Twitter is for losers, why should “I” use it?

I still have a lot of people that I talk with on a daily basis that don’t get Twitter. They either think it’s for losers, find it confusing or just think it’s plain useless. Last night I had a conversation with a Social Media Buddy of mine who works for, let’s call it a well-known media company and we discussed Twitter, Digg and the possibilities of where social news networks and social media in general are headed.

Now you don’t see me flashing around titles and sales pitches calling myself a social media expert or any of that garbage. These are just my opinions that should have a little merit since I have spent a lot of my waking moments on social media websites writing and syndicating content through and around these networks.

In addition to that introduction, I know, the display of this information isn’t pretty. If you want something pretty, go to TechCrunch, Mashable or Engadget. I relate this to my feelings as I have done with SEO clients, it’s not always about being pretty, it’s about getting the job done and providing valuable information!

With all that said, enjoy the voyeuristic pleasure of being inside my conversation, sounds like Twitter huh? I censored out some private references, changed my Social Media Buddy’s name to SocialMediaBuddy, but I have left most everything else in tact. I hope this helps convey why some of you on the fence should probably start actively using Twitter.

(Quick note: Some of you may be scratching your heads when you read this. Please understand that this discussion of Twitter is really from a PR, Internet Marketing, content distribution & syndication viewpoint. Twitter is wonderful for many reasons, this is one niche.)


SocialMediaBuddy: Joel Upvote (Please hit the pic first) :-)
(Censored Reddit Title / Reddit Link)

thanks for the help Joel
hope you are good
Sent at 12:33 PM on Thursday

Gotcha man.
Sent at 12:40 PM on Thursday

thanks man
how’s your life going?

SocialMediaBuddy: hey Joel may I ask for some Diggs?

Joel: F*** no, I hate digg.

SocialMediaBuddy: HAHAHAH
but you looouuuve me :-)

Joel: I don’t use digg man. Period.

SocialMediaBuddy: okay :-)
all good joelle
spanish pronunciation

Joel: They’ve banned me twice when I had 69 frontpages so really, not going there anymore. :P

SocialMediaBuddy: :P

Joel: You’re promoting on Digg now too?

SocialMediaBuddy: all good

Joel: Tisk tisk, playing w/ the dying devil. :P

SocialMediaBuddy: ha
I’m just sending it out to a few peeps before I hit the hay :-)

Joel: Sweet. have a good sleep yo.

let me know if there is ever any damn thing I can do for you
but it seems like you HAVE a life
so I won’t expect it :-)

Joel: Nah, LOL, I just hustle it a different way, I let it either go or not. Using Twitter a LOT… probably too much.

I’ve started to use it more
if I were to ask you to retweet stuff – would you think about it?
(always looking for the angle)

Joel: Maybe, but I don’t RT stuff when ppl don’t RT my stuff, so the answer is actually no UNLESS  I find it good personally and worthy of people’s eyeballs.

ah cool
I feel the same way
but please ask me :-)
I want to feel like I do something for you.

Joel: Hehe. You crack me up.


Joel: I’ve pretty much got out of the “request hustle.” It just makes my day stressful.

yeah I hear that
I’vve got to cool it
this thing just gave me a hard on

Joel: hehe, dang man… I totally have to agree. I had no clue they were making such an amazing Star Trek. …. by JJ Abrams. Damn!
I’ll actually drag my ass out and see that without a doubt, looks awesome.
In reference to the hustle… it works a lot better on Twitter.
You just RT ppls stuff and they yours, no asking and all that.

that’s the way to go

(some private stuff censored here)

SocialMediaBuddy: can I steal your followers :-)

Joel: You can steal anyone’s followers, that’s the beauty of Twitter.

SocialMediaBuddy: yeah good point :-)
okay I’m going to do it now :-)

Joel: I thought you might take a 2nd look…
Join me on the journey to social media orgasm. :)

SocialMediaBuddy: haha
I would follow you anywhere
(removed a lot of talk of, new Twitter site being implemented etc.)


Here’s an article I wrote on the GOOG and Twitter a couple days ago…
You don’t have to actually read it, but you might want to install the nifty little greasemonkey plugin. :D

looking for the greasemonkey plugin
you got me kinda excited
where is the greasemonkey plugin

Levar Burton has 81,000 followers
and he has a tattoo


Joel: Yeah, I’ve checked him out quite a few times. :)

Reg is at 45,000
so this is the future huh?
just talk at me :-D

Joel: Twitter levels the playing field. It brings equilibrium to the social media industry. It eliminates (for the most part) typical social media spam because it’s decided on a conscious decision whether you follow someone or not. If you can’t stand the person you don’t have to follow them. The true secret of Tweetdeck though, is that you can follow anyone and still filter them out.
Reddit, Digg, Mixx, Propeller, StumbleUpon etc. have lag times of 6 – 36 hours in transmission of content to the masses. On Twitter, if it’s powerful information or breaking, it will spread within mere minutes to an overwhelming saturation point.


Joel: Twitter frees information for all to see by removing stupid algorithms to decide, removing biased moderators to censor and allows the information to flow squarely on the merit of it’s true value.

can you give me an example – a story?
that shows this?
(makes sense by the way)

Joel: Well the big examples are what’s made Twitter get to the point it is at today. Plane crashes, car chases, fires and disasters… these all have been covered and reached “breaking” status touching thousands of ppl in only minutes where on social media sites, it takes at least 6 hours.
You can test it yourself, find a story you know will be hot submitted on a social site (an old school one) then plug the title or bits of the keywords into Twitter search and see how many mentions it has already. Then, sit back and watch in real time the story develop on Twitter w/ it’s real-time search feature.
I might use our conversation as a blog post…. hehe.

SocialMediaBuddy: ah
maybe it might be good not to identify me
as it makes me look like a big dummy doofus
God forbid they should know the truth.

Joel: I definitely won’t identify you! :D
We’re all goofs man, I didn’t know shit about Twitter 2 weeks ago and I didn’t care to either.

I have been simmering under the surface with it
starting to see its viral power in terms of helping with digg

Joel: That’s why a lot of social media addicts come to Twitter, however, Twitter will replace Digg without a doubt. Ends to a means. People come to promote their Digg stuff and then learn that Digg becomes old school when they see the instant exchange on Twitter. Digg will still have it’s place probably for the next few years but honestly…? It’s like an old stuffed animal in the attic.

that’s tough for me to hear….
because it’s become my bread and butter.
such a tool to bring page views
(don’t know if I want this part in public)
very private stuff here

Joel: Twitter can feed Digg though. You can still get your pageviews from Digg but Twitter will be the stream of information that flows into Digg’s crappy algorithm, bias, censoring and power users.


Joel: Let’s not jump to conclusions, I’m talking about a few years here. Digg is not disappearing, in the U.S. alone it still has 35.4 million unique views a month. Twitter itself only clocks in at 5.9 million unique views a month in the U.S. There is a major discrepancy here however. Twitter cannot be measured in the same context as an “old school” social media site because of it’s fantastic API and 3rd party products.

tinyurl, etc.
it hardly shows up in my metrics
but I KNOW it is moving more people

Joel: Twitter doesn’t have a single frontpage. Twitter’s frontpage data is aggregated from hundreds of sources using hashtags, keywords, retweet statistics, power user mentions and link and source rankers. I haven’t come up with an accurate way to calculate Twitter’s reach yet… I’m sure at this point only Evan knows this information which is why he is so tickled when ppl ask about his business model and competition from other sites like Facebook.
Your stated concerns that Digg is your bread and butter are probably industry wide in the social media circle. However, I don’t see the need for worry as long as information, stories and content you are promoting is the source. Who cares how the information is shared with people as long as it gets done.

I can see that is possible

Joel: My point is this, people often steal tweets on Twitter. If you have a great one, they will take your source link, remake a new link (another shortener etc) and Tweet it as their own or they’ll go to another social media site like Reddit, Digg, StumbleUpon, Mixx (you get the point)… then they submit or broadcast… but if you’re the source of information… all their theft is doing is promoting the source. So in this thought, unique content rules in the viral distribution model.
The problem of “dupes” on sites like Digg becomes irrelevant at this point. Enter the power of Twitter and the future of social media.

holy shit
well – what about facebook and its coming changes?

Joel: Facebook is making wonderful changes. They’re just proving that Twitter’s model is the future. Duplicating a business model is the best compliment one can have. :D
Facebook could possibly steal the show but somehow I don’t see that happening. Just as no one has ever really stolen the online auction show from eBay (because they were first) … well truthfully there was one little site that took the rug from under eBay… it was Then eBay saw it and tried to compete with and alas, the 1st on the scene still prevails. Kijiji will never be able to compete with Craigslist even with all of eBay’s corporate dollars pushing it.
My point is… if Facebook is going to win in this instance, they will have to build a better mousetrap, innovate beyond Twitter, not just copy them, just like shook up the business model of eBay, they just gave it away.
Facebook has the biggest weapon of all really though, users and worldwide adoption. Twitter is still new. However, if Facebook thought it was “in the bag” for them, they wouldn’t have tried to buy Twitter.

when did they do that?

Joel: Twitter has developed into quite the international sensation too though. It’s just a horse race at this point. In terms of users Facebook is winning… but really the sites are just too different to compare. Twitter is more sleek and lean at information transmission, Facebook is a big social smorgasbord. Twitter really just compliments Facebook or enhances it. It would be in Facebook’s best interest to adopt Twitter into their model or try again to buy them with Microsoft’s money. :D

a lot ot take in

Joel: A good cover on how Facebook failed to buy Twitter can be found here:
Well, I certainly think I’ve blabbed too much. I’ll shut up now. Quit thinking about Twitter and go jump in the pool. :D

Ima go to bed
take care man and thanks for letting me into your world a little :-)

Joel: Haha, no worries. See ya in Twitterville!

OH wait – before you go….
what about the revenue generation!
don’t leave!
twitter doesn’t have any

Joel: We’ll talk about that another night! :D

well just say one little thing about it
it’s pretty important!
just anything

Joel: Business intelligence, brand protection / promotion, brand surveillance and contextual sponsored integration (stealing from Google’s model with a most likely innovative twist).
SocialMediaBuddy: okay – explain more to me another night — take care Joel :-)

Joel: You too. Night!

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7 Responses to “Twitter is for losers, why should “I” use it?”

  1. Posts about Engadget as of March 6, 2009 » The Daily Parr said:

    [...] : eyes-on originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 06 Mar 2009 15:06:00 EST. Please see our terms Twitter is for losers, why should “I” use it? – 03/06/2009 I still have a lot of people that I talk with on a daily basis that [...]

  2. run said:

    “the star trek trailer gave me a hard-on”

    This article was to disprove that Twitter was for losers correct? hahaha! maybe you should have edited out that part too my friend…

    I can’t say I truly agree with the ideas here. Twitter is a niche product for web-addicts that rarely leave cyberspace and see little reason to leave it. If you get on facebook as an example and their new adoption of the twitter format, you can see the massive distaste for the change to this new format.

    You may be right, but I think the general consensus on twitter is that it’s mostly useless unless you’re a web-addict who needs to promote things in order to drive traffic… in effect, it may become a social media circle-jerk for lack of a better term. I think of old-fashioned link exchanges when I read your conversation… I don’t find it very forward thinking, I find it somewhat retro. A new paint job on an old idea.

  3. joelmackey said:

    Hi Run,

    Thanks for your comment on the blog post. I do find it a little comical that you suggest I should have censored or edited part of the conversation. Maybe you do that crap on your blog, but here in my zone, I expose people that pull that kind of stuff.

    I’m finding it really hard to believe you hardly know what Twitter is from that statements that you make. Twitter is a niche product? 1,380% growth in one month is not niche, neither is mainstream adoption. Whether the mainstreaming of Twitter is a good idea or not could be debated but the fact that it is going mainstream is not debatable.

    You are 100% correct that the Facebook theft of trying to be Twitter is completely horrible. Facebook has lost their voice for the time being and will realize people were on Facebook for a more diverse type of social networking. This has no bearing on the success of Twitter or whether it’s useful or not.

    Please pull your head out of the sand and quit using your opinions as, “general consensus.” If you would just read the news or look at the traffic numbers you’ll see you’re sadly mistaken. Whether you find me forward thinking or not, I don’t really care, I’m just bearing to all my ideas and thoughts of the movement of social media.

    With all that said, thanks for stopping by and giving us all a laugh. I love counter-idea and you and I would clearly have them all day long. :)

  4. spank said:

    I agree with RUN. Twitter is a mile wide and 1 inch deep. 10% of its users produce 90% of the posts. Its digital diarrhea of the mouth.

  5. john said:

    SocialMediaBuddy: hey Joel may I ask for some Diggs?

    Joel: F*** no, I hate digg.

    SocialMediaBuddy: HAHAHAH
    but you looouuuve me :-)

    Oh My God. You are a winner. Wow what an in-depth conversation. I didnt waste my life reading most of it, because its useless. I found your web hog page by Googling ” I hate Twitter” Because I hate people who believe that “social media” is social at all. It is not. Nor are you. GO OUTSIDE

  6. coach said:

    Oh My God. You are a winner.

  7. flux said:

    now i know what twats do instead of anything useful with their lives. thanks for the insight.

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