Are Twitter & Podcasts Still Relevant?

wolf relevant
I haven’t been in school in decades but that never prevents me from wishing I could press pause on the clock and stop the end of summer from racing to catch up with us.

Never stops me from feeling a wacky mix of sadness at the end of Summer and excitement about the prospects of the coming Fall.

That is probably a big part of why every August I try to make a push to do all that I haven’t yet done with the family which is why I almost taught my kids how to sneak from one movie into another theater.

Yeah, it is not the most responsible thing and that is part of why we didn’t move from Ant-Man into Pixels. but truth be told the rumble in my belly was what really pushed me.

Popcorn is a snack, never lunch or dinner.

Are Twitter & Podcasts Still Relevant?

They were two twenty-somethings standing in line at the concession stand, so focused on their discussion about whether Twitter and Podcasts were still relevant they didn’t hear the kid at the counter ask for their order.

Nor did they hear me mutter that wolves don’t give a fuck about movies or television because they don’t use them and consequently aren’t relevant.

Yeah, dad was a little grumpy, tired of listening to my two kids debate about what overpriced theater food to get.

Have I mentioned that my kids have two speeds, “love each other like best friends” and “bicker like frenemies.”

Anyhoo when the two guys in front of me ignored the second “what can I get you” I spoke over them and placed my order.

Apparently that got their attention and they both turned to tell me I couldn’t cut in line and I said that Twitter has gotten so cluttered and noisy messages are frequently missed or lost.

And then with my best glare I stepped up to the counter to pay and suggested that if they hadn’t ignored the kid at the counter they could have placed their order and not held up the line.

The Answer To The Question of Relevance

The answer isn’t particularly difficult nor does it require much thought.

Yeah, they are both still relevant and still useful. Relevance shouldn’t be based upon a question that is posed so broadly as the initial one.

It is based upon use and whether they are useful to you.

You can see examples of that by reading the responses to If Facebook Disappeared Would You Notice?

People have bad habits of basing relevance upon their personal interest or use and not upon how groups respond, act and or use things.

I use to be a very heavy Twitter user and then somewhere along the way I stopped using it the same way as I had.

Now my use comes and goes, some days I am very involved and I have multiple conversations and other days…not so much.

Can’t say that I have ever paid much attention to podcasts. Sure I have the one I unofficially do but there aren’t any I listen to with regularity.

That is because I have never found one that held my attention.

Only a fool would take that to mean there aren’t any good ones out there.

Maybe if I had hard data I would take the fool’s position and say it is true, but I don’t have hard data so I’ll go a different way and suggest I just haven’t come across a good one for me.

We Don’t Always Know

Every time I tell the Shmata Queen I know things she tells me I need to find a new shtick.

She is partially right because I do know things but I also know there is a ton I don’t know. But what I am really referring to here is our proclivity as humans to think we know more than we actually know.

We make a ton of daily decisions based upon this stuff we think we know, things like who has the best prices on XYZ, where to get the cheapest gas, best bread etc.

But the thing is much of what we think we know isn’t based upon that hard data but our personal experience and or feelings so there is a good chance we might be wrong.

We don’t always know what we think we know.decisions
There is a balance there, I don’t know that I have found it but I am still looking.

Twitter Is Broken & Blogs Are Dead

Travel Time

Someone tell that guy he is not in cleveland, drive on the right side. 😉

Twitter is broken and blogs are dead is not the sort of comment I expect to overhear when I am out wandering among the people.

No food in the house, spring cold still kicking my ass so I head to the deli to grab some Matzah ball soup and make a stop at the local coffee shop.

Never been to this one before, it is not a chain so I poke my head in and find myself in the middle of college students. Snooty hipster barista rolls my eyes when I tell him I want something that will put hair on my chest and kill this cold.

Somewhere just behind me I hear Twitter Is Broken & Blogs Are Dead.

Should I Care Who Said It?

My ears perk up and I wait to hear an explanation but that doesn’t come because someone else is talking far too loudly about where they want to go on Spring Break. Does it matter? Do I care who said it and why?

Chances are I won’t because it is not profound, insightful, novel, useful or unique.

He is not Chris Brogan, Guy Kawasaki or Seth Godin or any of the other 12 Internet names people sometimes know outside of the blogosphere.

But even if he/she was I wouldn’t react to that kind of line, hell I would be disappointed.

Disappointed because all that has been said, is being said and will keep being said by people who are unable, unwilling and or incapable of independent thought.

Besides, I am a cranky curmudgeon and I don’t believe any of that.

Twitter isn’t broken and blogs aren’t dead.

Copyblogger is making a mistake by turning off comments.

Why?

Ask people about how Twitter used to be and they’ll tell you about the great conversations they used to have and how it has turned into a broadcast channel.

Some of that is true but it doesn’t really give you the full picture. Twitter has been used for years as a broadcast channel. Triberr haters sometimes claim that Triberr broke Twitter but it is not true.

Triberr is a tool and so is Twitter. Your usage and utility depends on how effectively you know how to use the tool. Conversations still happen daily on Twitter but you have to make an effort now. You have to work a bit harder but those conversations happen.

If I were a real Jedi I wouldn’t have to load my dishwasher by hand, I would just use The Force and it would happen. But Master Yoda hasn’t appeared on my doorstep so my proficiency with The Force is limited so I have to do it all by hand.

But my hands are pretty good, ask The Shmata Queen who gives a better massage.

The point is sometimes you have to do the work to see results.

Road Trippin’ and Blogging

Amtrak has an opportunity for bloggers now that I wish I could take advantage of. It really does break my heart not to be able to apply for this right now because if you want to provide yourself with some exceptional blog fodder you need to go on a road trip.

I haven’t even shared an tenth of what I could from my travels between Los Angeles and Dallas. Haven’t come close to painting a picture of what and who I saw but I have stories and they need to be told.

Traffic on my blogs continues to increase but comments are down a bit. If you look at time spent on page you’d see people are spending chunks of time here but that is not just my blog, it is happening across the blogosphere.

That is because people still like to read for all of the same reasons they always have.

Copyblogger’s move hurts community building.

You don’t build community through silence. Some discussions in the comments section are where you learn the most about a topic and where you discover that JohnnyB is an expert in a field you have interest in.

It is where you see samples of writing and realize that Stacey would make a great guest blogger but that is less likely to happen without a comment section.

Comments aren’t currency and they don’t always advance the conversation, but when they do they are golden.

Twitter Isn’t Broken & Blogs Aren’t Dead

If you were trapped on an island and all you had were a hammer and screwdriver would you stare at them and wonder what you can do with a tool that bangs nails and one that twist screws or would you start to think of other ways to use them too.

I know what I would do and it wouldn’t be limited to just one way to use each.

Two Things That Are Still Killing Twitter

Death of Film

Editor’s Note: I first ran this post a few years ago because I didn’t like some of the changes I saw in Twitter. IMO Twitter is a bigger mess now than it was then. Some people still blame Triberr for this and point their fingers at me because it is one of the tools I use.

You can call me an apologist if you want but I am still a fan and find that it is a very effective tool. The worth and value of a tool is usually based upon the skill of the person using it.  For example you could give me Tiger Woods’ golf clubs and ask him to use two of my old rusty clubs and chances are he would beat me every time.

What I try to do with Twitter is find more moments where I can be online and active. The benefit is that my stream isn’t filled with automated tweets. In reality I don’t have the same amount of time as I used to, especially when it seems fewer people are actually tweeting live so I have to work harder to make it work.

Anyway, I think many of my thoughts/ideas from when I first ran this post are still pertinent. Take a look at the post below and let me know if you agree.

I used a nifty service called When Did You Join Twitter to figure out that I signed up on December 30, 2008.

After four years I have seen a number of changes in how I use it as well as how others do. Not all of them are good.

I Hate AutoDms

I don’t have any scientific data to share with you about what sort of impact the AutoDm has and can only tell you that once upon a time I was guilty of using them too.

It seemed like an easy way to acknowledge new followers and to start building a relationship with them but I found them to rarely give me the warm fuzzy feeling that makes me feel like anything but a number.

The AutoDm doesn’t show me that you have taken the time to read my profile or tweets so I haven’t any clue whether you find me interesting or if I am just another number you use to build your following.

I have built real friendships with people I met online and know that there are real people on the other side of the keyboard but those relationships started because of the personal touch.

Twitter is Like a Cocktail Party Or Barbecue

Twitter is like a barbecue or cocktail party. It is a place to meet people and talk. The AutoDm reminds me of the sleazy man/woman who approaches you at a party with only one thing in mind and it is never with your best interests in mind.

It is an immediate turnoff.

I don’t have a problem with Internet marketers, brands or businesses trying to sell things online. All I ask is that you at least pretend to care about more than what is in my wallet.

Problem Number Two- Broadcast Is Not Engagement

The second challenge and one that is probably far more serious is the proliferation of people/brands/businesses that are using Twitter as a broadcast channel and not for engagement.

Twitter is noisy and cluttered because it is filled with Tweets promoting posts, reviews, sales and all sorts of other crap. It wasn’t always like this and I am well aware that I am part of the problem.

That is because Triberr is one of the biggest sources of traffic for my blog and the primary traffic driver for promoting posts through Triberr is Twitter.

If I want people to pump out my posts to their followers I need to reciprocate so it means that I can send out a large number of tweets in a short time.

A Solution

My solution is two fold:

  1. I try to make a point to engage as frequently as possible on Twitter so that my stream is not all links.
  2. I try to make sure the content I share is relevant, interesting and useful to my followers.

It is not a perfect solution but at the moment it does the best job of meeting my needs without completely alienating the community I am working to build.

What About You?

What about you? Do you use Twitter? Do you like it? Do you agree/disagree with me?

What Does Five Years On Twitter Do For You?

goat-1

I stumbled onto a random tweet in my stream today that mentioned that today marks my five year anniversary of joining Twitter. If I hadn’t seen it I wouldn’t have been aware that today marked any sort of anniversary.

Most of that is because I am still recovering from celebrating my son’s 13th birthday and his Bar Mitzvah. Even though I can attribute some very good things to my having joined Twitter I can’t really compare the two nor do I want to.

But for what it is worth I can definitely say that both were life changing events, but Twitter pales in significance and that is as it should be.

Five Years Later

I can’t say that I have written a book or books about Twitter and social media but that is ok with me.  Fact is I referenced Mark’s blog and book because some of you are unfamiliar with Twitter and are unaware of what it has done and can do for people.

My experience with it has been exceptionally positive. I can attribute friendships, work and brand ambassadorships to it. That is important to me because when I look at the amount of time I have put into social media it is nice to see that there is a positive return on my investment.

When I look at Twitter and my experience I see it as the platform I used to build my blog and where I discovered that there was much more to blogging than I had ever really thought of.

Five years later I look back and laugh a bit because it started with the same sort of whim that led me to blogging.

How I Used It and How I Use It Now

Twitter has changed and so has how I use it. When I first started I was far more active and involved in engaging with others than I am now.

Some of that was because I had more time and I wasn’t as active on so many different platforms. There were fewer places to hold conversations and less homework for my children so it was easier to devote more time to it.

Today I find myself having to work much harder to make time for Twitter. It is not a great change and being less engaged has probably hurt my influence because influence in social media is tied into how active you are.

I know that it is not just me that has noticed the change because I have had multiple conversations about it.

Some of you have told me that you think Triberr is a major contributor to Twitter having turned into more of a broadcast channel but I am not certain we can break it down to just one tool.

Automation has impacted Twitter in major ways and that includes many tools that are not named Triberr. There has been a major influx of brands onto Twitter and that had an impact too.

There Are Still Conversations

I still have many conversations on Twitter and I still see many others that I am not involved in. The biggest distinction between now and then is you have to make more of an effort to make them happen.

Sometimes I think that the 140 character limit has made it more challenging because when you compare Twitter to other platforms it is sometimes easier to have a more in depth conversation elsewhere.

I find that happening quite a bit on Google Plus and Facebook but that doesn’t mean it is not happening on Twitter because it is. I know this it to be so because I still participate in those talks there.

What about you? Are you on Twitter? How long have y0u been on and how often do you use it? Would love to hear your thoughts.

Triberr And The Challenge Of The Twitter Thank You

Tunnel

Twenty-three years ago I spent the summer working in Canada. About six weeks into it a couple of people at the camp I worked at told me I was really rude because I didn’t say hi to everyone I passed on the street.

It hadn’t occurred to me that anyone would have a problem with my behavior, especially since I was acting any differently than I would have back home in Los Angeles.

I shrugged my shoulders at them and said if they acted that way in L.A. people would think they were tourists and or weird. Cultural differences.

Twitter Etiquette

I have been on Twitter for five or six years now and I have seen a few changes there. Watched more people join, seen the impact of brands, businesses and Triberr to an extent.

Seen how it has evolved from a place where it was easy to have to conversations to more of a broadcast channel. Now you have to work a bit harder to engage with others and that brings me to my Triberr dilemma.

Been a part of Triberr for about two years and still am grateful for all the introductions and connections that it helped facilitate for me. It has been a wonderful tool and it has made me look very hard at blogging and social media.

Triberr has also made me think about Twitter etiquette in different terms than I once did. That is because many of my fellow tribesmen tweet out thank yous to myself and others who have helped to share their blogs.

I don’t do much of that.

Why?

I am torn because I want to thank those who share my posts but I also don’t want my streams to consist solely of links and thank yous to those who shared my posts and sometimes that is how it looks to me.

In part it is because I have more than 100 people in my tribes, could be closer to 150 or so really and that could create a ton of thank you tweets.

And while I am a fan of showing gratitude for those who help us if we don’t work to mix the streams up with useful content and conversation people just tune it out because it becomes noise.

I don’t want to be viewed as noise and or someone who adds to clutter and that is part of why I tend to issue fewer thank yous.

Weekends

I have also begun to scale back much of my social media activity on weekends. It is time I take for myself and for doing things in person and not online.

Doesn’t mean that you won’t find me online or that I won’t blog/tweet but I tend to do less of it. I can guarantee that at some point I will adjust how I do things because that is part of the joy of social media.

It evolves and what I do today may very well not be what I do tomorrow.

In August of 2013 I have Google Plus Comments and Livefyre enabled. The dual commenting system is a test that may lead to my scrapping one or both.

All part of the fun of social media and the dynamic environment it lives in.

The Goal

The goal or more accurately goals are still the same as they have always been. I blog because it is fun and because I love to write.

I use social media because I enjoy meeting new people, because it has led to friendships and financial rewards and because one day I will publish some works that I want others to read and it makes sense to build a platform.

Every month I try to look at what I have done to see if I can find a way to do it better. Some chunks of time are better than others, that is how it goes.

What about you?