Impressions on the Social Age

Is Twitter A Step Back?

Posted in Social Media, Uncategorized by Trace on July 14, 2010

As social media becomes more and more accepted as “just plain media,” there are more and more tools and platforms to use this new social mediascape. In July 2006, Twitter launched to lukewarm fanfare, and gradually increased in popularity. As Twitter becomes the half-brother of Facebook – often mentioned as an aside – we start to study it for societal influence and opinion formulation. I love Twitter, I use it every day, every hour even, but isn’t Twitter a step backward?

What is Twitter about? It’s kind of like conversing on a train. It’s about sending information out into the public timeline and sharing that information with whomever wants to listen. You can talk to me, but random people chose to listen in, or shut you out, listening and creating their own conversation.

In comparison…

What is Facebook about? Facebook is like being invited to a private party. It’s about connecting a real person who has added interests, information, photos, purchasing decisions and using this as a digital representation of their personality. It’s like a suburban backyard BBQ, next to a shopping mall. I don’t even see the next party over unless I’m out looking for it, networking style.

Explained:
Why Trace, why do you say such horrible things about our little happy tweeting friend?! Bottom line, Twitter is a point to multi-point communication tool, not like Facebook. Ashton Kutcher can tweet at his 1.5 million followers who can re-tweet him and talk about him, but can they talk to him? Sort of. It’s possible, theoretically, but it assumes a lot on Ashton’s part.

Twitter isn’t about building a community necessarily, but it’s about talking and hoping you can get people to listen and share with you and share you stuff. It’s similar to a modern version of newspapers and books. You write it, send it to a bunch of subscribers and then they might share it with a friend (like a retweet) and then if they like it they’ll subscribe (follow) you too! It’s new school meets old school.

In closing I have some questions comparing Twitter and Facebook…

  • Can you share personal information with each other easily on Twitter?
    Sort of… if you’re following each other than you can direct message otherwise… you have to post it in public
  • Can you lean about the profile of the person who is tweeting?
    If they put it in their little bio then sure!
  • Does it make you feel like you’re connected with a person?
    Hell yes! Lots of people!
  • Does it create a personal conversation?
    Sometimes… see above… we can always @ each other…
  • Does it foster an engaged community?
    This is the question I’m want answered.

I’m not making a Twitter v. Facebook value judgement. They are both valuable, as Ashton wouldn’t want 1.5 million Facebook friends, but I am curious, does anyone else feel this way, or are they more engaged than I am? Do people mind conversing in a public space? Does Ashton actually respond (or care) about his followers?

I guess I’ll have to do some research next time I get some academic support… next time.

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One Response

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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Stephen Brown, Trace Dominguez. Trace Dominguez said: [NEW POST] Is Twitter A Step Back?http://wp.me/pV6s8-3e // #Twitter is like conversing on a train, vs. the private party on #Facebook. […]


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