Is Twitter all That?



I use Twitter every day, but being I have about a million other things to do, like work! I do not have time to follow the ever updating stream of information. Sure I take a look 3 or 4 times a day but I do not live on Twitter.

Some have made the argument that because of Twitter and Facebook, that RSS and RSS Readers specifically are dead. I find this ridiculous because in the world that I live in, along with the 6000 people we represent, without RSS we would be out of business.

Most of the luminaries saying this are individuals with significant influence in the online space. They are often privy to information before the news even breaks, and have significant online followings. Robert Scoble is one of many that has been on the RSS is dead campaign I like Robert and respect his opinions, one thing for sure he obviously has significant connections in the valley. Could his influence and connections be skewing his perception about how important RSS and RSS Readers still are? Not all of us live in that circle of influence. Robert attributes Twitter as his primary source of news and information.

The question to ask is how is he getting that info. I have 5k followers, and only get 1 or 2 direct messages a day. So from my perspective news and information is not coming from the followers maybe this why he made the following statement. Robert made it clear in a recent blog post about the new Twitter design that he could care less about his followers.

This is shocking out of context, but when you read what he has to say about the new design, Robert says it does not do enough to improve the functions of lists. Robert has a number of lists, those lists is where he gleans most of his news and information. That information is largely from those that “he” follows not those that follow him. So what he is saying without saying it, is to only pay attention to those you follow and ignore the rest. Which in my conclusion is why he says he could care less about his followers?

We all know the volume of chatter on twitter is staggering and impossible to keep up with, I follow a lot of people largely because they follow me, maybe I have been using Twitter incorrectly. For me it’s too time consuming to build lists, if there was a easier way to really separate the wheat from the chaff, then Twitter would become more valuable to me.

I like Twitter, but it is not my main source of news and information. I get that from a handful of websites and about 1000 other unique blogs I follow in Google Reader. Google Reader gives me one thing Twitter is not able to do. Google Reader guarantees I will not miss something while I have been working, and I can look back at the days news and get my self caught up. I react like everyone else about the big news events. But I still like to dig around in the weeds for the rest of the story.

Until twitter finds a way to feed me a steady stream of info that I want without a lot of hassle, then the RSS Reader will continue to be my daily source of news and information. 140 characters is never enough. Twitter will never replace blogs if you think it will try and grab a tweet you made 2 years ago off of Twitter.

About geeknews

Todd Cochrane is the Founder of Geek News Central and host of the Geek News Central Podcast. He is a Podcast Hall of Fame Inductee and was one of the very first podcasters in 2004. He wrote the first book on podcasting, and did many of the early Podcast Advertising deals in the podcasting space. He does two other podcasts in addition to Geek News Central. The New Media Show and Podcast Legends.


4 thoughts on “Is Twitter all That?

  1. I would venture to say that RSS is the backbone of relevant information for the majority of bloggers, who use it to filter results from SERPs and independent research on social media clients, including Twitter lists.

    Even if you find what you’re looking for through direct keyword searches on Twitter, you have the current limitation you indicated, the limited timeline. I’m a definite fan of the service, but being able to go back less than a month for tweets means you’ll have to continue to use other clients or search engines to get enough information to learn and respond with any reliability.

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