though. For example, when I expand the date-range on a search term, it returns the same results. FAIL!

Hashtags and conferences are hugely beneficial as previously commented. It seems that hashtags are among the best kept secrets of Twitter – not sure why. But at conferences in particular, hashtags

  1. facilitate off-line conversations,
  2. greater and more immediate info sharing on the topics of speaker preso’s,
  3. an archive of useful links etc. for post-conference reference.

As an example, #ICMG & #PIMAAssn are two conferences I recently attended where a few of us used Twitter and Hashtags to add value to the conference. (OK, I’m in the insurance business, so it’s not exactly cutting edge, life of the party stuff, but useful and adding value nontheless, eh?)

On the flip side, a huge problem that hopefully is short-term is the inane hotelswho insist on holding internet access hostage in ballrooms. “Oh, if you want internet in the ballroom, it’s $500 extra…” I could choke them.

Hashtags also seem to be the key to building relationship with other tweeters who are interested in the same topics.

Twitter also serves to give my blog and my Linkedin profile freshness – the lights are on, Mike is up and active, thoughts and information are flowing, etc. etc. I might be out in left field, but I think this is one of the most useful and over-looked benefits of Twitter – it’s a conduit of information.

If there’s one thing I would recommend to people, use Tweetdeck (or similar) to use Twitter. And integrate Twitter with your other Social Media and Social Network activities.

Lastly, I’m speaking to the choir, I know, but people in general need to expect that they won’t ‘get’ twitter until they’ve used it diligently for 4-6 months or so, tweeting at least once a day, and more importantly, using it as an information source on topics they are keenly interested in. And they need to start BLOGGING! It’s the key to the whole thing, wouldn’t you agree? See how I integrated a conference experience with my blog and engaged some of the other fellow attendees. Useful?

  • Pingback: Secrets Revealed: How I Use Twitter | WebWisedom()

  • Mike, I think your insights are great … and you're right – people who don't "get" twitter, are, I think, perceiving it as the original social media outlet for "I'm at lunch right now" or "I'm shopping!" – that space is now occupied by Four Square and Gowalla!! 🙂 But like all trends, it seems that twitter has evolved over the past couple of years into a much more vibrant and relevant opportunity for new learning – your river of information analogy is spot on, and I've found great blogs, articles and white papers that would have taken me much longer to obtain – if ever – and it's delivered right to me through tweetdeck! You were right … and we were wrong … there! I've said it!! And P.S. Who said insurance people can't qualify as a life of the party, etc.???

  • WebWisedom

    Wow, Denise. True confessions. 🙂 (For the reader, an industry association inside joke going on here.)

    Tweetdeck, Hootsuite, etc. really seem to be the key to Twitter. Curious is others use other tools for managing their Twitter presence and stream. Also curious about other best practices for Twitter….

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