Tuesday, August 06, 2013

On Twitter

(edit: I wrote this before I understood lists. While I still think some could tweet less than they do, all I needed to do was create a list called "MattFratt's faves" where I tucked away all the people who I felt I needed to read EVERY ONE of their tweets.

To maximize social reach, you have to follow everyone with whom you share a vision - in my case, teachers - then it's up to you to filter your feed so that you read the tweets you feel you need to read.)

The Dalai Lama tweets about twice per week. Meditate on that.

I want to love twitter, but it's difficult right now. Everyone has some interesting things to say about their passion (education in my case), and I want to hear everything they say. But many of these people tweet dozens of times per day.

I have about 15 minutes per day that I can budget for Twitter. I think that's about par for the course for many working adults. I want to learn new ideas, and what better platform than Twitter? But 15 minutes is about enough time to scan maybe 200 tweets, click on four or five items that are interesting, and explore these items. So at this rate, I can follow about 150 people who tweet once or twice per day.

Twitter is a platform for sharing awesome ideas with the whole world. Does anyone really have more that one or two awesome things to share with the world per day? I don't think so. I wish most people would be excruciatingly judicious about what they tweet. We are tweeting to the whole world; let's show some restraint.

Of course this "1 or 2 tweet per person" ideal has some notable exceptions. When you are attending a conference, or if you are in weekly tweetup like #edchat, then you are effectively in a chat room and you have a lot to say. And of course if you are a young person who is still in school, then by golly you tweet all day about Aston Kutcher's breakfast or anything else that you fancy. 

I'm having a very hard time finding interesting people who are judicious about tweeting. I subscribe to less than 30 people. I'd like to find more, but it is not so easy. It seems like people are either totally absent from twitter, or they are twitter junkies and tweet a jillion times per day; there does not seem to be much middle ground.


Kerri Schegan said...

Thank you for this post! I completely relate! I actually have a hard time participating in the Twitter chats - especially popular ones like edchat - because the tweets are moving so fast I can't even read them. It doesn't feel like a worthwhile use of my time if I'm spending most of it struggling to keep up and can't even take the time to click off to another page.

Matthew Frattali said...

Yeah it seems like some of twitter is about hearing ones own voice rather than listening to others...

Hassaan Qureshi said...

What made you change your mind since then? You have recently followed me so I'm curious to know :)

Matthew Frattali said...

Great question Hassaan.

I'm kind of a completion-ist, and wanted to read every tweet by everyone I followed. That limits you to like 100 or 200 people, which severely limits your utility on twitter. I had to let that go. It only took me four years lol.

I guess I thought twitter was like a staff meeting, and people should actively try to reign themselves in, and talk as little as possible and only when necessary.

But it's really built like grand central station, people screaming on top of each other, and the trick is to focus on what interests me and filter out the rest as background noise.

Matthew Frattali said...

p.s. I still try to read every tweet by my favorite tweeps, I just make a separate list for that (and frankly I'm not doing a great job of keeping up with that list as it grows longer lol)

Hassaan Qureshi said...

I'd agree with you wholeheartedly! I might have tried to do that as well to a certain extent such that I wanted to follow specific people and be up to date with everything they were saying or doing, but not restrict myself to just that. In the end that ballooned way out of proportion, but no regrets. I simply ride the wave and whatever hits me I consider myself lucky then and what doesn't is forever missed unless it comes back around again lol