who’s on twitter?

If the first thing you thought of when you read that header is the 1940s-era Abbott and Costello routine, you, like me, have probably not fully engaged with the social media bonanza that is WEB 2.0 (insert sparkles). If I had a nickel for every time someone asked me whether I saw “those pictures” on facebook (answer: no), I could probably buy a steak dinner…in 1940, to eat while chuckling over “Who,” “What,” and “I Don’t Give a Darn.” Point is, I’m a curmudgeonly 31. But as our cross-country move draws closer, it has occurred to me that perhaps I should explore this “social networking” business for the purpose of not losing all my friends.

And while YOU GUYS, the six of you who occasionally stop by or subscribed to the RSS feed back when blogging was all the rage (OH, 2005) are of course my most beloved friends, I do feel a little like I’m writing in a closet here, my little dusty corner of the internet, plugged into nothing, connected to no one. And anyway, how will the advertisers of the world know what to send my way if I don’t provide them with some data to mine? How will the poor corporations survive if I don’t create some exploitable content?

So, I am trying to decide which of my social media alternatives are a) the best tools for keeping in touch with good friends and b) least philosophically repugnant. It’s a tough call. Everyone is on facebook, but it’s almost too crowded. Any updates I’m genuinely interested in get immediately drowned out of the feed by news from people I barely knew in high school, who* I friended promiscuously in the run-up to our 10-year reunion. A friend of mine (@ElAitch) convinced me to sign up for twitter, so I tiptoed into that big party yesterday. While Alton Brown is a riot—he’s dieting, apparently, and tweeting elaborate fantasies about hunting, killing, and mating with cinnamon buns—I’m not sure how many people I actually know are in the room. And I didn’t come to hang out with strangers.

*Does anyone else feel a little twinge of grammar guilt when they replace “whom” with “who” because only douchebags say “whom”? (Is this the sort of question that one tweets? (Is “one” any less douchy than “whom”?))

So where are you guys? Or where are you most inclined to explore? Should I just suck it up and do the twitter/facebook combo thing? Is ANYONE using Google+? Or is this whole thing just a giant circle jerk, and I should just call you on the goddamn phone?

UPDATE: I’d never shut down lulu—I like to hear myself think in long form. Just considering cross-posting options. And if you care to connect with my still-never-used twitter account, I’m @LesileHall (yes, that’s LesILE, just to ensure no one can ever find me; also there were already 12 LeslieHalls).

5 thoughts on “who’s on twitter?

  1. If you go with twitter considering leaving it public (just like your blog) so my RSS reader can crawl it. I use Google Reader all day long and abhor being forced to log into twitter and facebook

  2. If you begin twitting…er…tweeting, please don’t abandon your blog. Your sentence structure and composition skills can’t flourish in the twitty world. I would mourn the loss.

  3. (Oo, new look!)

    I say use Facebook. If you don’t want to see updates from the kid you sat next to in geometry, just remove them from your feed… I keep forgetting that G+ exists, Twitter is too hard to filter, and my massive RSS queue just depresses me.

  4. This strategy works well for me:

    1. Twitter is my “interest graph” – I follow friends who post interesting and content-rich stuff, people or businesses in local scenes who do work I want to follow (hello, baristas and microbrewers), and journalists/celebrities who cover beats I like (NBA journalists, Matt Yglesias as my one connection to political news, etc.). You do have to be aggressive culling your Twitter feed and being quick to unfollow someone who clogs your feed with worthless stuff. They are ruining your Twitter experience, which is actually a great way to get new information.

    2. My tweets are immediately cross-posted to Facebook so my friends and family can see what I’m up to.

    3. I’m on Facebook to connect with, well, everyone. It’s actually handy, especially if you’re networking in a new town or new job market. Example: a couple friends of friends want to work at the Brew and Brew when we open, and we were put in touch via Facebook. (And I will email your dad this weekend, I promise!) Me and Amanda also have big families, so it’s handy to stay in touch with them.

    4. Most of my Facebook time is spent responding to people who responded to my Twitter-cross-posted updates. Browsing the News Feed or whatever isn’t usually all that fun, but to make it even tolerable, this little button is key, as Clare said: http://screencast.com/t/RQX7tO6d.

    See? Simple! It actually does work really well, especially if you get Twitter on your phone. Great time-killer. And this Twitter lover would love to get a little update in his feed that you updated this blog, since I hardly check Reader anymore.

    Also, no one uses Google+.

  5. Thanks for the comments, everyone, and to Matt in particular for describing such a well thought-out strategy. I obviously didn’t even know I could control who shows up in my facebook feed, which makes it much more appealing. Brave new world, here I come.

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