I’ve been trying to figure this out because I feel like my wife and I are the only people in the world under the age of 40 without Twitter accounts. Are we missing something? Best as I can tell most people use it to stalk what their favorite celebs are doing or thinking at any moment of the day. I don’t understand why anyone would do this unless they were TMZ or People magazine type reporters.
I’m into music and video games but don’t care at all what the people working in that industry have to say about anything. Is there any reason at all for people like us to have Twitter?
I follow about 250 people on twitter, almost none of which are celebrities. Some are my friends, or people I very casually know. But most of the people are ‘authorities’ or interesting people in my work field or hobbies. It’s a good way to get news or events or interesting articles about topics I’m interested about.
In the last three years, we have have had three major power outages, lasting anywhere from three to eleven days. I check the power company’s tweets from my smart phone to see what areas are being restored, and when the estimated restoration for my neighborhood is.
It’s great for following news about subject matters you’re interested in. For example, I like D&D and I follow the #dnd hashtags. I also follow a couple of news organisations, and the Twitter feeds of a good movie website and a good comic book website. I find I tend to discover interesting articles and news that way.
I’m not in to Twitter but my brother is and while he does follow some celebs, he mostly follows news. Or rather, reporters and bloggers, and celebs that will talk about current topics and not just themselves.
Yesterday he told me about some grant his wife’s school got (she’s a teacher) that he heard about through their Twitter feed.
Sometimes people’s friends just have ended up on Twitter and not Facebook. Mine all happened to land on Facebook. A few are on Twitter and they have it set up to automatically post their Twitter stuff to FB so we’re not completely left out of their loop.
I do have a Twitter account but it’s an account for my baseball blog. I use it to post notifications when I publish a new article. Sometimes I will watch my feed during a game because all of the people I follow are players for my team or local sports reporters. It’s pretty interesting most of the time but it’s getting hard to deal with because everything is just a “retweet” of everyone else I happen to be already following. Yawn.
I don’t follow any of my friends on Twitter, and let them know that. I follow news, and very specific interests that I’d have to go hunting for updates on if it wasn’t for Twitter. Another great thing Twitter is good for is getting customer service when you have a bad experience somewhere. You’d be surprised how quickly you get a response to “I found a #mouse in milkshake at #TGIFridays.”
I follow a few celebs, if they’re funny or interesting, but mostly people in fields where I have a professional interest (editing, education) or a personal one (politics, sustainability, knitting, the arts), a slew of local accounts (news outlets, politicians, the local mass transit agency, city govt.), plus a few friends. Twitter is a good source of very current news and commentary.
For me, following baseball news is one of my favorite uses for Twitter. Football is also good on Twitter but the coverage doesn’t seem to be as in depth or have nearly the sense of community that the baseball people on Twitter have.
There are also several people I follow because they consistently either post cool links to news/information stories or are themselves funny. Steve Martin, for example, did some wonderful quasi performance art on Twitter about a year ago. It can be really interesting.
If nothing else it makes for a good time waster when you are stuck with nothing to do and want to read something short and quick.
I don’t have a Twitter account either, but I occasionally follow some feeds (race drivers mostly, but also one or two celebrities). A lot of what I see though is a one-sided conversation, i.e., “@richardnixon: Yeah, right!” or “@glasshalfempty: I wish!”
Is that the case if you have an account? What’s the point of following one side of a conversation? To see what the person’s responding to, I find myself going to the other feed, and trying to find what @glasshalfempty said to put the “I wish!” in context. That’s not much fun, nor is it very informative for me. So what am I missing?
Of course, there are tweets that are self-contained, that have links or comments that I enjoy (for instance, I found this in Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Twitter feed, which was definitely worth it). But it’s the one-sided stuff that I don’t get.
I was gonna say, if you’re a sports fan, which I’m guessing the OP is, it’s great for getting breaking news. I pretty much just follow sports reporters and some joke-of-the-day type of twitters. I do not tweet back and forth with anyone on twitter. In fact, I think I only have 3 or 4 followers. Ouch.
Messages that start out with an “@username” shouldn’t appear in your feed - you have to go out of your way and check out who you’re following’s actual page to see all that noise. The best solution is to simply sign up for an account, add the people you were previously following, and all that goes away.
Twitter is a good way to stay on top of breaking news, if you are into such things. I follow Breaking News, BBC Breaking News, Al Jazeera English, and several local restaurants. I know what is going on in the world and what the specials at my favorite places are.
ETA: BBC and AJ are good news sources that don’t consider celebrity gossip to be news.