I am interested in content ( and yes, I would definitely fail the famous test of "can you sustain a conversation without saying I for the first 15 minutes" :-)). But seriously, I find that what makes Internet essential to everyday life is not its ability to connect people with people: heck, if I want that I have a phone, a pizza joint around the corner and, soon, a cute dog who will act (my not-so-secret hope) as a casual conversation magnet in parks. So I use Internet to get content (direct consequences: I don't get too depressed over nor having gazillions of comments, don't mind that followers on Twitter rank me as minus twithoritarian - mix twitter with authoritarian and get that - and persist in my pigheadedness to write just English).
I have recently started an experiment with my Twitter account called Bogdana's 12 (yeah, yeah, I'm arrogant, so sue me or unfollow me). Basically I used to follow very few people but now I only follow 12. The criteria are simple:
- not excessively many tweets a day (Scoble was driving me insane with his 20tweets and second)
- only useful info
- only relevant info
- only useful and relevant retweets
I have been doing this for the past couple of weeks and have ended up with a 12 consisting of BBC, the Guardian tech, BBH Labs, Stefan Liute, Bobby Voicu, Johnny Vulkan, Noah Brier, Cristi Manafu, Johan Ronnestam, Christophe Cauvy, Iain Tait, Faris Jakob. Pretty much the dream line-up, you would think: I mean you get tech and digital info live from the first two, culturally revlevant tech info from the third, design and comms design from the last four, Romanian community info from the three Romanians, a branding perspective, and group information from the boss, Mr. Cauvy.
The thing is that a while back I was writing that Twitter was for community, expression and social network. Obviously, I had forgotten information, and this is where it all started to break down. With my optiumm 12 following, I find that Twitter has in fact become an RSS reader and I use it alternately as a source of info to Google Reader. I interact less because I read mostly about interesting facts which lead me away from Twitter on other pages and not deeper into the conversation. I write less because what I read about I feel I should not react to since it was already tweeted by someone else, and also, faced with such decent and informational tweets, I find that my personal frustrations seem petty and so I censor them.
So, I have a dilemma? Has my desire to contain trivial social interaction on Twitter actually defeated the whole point of it?
I think I will continue with the current Bogdana's 12 for another week or so and then try to ad more local netwroking Twitterers to the mix. Somehow all work and no play makes B an overwhelmed digital inhabitant.
communication is essential to business making and it involves more than the ability to name your product, write a tag line or a press release. It's an intricate, rational and scalable effort and, let's face it, not anyone can do it.