It’s been over a month since I first started making use of Google Plus. Yes, me, too!, I still can’t believe I have been there for that long already! But I am back to Twitter. I am back to making active use of one of my favourite social networking tools out there, where I have been spending a large chunk of time over the course of the last four years and counting. No, I haven’t given up on Google Plus either. Quite the opposite! It’s now my top favourite social software tool out there on the Social Web, as I tried to reflect on a good number of different blog posts over the course of the last few weeks; something that didn’t happen for plenty of other social tools out there when they first launched. So what’s happening then? Does this all mean that I will be using both Twitter and Google Plus, in conjunction, when a couple of weeks back I ventured to state that my days in Twitter were numbered? Yes, indeed! It looks like that’s what’s going to happen: for the next few weeks, perhaps months!, both Google Plus and Twitter will be walking along, hand in hand, for yours truly. Why? Well, for a good simple reason, to be honest, I want to get the best of both worlds!
Of course, who wouldn’t, right? Like I said, back then, when I was first getting started with making use of Google Plus, I ventured to state how my participation in Twitter would be diminishing to alarming levels in favour of G+, as I felt the latter was starting to become both my aspirin and vitamin for my social interactions, out there, outside of the corporate firewall. I still feel the very same way about Google Plus and how it’s taken over most of my external social presence from various social tools, over the last few weeks, but then again I still see great value in making use of Twitter itself, so I thought I would go ahead and share with you folks today how I plan to make them both work for me, specially, in the case of Twitter, since there have been a bunch of you who have asked me in the recent past how I plan to make use of it, now that G+ has got most of my attention.
There are three different use cases for which I still think that Twitter is unbeatable and would probably be hard to beat over the next couple of years. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that Twitter should sleep it over thinking they have won already. They haven’t. It’s just the rest of the social networking sites haven’t caught up with it just yet, but they will. Specially, Google Plus. So what are those three use cases that would still drag me into Twitter on a daily basis? Well, here they are:
- Immediacy: Indeed, this is, perhaps, one of the most powerful use cases for Twitter at the moment, as I have mentioned in a series of blog entries in the past, specially, when facing emergencies of whatever the kind, whether natural catastrophes or whatever else. There is nothing out there that would help you get up to speed with world events and be in the know just as Twitter does. It just works! And it does a wonderful job at it. So when things break loose and information gathering becomes of paramount importance, more specifically, in a rather short period of time, Twitter is probably as good as it gets. The killer combination of hashtags, Twitter Lists, Local & Global Trending Topics and the right social network(s) surely make it an essential tool to have, which is why ever since I switched over to Google Plus I have come to rely much more heavily on both Twitter Lists and hash tags to keep me in the know within a matter of seconds. Priceless!
- Information Density: This is also perhaps one of my favourite use cases for Twitter as well. Never thought that 140 characters, or less, would prove to be so useful. Indeed, compared to Google Plus, the amount of information, links, golden nuggets, inspiring insights, etc. etc. you get exposed to in a single Twitter screen / page would probably make it worth while all the way to stick around with it for a while. It’s something difficult to see work just right and scalable in other social networking sites. And, to me, the perfect ground to mine top-notch, best of breed content that I would want to give it, at a later time, a bit more of a permanent home rather through this blog or perhaps G+ itself, which is where the conversations are happening at the moment. Yes, indeed, Twitter has just transformed itself into an invaluable information provider that I can easily scan, filter, mine, utilise further to the best of my abilities to be in the know of what’s happening out there in the good number of topics I am interested in or passionate about.
Once again, in order to make it work for me I have decided to make a heavier use of specific hashtags (Like #socbiz #e20 #km #kmers #e2conf #cmgr #cmtybc and so forth) and Twitter Lists to make the most out of it trying to keep the noise at a bare minimum, so that signals keep popping up from all over the place.
- Mobile: In a recent panel I participated in, on the topic of Twitter, of course, I mentioned how perhaps the killer feature from Twitter itself, and, almost definitely, its bright new future may be aligned with the whole world of Mobile. No, I am not referring to the wonderful number of really good mobile Twitter Apps available out there for smartphones and tablets, but more along the lines of Twitter becoming an integral part of the Mobile OS, with the upcoming release, specially, of iOS 5, where the mobile user experience fully integrated with Twitter is probably going to take it into the next level. Just like we could send an SMS pretty easily, so will we, very soon, be capable of tweeting with the same ease of use, regardless of where we would be inside our smartphones. And since I have got an iPhone4 I can imagine how it would still keep dragging along my mobile use over time, specially, when I am on the road and would need / want to share updates quickly of what’s happening around me. Yes, the iOS App from G+ is a rather good v1, but I think it’s missing still a little bit on the Immediacy front I just mentioned above.
And that’s it! Those are the main three use cases for which I am still planning to make use of Twitter from here onwards. The rest of the conversation(s), never better said, have moved already to Google Plus, where I am having a great time connecting back with both my Twitter networks, where about 2/3 of them are already actively using G+, and with long time gone folks Twitter made me forget about, because of the silly Twitter API limits I talked about briefly a while ago. It’s never been so refreshing to have them back into my social streams and learning what’s been happening to them and what they are working on without having that feeling I am missing something, which was always lingering around in Twitter for a long while, as a technical limitation of the system itself not being capable of handling well the river of news. That’s all gone now! I can, finally, decide for myself, whether to dive right into the streams or whether let them flow freely and move on. Now, it’s my choice. Not Twitter’s any longer.
Which brings me to another key point I would want to share across to finish off this blog post, and which it is meant, specially, for those folks I used to follow in Twitter, but that I am not doing so any longer. At least, in the traditional way I have been doing over the last few years. Yes, that’s right. Ever since my conversations have now moved to Google Plus (See previous blog entries on the topic for more info…) and most of my Twitter networks are there already, I have decided to do some Twitter Hygiene, as my good friend, Marcia Conner would say, and unfollow all of those folks and move them to Twitter Lists, where I can still keep up with them all, but without having a cluttered timeline anymore.
The smart folks at The Next Web explained it rather beautifully just the other day under a rather insightful and engaging blog post under the title “Why unfollowing is a good thing and why you should make lists on Twitter“. It isn’t anything personal at all, since, like I said, I would still be in touch with them all rather through those Twitter Lists or through Google Plus itself, where they are already rather active engaging in a good number of fascinating conversations. It’s more about refocusing and reinvesting your time with both social networking sites without having to go and suffer from social fatigue or seeing multiple across the board repeated updates. Call it fine-tuning your social presence out there on the Social Web. I call it redefining a whole new experience where the conversation has moved into a better place to happen altogether and instead it’s left behind an amazing place to collect relevant and interesting content that will keep feeding those conversations for a long while.
So if you are one of the folks I have unfollowed just recently in Twitter, don’t take it personal; it was never meant to be that; it’s just that I needed to redefine my own social presence with the huge disruption of Google Plus taking place a few weeks back!, it’s now time for me to readjust and get the best of both worlds; so, if you would want to stay in touch whether on Twitter or Google Plus itself, do reach out to ensure we are still connected. It wouldn’t be the first, second, nor third time that Twitter may have played its silly game of unfollowing inadvertently without me or you noticing it. See? That’s one of the reasons why I have moved elsewhere, but, after all, fear not, I am still just one tweet away from you, my dear social network(s)!
Please, don’t be a stranger!