I have been actively engaged on Twitter for roughly twenty months. During that time I have met some interesting folks, and had some fun. I also learned a lot about people, social interaction, marketing, network complexity, and myself. But no longer.
The experiment is now over
Before detailing the underlying reasoning, I’ll draw the sketch: between consuming RSS feeds – which I do several times a day during the work week – and keeping track of social network updates, it was just too much. In addition, many of the networks give users the ability to syndicate content from one service to the other – as I was connected to many of the same users on multiple networks, a significant amount of the information being delivered was redundant. I couldn’t tell whether my memory was failing or I was experiencing digital déjà vu.
I put a halt to my own content redistribution efforts soon thereafter – yes, I was guilty of the same. After that, I reduced my own mobile access to those networks. It afforded me more time to think, as well as enjoy the moment versus broadcasting details of the experience.
Shades of The Tipping Point
Nobody can be all things to all people, but we try nonetheless. Generating ideas, passing them along, and selling them once they turn valuable take different skill sets – meanwhile, I think technology has, in many respects, enabled the compaction of The Law of the Few. There seems to be too much effort being distributed amongst all three pursuits.
I never had many followers on Twitter – I just didn’t have the time nor inclination to try amassing them. The effort ran a high risk of failure, and I don’t think it would have been particularly profitable either. The accounts with power/influence on Twitter are either media/Hollywood/music/political personalities, are giving away high-ticket items every so often, or are a brand with a PR department doing the tweeting for them. I am none of those, and I’m not particularly fond of crowds either.
So I made some friends, and enjoyed the conversations. Meanwhile, I believe I spent less time formulating my own opinions about subjects I am curious about, and more time simply distributing the ideas of others. Little value added, but all too easy.
For some odd reason, my account was never included in Twitter’s search index. I’d heard about other people struggling over this issue, but I didn’t see the point. I had no intention of being discovered. Then there was the deletion of mentions. Yep, one day all the previous mentions of my account name disappeared. I’d used those mentions for reference – who I was conversing with, for what reason, and when. The mentions didn’t return, and the service became a lot less useful to me. Again, I didn’t complain, mostly because Twitter is free.
First, I deleted all the content. Twitter has already sold it to search engines and given it to the Library of Congress, but what the hell – I created it, so why not? The information contained within was time sensitive, and mentions were not doing anything for anyone’s search engine optimization. As for direct messages, I deleted those too – I’ve since been informed that they have disappeared from others’ inboxes. For that I apologize.
Still, I greatly appreciate the relationships I developed, both business and personal, and realized I didn’t need to give them up. I’ve found most everyone I followed on Facebook, and reconnected there. The account is still following a few people I couldn’t dig up – mostly business/technology related. I suspect they are on LinkedIn, and I’ll be getting around to it forthwith. The next chance I get, I’ll likely go back through remaining followers and do the same.
Thanks for the good times.
MG signing off (sans one social network)