Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Is Twitter doing any value addition to you?

Are we doing too much of social networking? How many different networking websites can we 'manage' to use? Specialised websites or 'One-Stop-Shop' ?
An average techie will be (atleast) using the following websites on a day to day basis:
  1. Office mail
  2. Personal Mail (Gmail / Yahoo)
  3. Blog (Blogger / Worldpress)
  4. Social Networking (Facebook / Orkut)
I wont dare to list all other web activities, one may carry out.. since there are lot many to metion if I attempt to do that!: Chat, tweet,photosharing ..etc
The question is : considering the fact that social networking not being the main or solo purpose of life , how much time can be allocated to such activities on a day to day basis with out affecting productivity (Or simply put, "Productivity = Performance in the job which is paying us" !)
Remember , there are still avenues for communication left which are inevitable; like personal meetings, telephone and SMS. A portion of available time shall be allocated for these activities also.

Companies like Google are coming up with a single user account for multiple services. Yahoo! also provide similar service, but not as good as the way Google does it! I am a Google user and I do like their approach. I have chosen Google as my preferred service provider for:
  1. E-Mail (Gmail)
  2. Chat (Gtalk or Chat inbuilt with Gmail)
  3. Networking (Orkut)
  4. Blogging (
  5. Photo sharing (Picasa)
Now with a single Google user ID , I can log in and use all these services! Amazing isnt it? Another thing which make it more exciting is, data sharing between Google Apps. Some one I have added in Orkut is accessible through Gmail and vice versa. In short Google is making social networking more easy and productive.

Now , I must agree that Facebook is far advanced than Orkut. It has developed itself as a robust platform.Features and applications are incredible. How ever , too many features may turn any application annoying. Thankfully Facebook provide great tools for managing features and applications.

Now, back to the Twitter business. What special Twitter is offering, which others dont ? What value addition it is providing to our daily lives? Are we using it just because its free and many of our friends got it?

The honest answer from me is Twitter is just another tool for status update/messaging and its not inventing anything! Status updation and notification is available in most of the platforms : Google & Facebook. I think Facebook offer the best 'Status updation' and feed in social networking industry. This make Twitter, just a 'Sub-Application' in social networking.

Take a look at status updation service in some of the websites, which I am using.

1) Gmail:
Very simple status updation. Links can be used and visible to any one who is in your 'Contacts' using Gmail / Gtalk.
2) Orkut:
Simple status update text box provided on the top pane of Orkut. Links and smilies are allowed. (Links are controlled by Orkut script, though). Published updates are visible to other buddies as given below:
3)Facebook :
The best status update available among all networking websites. There is an option for you and your friends to discuss on the update as well.
And it is presented in a neat & tidy manner. Take a look:
I am sure Google & Facebook guys can very well provide (I think they may already have) API's to transmit such feeds to other applications - most importantly - including mobile devises (Like iPhone).
I started using Twitter and started following a few. To be honest, I am not able to follow or read all the tweets. It is too much information which is piling up and i dont wanna spend all my time reading all these stuff. Personal messaging is the best way for me to reach people and if at all I wanna know what our buddies are doing , I can just check out their Google/FB account status update.
I am not against Twitter , but I just cant see any value addition from Twitter to my daily life. If anybody ask me what will I suggest for networking websites,my reply would be  "Building a common platform for data sharing (atleast status updates)".
Tech Gurus shall think about "Universal user ID's" which can be used to login to  mail application provided by any. Like 'Internic' a global body can be formed where master user login data is stored.
Possibilities are unlimited, its upto the innovators to get the best deal out of them!
Lets stay finger crossed to see what 2009 has to offer for the web arena!


  1. Thats one point of view :).
    I agree, twitter doesn't make sense/turn useful to many.
    But in your case, I've seen that you post from web and I know its simply boring, I would suggest you to try using a few apps twitter that stays with you, its faster & easier.

    Now, as you like facebook, you can set twitter to update facebook status, like did. And there are services like which updates many services in one go. :)

    Twitter, I believe, is not a service for just updating the status. Its much more, you'll realize if u start using it. Its like you're living with many people. Ask a ques. and get replied instantly. Although, there are many who use twitter for marketing and ego :/.

  2. Hi Sree,
    Thanks for the comment & the links.
    I think tiny desktop apps to control feeds is a great idea. I must confess that the info provided by you has made my stand on Twitter much softer!
    How ever I still dont know how people are going to manage such a huge chunk of messages. As you told "Its like living amidst many" .. but it can be annoying when there is so much noice & talk !!
    Every human being has got a threshold for reception. Also every one need a bit silence for atleast a short duration in our daily lives.
    Do you think Twitter is the right platform to get answers for questions and discussions ? I dont think so.
    What about forums,communities and new letters?
    What about blogs?

    The biggest threat with Twitter is its open-ness. You may not always be aware that you are being tracked.For example go to : , type 'sreejith_gce' and click 'Analyse' : Anybody can evaluate my Tweets / Twitter usage!!
    Horrifying isnt it? [Unlike google analytics which is more secure]

    Lets wait and watch how spammers and marketing freaks gonna approach Twitter for their benefits!

    It will be great if Twitter turns itself as a 'Status update manager' for all networking platforms. "" is a great idea and I'm gonna check that out!


  3. Hi Sreejith -

    Wow - are you really trying to keep track via the web with twitter? That must be maddening! I downloaded tweetdeck and that made twitterworld SO much easier to manage! Tweetdeck allows you to set up groups of folks you want to follow, cuts down on the noise, you get your @ messages and direct messages, and your twitter communications will be much easier to manage.

    I do agree that we need to be judicious in where we spend our time online - and believe me, twitter can be a HUGE time sink - but if you use a tool, instead of the web, you will find that you can better manage communications and then you can check-in during the day when you want to.

    Also, Jurgen did a post on how to manage your time on twitter that you might find interesting:

    Hope this helps!


  4. Hi Raven,
    Thanks for the comment and links.
    Even though I signed up with Twitter long back,it is only few weeks since I am active in Twitter world.Since I didnt pay much attention to it , I have not looked for Twitter apps. I was aware of existence of Twitter apps for iPhone.
    Time will prove the usefulness of this application as it emerges and people get used to it.
    It its nice to see some good efforts are underway to establish cross platform status updates.

  5. Hi Sreejith,

    Trying to follow everyone's updates on twitter could quickly make a person go mad. This in itself implies to me that twitter is by its nature very different from facebook.

    Someone has said that one needs to be on twitter for a while before the value and advantages become apparent. Sounds a little like the words of a drug pusher, no? From my own experience, I have to say that I would find it hard to imagine being without twitter at this point.

    What's it good for?
    * (as said above) Getting a quick answer to a technical question
    * Learning what others have to say about something
    * Helping others by answering questions
    * Sharing information that others might find useful.
    * Opening one's mind to the broader world
    * Making new connections

    As Raven points out, it is very helpful to have a personal twitter-time management plan in place.

    TweetDeck also is helpful.


  6. Hi Alec:
    Spot on! 'Drug Pusher' was a nice usage. I liked it ;)
    Can anybody in this forum tell me how its make itslef from a 'Public group chat'? Many Twitter desktop clients remind me a group chat in Gtalk or Yahoo...consider the direct messages as IM's and any way we use @ in uroup chats & forums !
    So is it any new? (well, I do agree with the enhancement in speed factor!)
    The only diffrenece I'm seeing is.."Anyone can see and Anyone can follow"
    Mobile phone was a large revolution and shift from the conventional landlines.. but howz twitter gonna prove itself as a revolutionary messaging concept..
    I wont accept simplicity and speed enhancement as a 'Shift' , btw.
    [Guys.. I am still in Twitter and playing the role of Devil's advocate here!!]


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