Twitter Me Not

The other day a former student sent me a message. More accurately, I received the message that “[name of student] wants to keep up with you on Twitter.”  I deleted it.  I have nothing against the smart, hard-working student who caused the message to be sent.  I have zero interest–I have negative interest–in keeping up with anyone or anyone keeping up with me on Twitter.   This is not my inner Luddite emerging.   No one I know and no one I want to know is so interesting that I care to consume their intermittant tweets.  This spring  I asked my Internet law students whether they used Twitter.  Perhaps a quarter raised their hands.  Most of them use it to keep up with news stories.  I get that, but see no value in adding 140-character Twitter snippets to the stream of email alerts, RSS feeds, and other info sources I receive now.  I understand why marketers embrace Twitter’s ability to connect them immediately to a dedicated and interested audience.  I understand why celebrities tweet to their fawning fans.  I do not see Twitter every being part of my communications arsenal.  I don’t see the there there.

I’m not alone.  I posted snarkily about Twitter’s mediocre retention rates–6 of every 10 new users stop using it after 30 days.  I read yesterday “the median number of messages a Twitter user sends–ever– is one.”  (emphasis original)  Ten percent of Twitter users send 90% of the messages.  The Harvard Business School study responsible for these findings concludes Twitter “resembles more of a one-way, one-to-many publishing service more than a two-way, peer-to-peer communication network.”  Twitter is great for consumer companies, politicians, celebrities, content providers, or others with something to sell.   It is not a revolutionary tool for communication by plain old folks.

2 thoughts on “Twitter Me Not”

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