Well, after a little under a week, I give up. I always suspected that Twitter would end up having high signal-to-noise ratio and that any useful nuggets I got from it would be the work of serendipity. This turned out to be exactly the case. I went one day, a Sunday no less, without checking my twitter client. When I fired it up on Monday morning, I had to scroll through about 50 tweets. I could either sift through the tweets or just skip them. I skipped them, reinforcing my idea that finding something useful on Twitter is random. If I’m skipping over the excess flow from a random winter Sunday, what happens at the end of a work day when I’m too tired to go through them? The real kicker? I was only following 4 people. FOUR. I can only imagine what people who follow hundreds or thousands of people go through.
To me, Twitter only seems useful if I’m a person or company peddling something and want to reach my audience directly. In this case, I can see some value, but on it’s own, it’s just not compelling. It seems I’m not alone. VentureBeat is reporting that at the latest Web 2.0 summit, someone asked a panel of teenagers their thoughts about Twitter. After basically saying that they didn’t get why anyone would use it, an audience member asked them this:
Later, one of the audience members asked if the teens might reconsider their position when they’re older and need to promote something (which, I might add, is a dispiriting way to think about Twitter’s purpose). They said they’d think about it, if they knew enough people using the service.
I have to concur with the authors note about the basis of the question being dispiriting.