Why Twitter is not, like, totally awesome

8 Oct

I was at a travel agency last night helping the gang there get going on Twitter.teenfacebook_230_nfu

One of the staff, someone about my age, told me she was on facebook but really hated the conversations there. She told me she had no interest in reading about her niece going to the mall, and then the train of “awesome” responses. She figured Twitter was even worse.

It was a revelation for her to learn otherwise. The kids don’t like Twitter, and don’t get it.

Rob Ringma from Vancouver Island Breweries told us this week that he overheard a conversation on BC Ferries between some teens who described Twitter as “boring, just saying what you’re doing.”

While the grownups have flocked to facebook and essentially shanghaied  it away from the kids, the reverse has not happened on Twitter. And probably won’t.

What does happen on Twitter is intelligent discourse, sharing of information, rapidly breaking news – oh and lots of brainfarts to be sure, but don’t we just unfollow the brainfarters anyway?

Here’s what might turn the kids off: I read some revealing research findings about how you can increase the likelihood that someone will retweet you.

  • Don’t talk like a teen. Slang and abbreviated words don’t stick with people. Ironic when you only have 140 characters eh?
  • Use punctuation. Full stops and full colons increase retweetability.
  • Go for bit.ly over tiny.url for your links. Get with it people: Tiny is so last summer.
  • If you’re going to tweet a blog post, tell people that’s what it is.  Hey new blog post:
  • Be polite. Tweeters appreciate manners. Please and thanks work in this space. Cursing and nasty attacks on other people – which you see plenty of on facebook – are virtually non-existent. Not to malign the kids: adults are just as bad in that regard.

You rarely find the train of mindless acknowledgements that the woman at the travel agency hated about facebook.

If you aren’t already, please follow me on Twitter: dobronski. Thank you.

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