Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Its So Funny How We Don't Talk Anymore

*This post came about after a conversation at Twitter with my fellow blogging babes @Cosmicgirlie, @BarenakedMummy and @CrystalJigsaw.


I used to love Twitter. 

It was the one place where you could jump into a conversation, have a lively debate, make inappropriate (and widely retweeted) jokes regarding Cheryl Cole, and generally have a chat. It was, to me, the social media equivalent of a coffee and cake chat with my mates, all from the relative comfort of my own computer chair.

No matter what time of day or night- literally as I was online at midnight new years eve both this and the year before (#PyjamaPartyTweets, anyone?) there was bound to be someone online to have a natter with.

Not so now.

Perhaps its because Twitter has become an Internet version of whispering into a crowded, noisy room. Perhaps there is too much passive aggression being played out. I know I've tapped out more than my share of gritted teeth tweets. Or maybe there are just too many people there for self promotion.

Take the blog link tweet. To my mind, tweeting a link to your newest post every ten minutes is just that side of obsessive that makes me want to unfollow you. There is no definitive etiquette on this, but surely tweeting a link 4 times in the space of 24 hours is sufficient? 

Another is the needy, some may say greedy #PRRequest. Used in the right sense these can be great, but the kind where you basically ask a PR to buy your whole Christmas or seriously say "I've not had a holiday this year, wanna buy me one?" are simply not on and will not help win you friends in PR, brands or bloggers. 

It doesn't help that Twitter has the 140 character limit, and sometimes, that's just not enough to get a point across. I think if its worth saying, its worth saying properly, so I use Facebook instead. Or don't bother at all.

I'm no fan of needy Klout related tweets. Please give me klout/follow my blog/retweet this link will make me do the exact opposite. The only time I will ask for a retweet or anything, it'll be charity related. 

Conversation wise, it's something I miss, and with coming up for 2,600 followers you'd think I'd be overwhelmed with chatter. Not the case- I do think that perhaps a large majority of non PR or brands who follow me do so these days purely because Twitter has suggested me. 

That's the issue with Twitter- the new Twitter tells you who everyone else has followed, what people who are like you it feels you should have on your mates list, etc etc. In the olden days, the only suggestions you got were from Follow Friday, and when others suggested people, they generally came from a wide network, not just one community.

What can be done? I wish I knew, but I miss our chats, people. I'd also prefer people to follow me after reading my blog and knowing who I am and what I'm about- not just because I'm a "face" in Parent Blogging, or because Twitter has told them to.

So, please, bring back the art of conversation, step away from the blog links, the PR requests and the rest, and lets have a chat. Brew a cuppa, grab a big bar of chocolate and settle down. 

What do you think?


  1. Yep, great post! I do enjoy a chat on Twitter and have lots of chats every day, all of which I'm grateful for the company. I also tweet my blog on the day I've published a new post, probably a lot more than 4 times in 24 hours, but hey ho, with respect, that's my choice, lol. I honestly can't say I see many PR request-type tweets in my timeline so I'm probably not following those who are constantly begging for freebies.

    However, I am noticing an awful lot of people now only coming on Twitter to tweet links, self-promote, bitch, rant and say how wonderful they are. I tend to ignore a tweet if I find it unnecessary as I absolutely abhor confrontation, but I'm always RT'ing links to people's blogs and am involved on a writer's network where we RT each other's self-promotion tweets, it's all part of the job. But the banter definitely has ceased. On Saturday and Sunday nights right now, there is absolutely no point in going on Twitter if you want a simple chat. I love #scd but don't watch #xfactor, but I am a telly addict and love a good banter with the tv hashtags like #corrie and #eastenders.

    I've really tried to limit how many times I self-promote my book on Twitter these days because someone once said how utterly boring it is to see a stream of self-promotion tweets in their timeline.

    Something that is really irritating about Twitter these days is the competitiveness in it; i.e., people only following you for a follow back, and if you haven't followed them within a few days, they unfollow you. I find it a bit pathetic to be honest. Most of these people are of course marketing and self-promoting folk but still, I didn't join Twitter to read about someone's profits and how incredible they are at being a business person etc etc. And when someone DM's me their website address on automatic DM, I do tend to hit "unfollow"!!

    I do actually really enjoy Twitter even though I did have one on me today, like I do most days!!

    Thanks for the mention, flower,
    CJ xx

  2. Interesting. I don't know how tweeter used to be because I am quite new to it. I like it because I can chat with other mummy bloggers I relate to and that I also met at a event in London. Twitter to me feels like a home sometimes... I do promote my post sometimes and it is true I don't really number the times I promote my bog on twitter. I blog because it helps my mental state and then I discovered I like it. X

  3. I've always felt like an outsider on Twitter. I do talk to people on there but I feel like not really a part of things! (possibly just my self esteem issues that though!). I guess it does feel like shouting into a crowded room and the room are shouting louder, either that or I'm just invisible. I don't use it that much now because of that!


  4. I've only been using Twitter since April of this year so am not really aware of how it was before but I do use it mainly for chatting. I have chatted with some great people who I meet up with once a month and others who I am looking forward to meeting at the upcoming blogging conferences. I do know what you mean about excessive link posting though, I never post my link more than four times in a day, in fact four is my limit because otherwise the people who don't follow many people are just going to see it over and over again in their timeline which I wouldn't want. I alos hate needy tweets, I will never visit someones website because they have send me a DM asking me too. I guess that's the probelm with being involved with something from the start, it gets annoying when it all changes!


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