My Twitter Introspective

oh my god no way

Twitter … hailed as the buzz buzz social media buzz buzz marketing tool buzz buzz

But what is it really … I’ve no doubt its a great tool, its full of interesting people … its full of useful tidbits of information its full of the mundane .. “Drinking a coffee” / “I need a coffee” … its full of live news updates “was that an earthquake ??? #galway” … its full of the fake “oh my god XYZ just died” …

Its full of advertising “Thank you XYZ your product C was great” .. promotions “use twitter1111 now and save 10%” … support “you’ll want to check the config file in your root folder”

For me … its all the above and its also a HUGE time drain.

I am @Forbairt on there I use it mainly to chat with I guess the web dev community of Ireland and not to mention some great people I’ve met at the BTW’s and other events. I can quickly ping my hosting company @blacknight

I enter the mundane I enter in useful bits of information … respond to code requests and generally pull the piss.

Time Clocks

I also realise that I have coming up on 15,000 tweets on there. WTF!!! How on earth did that happen … I’m on it now since erm the end of 2008 … (not one of the first … not one of the originals … a pretender to the throne)

15,000 tweets you say hmm… I type fast … 40 – 80 words a minute … I can’t be exact some words are bigger than others and hence take longer to type. A tweet is what 144 characters long .. so that’ll make up a good 20 – 30 words ? without the dreaded txtspk. so a tweet will take me a minute to write give or take.

15,000 x 1 minute … = an hour or two no doubt … 15,000 / 60 mins / hour = 250 hours .. wow ok not an hour or two … 250 hours … only a … hang on there are 24 hours in the day (though as a freelance web developer I try to cram a few more in to make it an even 30) … Hmm 10 days you say give or take … no .. 10 complete days gone in the last year and a couple of months … and thats just entering in the tweets. O … K

I also madly enough … read other peoples tweets. I like to think I’ve it done in a rather sensible way.

I’m using the wonderful tweetdeck. It allows me to have multiple accounts. It allows me to sync between computers and most importantly for me it allows me to setup groups / columns.

TweetDeck column breakdown

I’m following 568 people I’ve 961 following me if I had one big stream of info I’d never get to see what I want to see so I’ve those 568 people broken down into groupings.

My main column I’ve got Friends / Persons of Interest … next over I’ve my Others Group (I certainly am original with my naming conventions) In here I’ve got my hosting company a few high profile web devs I follow and a few clients. Over from that I’ve my RSS feeds group. I’ve the Irish Webmasters Forum listed in here along with all the Tutorial Sites / Sitepoint and so on. I gave up on using an RSS reader a long time ago truth be told I never really got into it. Beside my RSS I’ve what it tells me is All Friends (everyone I follow) and beside that I’ve got Direct Messages and then come the searches (its my baby so I like to keep tabs on if its being talked about) and a few more searches.

My point is I’ve probably read a million tweets ? madness … probably not or probably more .. I’ve no idea .. but factor those into the equation of my 10 days of just writing the messages and erm .. *gulps* … have I just gone and lost a month of my time on twitter … oi WTF is that all about.

Life is passing me by one tweet at a time

What do I have to show for it ? well erm .. er … friendship is priceless isn’t it ? … they are my friends right ? .. ( actually a few are and I’ve gone for pints / meetups and its generally good craic) but what about the rest ? … erm. .. *gulps* … Has it brought me fame … power … WOMEN!!! … well if Tiffany69x is anything to go by then yes yes it has … If not then *gulps* … Has it brought me work. Well yes yes it has. It has not however brought me in 2 – 3 months of work and given my “overheads” again for want of better words … its a bit mad Ted!!.

la la la .. I’m not reading this anymore … la la la .. I’m not even writing it any more …. la la la.

I complain that I can’t write content … I complain that I lack the motivation to do content writing I seem to be capable of generating enough content right there. Again I’ll ask what have I to show for all this time on twitter. Well I’m now in charge of one of the biggest “Social Media Stud Guru Guy Coaching” Websites out there .. its had an immense impact on people. I mean look at Todd’s quote. Do I have an understanding of Social Media … Yes … do I need to step back … hell yes … I’ve just spoken about twitter here I’m also on … various other forums .. Facebook

If I say I’ve spent 20 days on twitter … thats 20 x 24 hours … 8 working hours in a day … thats potentially 60 working days gone on twitter.

La La La … I step back … for now at least and try to work on a few projects for personal development / mental gain / monitary reward

Please note: figures quoted were exact at time of going to press / All calculations are rough and with no scientific basis


  • Wow, that’s an impressive amount of time spent on Twitter. Now, add the time spent on Facebook and other social sites ……..
    Regarding Twitter, I tried Tweetdeck and Seesmic and find them wonderful, but I eventually went back to the Twitter website because I was getting to disturbed by the constant stream of messages sitting on my desktop.

    Shameless plug: I just launched a website for Les Français installés à l’Etranger . Maybe VA would like to join

  • Thanks for commenting :)

    Thats a scary amount of time actually :o

    Granted its all VERY very rough calculations … a tweet with LOL takes 3 seconds to write and send .. but you still have to read the other persons tweet. You are also distracted from work during it. I guess as a freelancer I’ve been using twitter as an outlet of sorts as I’m working from home. But I think its a rather expensive outlet even if my timeline is over exaggerated by 2 … its scary.

    I’ll pass the URL onto Valérie-Anne :)

  • I’ve been using twitter via tweetdeck for a few weeks now but I can’t seem to find a way to add RSS feeds? is there something I’m missing? or do I have to “hack the gibson”

  • NOOO! George don’t do it … don’t use the evil twitter :D

    Sorry my wording is a bit off I think I meant to say that I don’t really follow blogs as such, I don’t pull their feeds into any readers .. but I follow their accounts on Twitter which to me pretty much read as RSS feeds that I can snack from. I know that Michele has automated various forums on twitter as well via twitter plugins which I find very cool … its through the Facebook / Twitter plugins that I see whats happening over on IWF

  • hehee too late on the twitter thing, I had managed to go for almost 3 years without logging in but got curious recently and thanks to tweetdeck completely sucked in.

    Would love if tweetdeck could take my opml file as well though, so I could drop reader and have it all in one place, but then they’d have to rename Tweetdeck “ultimate time vampire” or similar :)

  • Once I clear up my task list and have worked on a few personal projects I’ll be back to Twitter no doubt (hell I might even be back next week) but I’m enjoying the time out. I’ve just been WAY too connected for a while now.

    I’m actually thinking of getting back into using google reader or something similar though suddenly you thrown in a few feeds and its madness again

  • @Phil We at Donkey Fluff can’t endorse commen…. oh wait :D

    Its gotten bad with the volume of experts on there .. really think its a case of being just WAY too connected. I do miss it but at the same time its just not productive time for me.


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