I’ve been getting a few
requests demands by people to add them on twitter recently so I thought I’d explain a bit about how I use the site. I know some people use it like just another social network, connecting to as many people as they can a la Facebook, LinkedIn or MySpace. That is not how I use it, I use Facebook and LinkedIn for that. With Twitter, I try and do a few things – keep up to date on the lives a few close friends, know where other friends in LA are in case I am near them and want to meet up, have conversations.
In order to do those three things with any efficiency, I can’t just follow anyone and everyone. I have to be very selective about the people that I follow, and even more selective about the people I get notifications from. In fact the list of people I get notifications from changes almost weekly based on where I am, where other people are, and who I’m talking with at that moment. I have a handful of friends who I actually don’t follow at all, but read their pages on their own all the time simply because they use Twitter so much that if I followed them it would drown out all the other people I follow. This isn’t anything personal against those folks, it’s just different usage habits require different processing.
The reason I bring this up is that I know a few folks have suggested they’ve taken it personally that I don’t follow them, or that I stopped getting notifications of their tweets at one point or another and I can’t express enough that that isn’t the case at all. It’s just that I have a very specific use for the site and I really like it, but it doesn’t allow for me to follow anyone and everyone.
That said, the “tracking” feature and the replies tab both allow me to stay on top of anyone responding to me (even if I don’t follow them) or talking about things I’m also talking about. I use both a great deal and they are endlessly helpful. If you want to follow me, you are more than welcome to but I won’t take it personally if you don’t. However if you mention my name or metblogs/metroblogging (or any topic I’m currently ranting about) chances are I will see it and will respond if it makes sense. I really think Twitter, nano/microblogging, and the mobile connection to it all is very important and useful, and I think the more we use it the more we all develop our own specific needs and requirements from it.