Margaret Wente in a column in the Toronto Globe and Mail found Twitter banal and boring.
“If you thought Facebook was banal, try Twitter. It makes people who write their thoughts on Facebook sound like Shakespeare. Of course, it’s also possible I’m too old and out of it. According to new-media experts, the medium is greater than the messages. Twitter and Facebook are creating a new world of digital intimacy.”
She dismisses the ability to follow friends because “…Except that even over time, my friends’ and family members’ lives just aren’t that interesting. The lives of people I scarcely know are even less interesting. Spending time with them on Facebook is like having to sit through a detailed recital of someone’s winter vacation. I have tried and tried to get the hang of it, but I have failed miserably. I don’t care about any of these so-called friends. If I did, I’d actually spend time with them.”
Mark Evans posted a good piece on Twitterati in response:
“For me, Twitter is a professional resource. It’s a way to find newspaper articles (such as Ms. Wente’s), Web sites, and new services, thoughts about technology trends, and answers to questions that I would have otherwise never have seen or received. I don’t use Twitter to read updates on someone thinking of having coffee at Starbucks, and I don’t do updates about personal details that aren’t worth sharing. As a journalist trained to find and shape information, Ms. Wente should spend more time on Twitter to explore if there are ways she call pull value out of it. I’m sure, for example, that if Wente did keyword searches on Twitter to research future columns, she would find some valuable nuggets and new sources.”
I wholeheartedly agree and commented further on how to Twitter can be a powerful tool for PR:
“Twitter is a great research resource for my public relations firm. I set up search services for alerts on key words (clean tech, biotech, crisis PR, parody, wine, etc.). It’s a quick way to find out who is active in a given industry, niche, organization, cause or whatever interests you. From there, you can check the person’s profile and get a feel for their depth of knowledge and range of connections. The latter can provide leads for other good resources. I try to follow the experts who provide links to breaking news and trends in an area of interest. They often find great data in obscure places that I would never have found otherwise. I share the information within my agency and also with our clients. We combine it with information we get from RSS feeds and various news trackers. Knowledge is power and Twitter is adding to it.”
Posted by Tom Gable