15 Million Reasons Why Twitter Sucks…

Or does it?

Throw the question “What do you think of Twitter” to a room full of geeks and you’ll soon realize that Twitter’s one of those unique creations that you either love to death or just can’t stand hearing about. There’s no fence sitting when it comes to Twitter!

Recent suggestions that they just scored $15 Million in additional VC funding got me thinking – are these Venture Capitalists crazy or is there something in this thing called Twitter?

Here’s my take on it…

Twitter is nothing more than a waste of bandwidth, and here’s why:

  • You must be egotistical or insecure or both!

    Get over yourself. Nobody really cares about what you’re up to, or how you’re feeling, or what brand of jeans you just bought. Your Twitter pals are too busy typing their own BS to read yours. It doesn’t make you popular, it just makes you sad. Stop typing and get some fresh air!

  • It sucks you into a false sense of security!

    While you might think you’re having a conversation with a close group of friends, in reality you’re shouting out to the entire world. I’ve seen too many work colleagues and friends tweet something that has come back to bite them, and hard.

  • It’s a time waster!

    Just think about the valuable time you’re wasting twittering, setting up tiny urls, and watching others. You only live once. How else you could you spend those hours? What are you really getting out of it?

  • It never works anyway!

    Downtime – yeah we all know, Twitter is a message system trapped in a CMS. It’s widely documented the road twitters got ahead of them, and I hope they can turn it around. But nevertheless, if we had the sort of downtime Twitter does, we would have put a set of concrete boots on our sys admin and threw him in a river long ago.

Then I started thinking about the flip side. Perhaps there is something in this after all …

  • Granted, Twitter is one of the fastest ways to spread the word

    From the perspective of a Marketing Manager, there’s no faster way to spread the word and see what people think about your products. Just look at the pages of tweets for our current Photoshop giveaway. 10 times better than formal press feeds I’ve paid a fortune for in the past.

  • And it’s not all crap if you know where to look

    With a little energy, and the right group of people, you can tap into to an everlasting newsreel of stuff you’re interested in. What’s even better is you’re not stuck listening to the full story, you read the tweet, if you’re interested, go from there.

  • And let’s face it, there’s a voyeur in us all

    You can’t deny that dropping in on conversations can be fun, especially when they’re talking about someone or something you know well. It kind of puts you in a crazy left of centre perspective which I think is kind of cool.

So where does this leave us? What’s the future for Twitter?

Personally I think it’s a fad that will go away soon enough – something bigger and better is sure to replace it before they get their act together. But I can’t wait to see how they spend their $15 million. Imagine the parties!

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  • Anonymous

    I feel it’s a fad only in the same way MSN Messenger and Jabber fads – to a large extent, it’s just a different way of communicating, and a useful one at that, but definitely limited in scope.

    Granted, it took me a while to jump on the bandwagon, but I’ve come to appreciate that it is used by different people in different ways – I use it to broadcast and discuss things with a relatively close network of friends and acquaintances. I don’t go around following every mover and shaker – the main purpose for me is to nurture the weak social bonds. Two links that I think express this take on Twitter very nicely are Ambient Intimacy and Maxine on Henry Jenkins.

    But everyone uses Twitter differently – and most of the items in both lists above come down to the users, not the system.

    (These thoughts would be more cohesive if it wasn’t almost 2am where I am at the moment)

  • http://www.deanclatworthy.com Dean C

    I couldn’t agree with you more. I tried twittering but just didn’t see the point. Contrary to the web developer stereotype too, most of my friends ARENT in the industry so they’re not geeky enough to use something like that.

  • http://www.tyssendesign.com.au Tyssen

    With little energy, and the right group of people, you can tap into to an everlasting news real of stuff your interested in.

    I’ve been reading so much about Twitter lately and up until a few days ago never really saw the point, but I saw a screencast about ways to use Twitter which highlighted its potential to alert you to news that you might not find out about (or at least not find out until much later), so I signed up and that’s pretty much my main focus for using it so far.

  • Rikki

    As an avid listener to the TWIT network of podcasts Ive been blasted with Twitter speak by Leo Laporte, Scoble, Kevin Rose, Jason Calacanis and the rest of the technorati. There isnt an episode goes by without ego stroking from someone about Twitter this and Twitter that.

    I can see the logical reason to use it if you are unemployed and sit at home doing nothing all day, but what is the point in a 140 character byline about you running out of toothpaste – missing the bus – sleeping in – what topping you’ve got on your pizza …..

    From a PR point of view then yes its great, as is any way of getting your stuff out there. John C Dvorak uses it to great advantage to draw people to his blog which in turn makes Google adsense renevue. You and me? Why bother, think of the time you’ll waste and how you could use that for your own entertainment or better yet – to make money.

  • wwb_99

    I hope $14.9 of that $15 million goes into making it reliable. Not 5 9s, but something approaching decent modern standards would be cool.

  • http://www.domedia.org/ junjun

    Nobody really cares about what you’re up to.

    The simple fact that people subscribe to someones twitter should be proof otherwise,

    Your Twitter pals are too busy typing their own BS to read yours.

    I think this mostly describes your Twitter friends, not Twitter. ;-)

    While you might think you’re having a conversation with a close group of friends, in reality you’re shouting out to the entire world.

    False. Plenty of people, me included, do not make their twitters public. Surely you must know about Twitters privacy options?

    I’ve seen too many work colleagues and friends tweet something that has come back to bite them, and hard.

    This is their fault, not Twitters. Twitter can’t be held responsible for people not caring enough about their privacy to make their Twitter friends-only.

    It’s a time waster!

    This surely is a personal choice. For you it is a time waster, for me it’s not.

    What are you really getting out of it?

    I live in an area without a web dev community. Twitter helps me connect to the community outside of blogs and conferences. Alot of noise for sure, but helps me anyways :)

  • Anonymous

    I like how junjun completely ignored the second part of the article.

  • Douglas

    I used Twitter alot and have made a good amount of friends through it, have reconnected with some high friends and have gained a new fans for my blog. So I disagree with you on the “it sucks” part. Now there are some who use it incorrectly and they are the blight of Twitter but overall I think it’s a great idea.

  • http://www.sitepoint.com AlexW

    I can see a lot of potential in the service.

    They just need to develop a USB urine analysis tool to add to all the mindless activity reporting, and they’d have a perfect online parole system — saves people from having to report to police stations. Perhaps a locked wrist band device that emits a piercing siren if the wearer hasn’t documented a coffee or toilet break within the previous two hour period?

    Has to be money in that.

  • gusak

    junjun where some of that stuff that you post is true, is it not also true that if you want to get the word out about something you may be working on that you want to make some money on. I am not going to pretend to know anything about twitter, because as of now all i know has been posted above, but from a marketing standpoint you can’t get the best of both worlds.

  • http://www.magain.com/ mattymcg

    Love him or hate him, Loren Feldman hits the nail on his head with this video.

  • Kit

    I’m to much of a cynic to really understand what the point is, but I’ve never been all that into social networking in the first place. The mere fact that they are making money and people are using it is enough to convince me that there is some point of it.

    What’s the point of TV or movies? There really is none, people still do it and talk about it, nothing wrong with that.

    This blog post like so many other site point posts is like reading your average “Will Brad and Angelina get back together!?” article. I’m starting to wonder why I even subscribe when half the time you are just whining about social networking, it works get over it.

    What did I learn from reading this article? Nothing, at all.

  • http://garvinggarvin.com/ brainphat

    This reads like hater-speak. 3/4 reasons you state for twitter-suckiness can be applied to, oh, 99.999repeat% of all blahgs. Including mine, granted. Is “Twitter” just in the headline of this article to attract attention?

  • mpdesigns

    Twitter is a tool, not a trend, nor a fad. Just like Myspace and Facebook are tools. They help us connect. In the context of social tools, Twitter provides the lowest barrier in terms of commitment. Typing 140 characters is the only task you need to do in Twitter unlike other social communication tools, there are many other vectors of communication to manage.

  • http://www.geeee.net Geeee

    I’m a user of Twitter and in fact am a fan of social networks. I like twitter because it integrates smoothly with other networks (Like facebook) and I’m using it now to update my status through all networks or update my friends about my new blog posts.

    I can see that it gonna be a trend not only a website, cause recently I found another website that doing the same thing but in more attractive way which is (http://www.plurk.com/) online journal still under enhancements but it’s really cool and I think that many other websites will arise soon like (www.ping.fm)

    It’s nice, quick and simple way for sharing the news and updates quickly

  • Salient

    You would have to be a bit of a twit to use twitter … sorry it was sticking out like dogs thingies so couldn’t resist *sigh* I’ll get my hat and coat.

  • jayemes

    Shayne, your negative points about Twitter show how much you really don’t understand about it. (While I understand you should get credit for your positive points.) Let me explain myself:

    1) “Nobody really cares about what you’re up to, or how you’re feeling, or what brand of jeans you just bought.” Totally untrue. Some people (many people) do care about these things. Twitter really isn’t much different than blogging, only shorter. If this were true, there wouldn’t be advertisements on the sides of buses and taxis. The truth is, people do care what others think. Also, many people on Twitter aren’t talking about worthless things. (Hint: I found a link to your article on Twitter. Are you saying that was worthless?)

    2) “While you might think you’re having a conversation with a close group of friends, in reality you’re shouting out to the entire world.” Of course! That’s the point!! Duh! Twitter allows me to meet people that know my friends and reach out to them. That cannot be done easily through blogging. Twitter is more about social networking to me than blogging.

    3) “Just think about the valuable time you’re wasting twittering, setting up tiny urls” So what you’re saying is that my finding a link to your article on Twitter was a waste of time? Seriously? Many of the links I find to great design resources come from my Twitter friends. But besides the point, not everyone is going to be using Twitter the same. This doesn’t make them any less significant than me.

    While I do hope Twitter works out the bugs in the system, it hasn’t been so bad that I wanted to quit. I think your points are silly given the fact that I found your article on Twitter. Too bad you’re missing the boat on this one!

  • Curtis

    I used to use twitter some but never got the point of it all. Mostly people posting stupid crap. Case in point the top tweets now. http://www.tweetdujour.com

  • Anonymous

    twitter is garbage. end of story.

  • http://www.geeee.net Geeee

    I disagree with you ;D twitter never been garbage .. begin of the story :P

  • Kevin

    I also agree, twitter is for wussies that need social bandaging.

  • Gxhzjndf

    Myspace and facebook sucks because they too are also fads too too too too…..
    Let’s burn every highschool mediocres yes yes rap sucks

  • The Todd

    Be honest with yourselves twitterati, twitter serves no more purpose than letting ego-centric douchebags let you know when they crap. They may be geeks and tools, but they are still very ego-centric geeks and tools. Personally, I find people who think their crap is interesting, un-endingly boring.

  • http://www.mikehaydon.com mikehaydon

    Sounds like you’ve had a bad experience with Twitter. Maybe you should check out http://mediacaffeine.com/network/the-14-types-of-twitter-personalities/ (not related to me at all – just find it useful) and you’ll see that not everyone on Twitter is egotistical, insecure or both. That just happens to be a couple of the types of people that post to Twitter.

  • Opp

    I don’t have a facebook/myspace/twitter account but I have been on all 3 of them. Twitter by FAR is the worst. Myspace allows you to browse/search people easily. The option is right there and very easy to find, PLUS you don’t even need to sign in to do this. Twitter was HORRIBLE with this. You have to make an account to even get on the damn site, then you can’t even browse people. When you have facebook/myspace…there is ZERO need for twitter.

    My final take: Myspace is the easiest/best overall. You can browse your zipcode/school….or search people’s names and you’ll find them instantly. No need to even sign up, you can even browse people by age/race/realtionship status/body type. It is a simple site that allows you to decorate your page with themes, music and pictures however you want to.

    Facebook has a lot of flaws. You can’t even see anyone until you’re signed up to their freaking network. And even THEN that person might be on private. You cannot change your network more than once in 60 DAYS! You cannot join several network locations if you’re someone who travels/moved as a kid. Searching people takes forever if you already signed up to say, los angelos network…and you’re looking for someone in new york. Search goes in order to networks closest to the one you have. Facebook needs to STOP this network bullcrap right away. Do what myspace does…have a profile, put it on private or don’t put it on private. How SIMPLE is that? They also have a horrible picture setting. There are like 1000 different ways to look at peoples photos, and each section divides them up. It took me weeks to even realize my friend had more photos available because they were scattered in 100 different sections. There are only TWO things facebook has over myspace. One is, you don’t have to hear everyone’s obnoxious music playing every single time you click on their page like you do on myspace….and you have less random friend requests. Thats IT.

    Twitter has zero positives, and nobody is even on that damn site.

  • hamerdaemmarkl

    Is Twitter based in China?

    I must conclude it is after what I’ve been through.

    I got my account suspended. Why you ask? Because I criticized another user, because I had an opinion. What ensued was this person I criticized asking his thousands of followers to accuse my account of spam (falsely accuse). “Just send a message @spam with the name of his account” he told his followers, he added “If you do this for me, I’ll add you to my user following”. So far it’s clear I was dealing with a psycho but that’s ok, he’s free to be one. What mattered to me was getting Twitter to realize it did a mistake, the accusations were false and this was just a way to shut me up, a sort of bullying.
    By then I was already quite disappointed with the fact that Twitter suspends accounts automatically. I don’t know what the exact number is but if they receive a certain amount of complaints about an account, they automatically suspend it and only later check if they did the right thing.
    The Twitter sentence came: “In this case “impersonation” is the issue. Impersonation is against our terms of service unless it’s parody. The standard for defining parody is, “Would a reasonable person be aware that it’s a joke.””
    Yes a reasonable person would, there’s hundreds or thousands of “parody” accounts, people get it, they’re reasonable but I guess Twitter considers their users dumb.

    The only thing I could do in this situation was to create another account. Take in count every rule and it’s subjectivity so they couldn’t accuse me of anything. I did, but I continued sharing my opinions so the psycho (havidaemmarkl) repeated is scheme and guess what, a few hours later my account had been suspended. I couldn’t wait to hear what Twitter had to say. They deleted my first two requests for an explanation, what rule did I brake was my insisting question. Finally they replied:
    “You created an account. It violated our terms of service. It was suspended. You created another account. It, too, violated our terms of service; it also violated our terms of service by being created.
    You will not be reinstated on any account; if you create additional accounts, those will also be suspended.”
    Wow! Did they just say that? I had to read it a couple of times to make sure. Democracy out of the window and that’s that. If you can turn your followers against someone with fewer followers, they go straight out of the window like it happened to me, no questions asked.

  • http://www.rodrigoarthuso.com Rodrigo

    Twitter is useless, just for stupid geeks or teenagers with nothing else better to do.

  • Movershaker

    Twitter is for twats who like their ego’s massaged

  • HackTorz

    twitter is not for geeks, that is an insult to a geek like myself. Twitter is for PC lamahs, those with I.Q.’s under 60 and individuals who confused about their sexuality..