Left Coast Voices

"I would hurl words into the darkness and wait for an echo. If an echo sounded, no matter how faintly, I would send other words to tell, to march, to fight." Richard Wright, American Hunger

Archive for the day “March 28, 2011”

The Advantages of Twitter

I realize that so far in this series of threads, I have not actually cited Twitter’s advantages over other the other popular social media tools that are widely used today.

Tom Raftery used Twitter to search for a job. He also used Facebook and compared the two. His conclusion was that Twitter brought the quickest and most consistent responses and felt his Twitter network to be more engaged and responsive.

Jeff Glasson, writing for Social Media Today, suggested that this is because there are many things to do on Facebook beyond communicating with another person or persons. Helping a friend quickly and efficiently find employment just might get buried under a new game, revealing photos and avoiding vampire bites.

Twitter does one thing and it does it well. It is straight forward communication without bells or whistles. What seems to be the most important factor is the people you chose to follow. If they are players, connected, and motivated, you have a serious team to back you up.

Charlene Li points out that Facebook, whatever it subsequently became, began as a student platform. Business professionals claim to make up only about 34% of Facebook, but make up the vast majority of Twitter users.

I think there is a danger that we might generalize too much. Facebook has some serious, artistic and philanthropic uses, and Twitter is utilized for which commercial you prefer in the Superbowl.

What I have learned from this is to seriously consider who I follow on Twitter and with whom I spend time. Right now, it is still a mass of ### hash@@. I want something different from Twitter than what I already have on my blog, website, Facebook page, LinkedIn profile, authorsden page, and Amazon Author’s page. Otherwise it becomes just another social media site to maintain, another chore, another distraction from writing.

Any ideas?


Alon Shalev is the author of The Accidental Activist (now available on Kindle) and A Gardener’s Tale. He is the Executive Director of the San Francisco Hillel Foundation, a non-profit that provides spiritual and social justice opportunities to Jewish students in the Bay Area. More on Alon Shalev at http://www.alonshalev.com/and on Twitter (#alonshalevsf).

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