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Twitter - Fun, but personally not so useful

So, after using Twitter for a couple of days I have some mixed feelings. On Facebook, I absolutely love the status update feature. It's one of my favorite things about Facebook - you can put a small quote or song lyric, provide a link for people to look at, or, as it was meant for, tell people what you're up to. I always found myself wanting a little more flexibility with the feature however. I think allowing a little more characters and maybe some HTML coding so you can customize link names or change the style of the text would enhance the feature more. Going into Twitter, since the site is dedicated completely to status updates, I was expecting to get this extra flexibility. However, I found that some of my posts had to be shortened because they were too long, and I still have no ability to customize the appearance of my status update. Maybe these additions would be a little too extravagant and make too much of the simple status update, but without them, I feel like an entire site dedicated to status updates is pretty useless. With the functionality that it currently has, it doesn't seem much better than the status feature integrated into Facebook as only a small part. The disappointments I came across with Twitter were also listed as cons in the Anywired "Workstreaming with Microblogs" reading.

In regards to the Connect! reading for this week, I would say Twitter serves as a phatic communication, which are those that "serve social purposes like relationship building" (Zelenka & Sohn, 142). Later in the chapter, when they discuss status updater sites, also called microbloggers, it's mentioned that Twitter is criticized for its "inanity, narcissism, and disruptiveness" (Zelenka & Sohn, 147). I'm not sure that these words really describe Twitter; I don't think a site like this could possess these kinds of qualities because it is so interactive. The users make the site what it is by posting their status updates.

Comments

I completely agree with Brittany, I am not too sure yet about Twitter. Simply because it is just for status updates, in my busy college and social life I have a very hard time remembering to log on and post a status update to let my classmates know what I am doing. I think that it would be much more useful for our class if we could set up a group on Twitter much like on Facebook, to directly contact classmates. I know that it is to try to get classmates to know us better; however I don’t give status updates to my classmates that meet with on a regular basis.

I have also noticed that some people made some more “random? posts on Twitter, but I don’t really fit in to the most random person, nor do I really have time to sit around thinking about what my next update and Twitter is going to be. I also like the social net work Facebook and the wall and inbox messaging apps. With these you can send personal messages or random posts but it specifically goes on that person’s profile, not as a post on yours.

I don’t mean to be a negative person; I am just simply stating how I feel at this point after only a week of working with Twitter. Who knows, after working with it longer I may become more of a fan.

Brittany:
I agree that facebook is much more personal and fun to connect with friends and family. Where I think that Twitter is important is in the workforce to let people know instantly what you are doing, to get questions out for public opinion and to limit the time in conversations. This is the way that I would use it and would hope that colleagues would do the same.