Stan Schroeder wrote a piece on Mashable questioning whether the popular micro-blogging service, Twitter should be used for anything important. He writes, “Here’s a simple rule: if it’s important, don’t say it on Twitter. If it requires a response, don’t say it on Twitter. If you actually care whether anyone will see what you’ve just written, don’t say it on Twitter. Twitter, however fun it may be, simply isn’t designed for it.” Sorry, I don’t agree.
Although Twitter can be addicting, I don’t see it as “fun” so much as it is useful. If I want to have fun online, I’m going to do so watching funny or interesting videos or playing games – not Twitting. Therefore, I really think it depends on the crowd that you are involved in. I use Twitter to keep up on tidbits from people’s lives, ask questions, answer questions, post interesting stuff I find, highlight new blog posts I have written and beg for social media votes (Digg, Sphinn, etc.)
When I post something on twitter, I expect at least some of the almost 400 people that are currently following me to listen and possibly respond. Many usually do. When I Twitt someone directly (using the ‘@’ symbol before their name), I expect them to respond. If they don’t, I will stop following them.
Stan points out that Twitter is lacking in that it doesn’t let you have a threaded conversation or choose recipients or organize your friends into groups or have a private chat session between a few friends on Twitter or even send files. While that may be true, I still find Twitter useful. Maybe they will even add such features in the future as Twitter continues to grow and discovers how to monetize itself.
Now, true I am not likely to try to communicate with clients on Twitter or keep up with friends and relatives. I’m not going to try to micro-blog a conference live as I have seen some people do (this annoys me) or waste people’s time posting silly stuff like “I’m driving to work.” However, I do find Twitter useful for quick communication and I do expect people to listen to me. After all, I’m listening to them and responding when necessary.