*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?