Weekend Open Forum: Do you (still) Twitter?

By on February 12, 2010, 8:36 PM
From the early days of the blogosphere, there's always been a fashionable Web company everybody seems to love talking about, justifiably or not. In most cases we've tried to steer clear from these trends, like with Twitter, giving the Web service its fair share of coverage while remaining skeptical on its long-term viability as a standalone product.

Regardless of our opinions, it remains a fact that Twitter has experienced tremendous growth over the last couple of years, surpassing every competing social network except for the two monsters that are Facebook and MySpace.

Depending on who you ask, you might be told that Twitter is used for personal micro-blogging, as a promotional tool, RSS reader replacement, as a live search engine, among the many other uses people have come up with for the 140-character messages.

However, it's no coindidence I'm asking you about Twitter this late in the game. Despite its popularity, Twitter seems to suffer from poor retention rates. Users often discover it and find the concept appealing enough to register an account, only to drop it a day, a week or a few months later to never come back. This happened to me and is happening by the thousands, so we ask you, do you (still) Twitter?

Feel free to share your account in the comments, and let us know what your thoughts are on the platform as a whole. Discuss.

PS: TechSpot's Twitter (our news headlines in real-time) / Julio's Twitter (almost never updated ).

User Comments: 37

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Matthew Matthew, TechSpot Staff, said:

I found the premise to Twitter somewhat appealing and registered a while back. I wound up not using the service at all -- not a single person followed or following. In fact, I don't even remember my account information.

I think I registered to funnel information from useful or interesting sources, but after looking around I realized there's far more junk being exchanged than anything of true value -- at least to me. If you're fascinated by what actors eat for lunch then all the power to you.

For the record, I've never been especially interested in social networking sites. I made my first MySpace account a little over a year ago, and deleted the profile less than a week later.

While I like the thought of having a group of contacts conveniently contained in a single infrastructure that facilitates the sharing of media and knowledge, social networks simply don't work that way -- or so it seems from the outside looking in.

From what I've seen, most people just clutter their pages with seemingly unrelated videos, music, images, games, glitter effects, animated graphics of Betty Boop, and the results to inane quizzes. It's MTV meets the Weekly World News on crack.

Also, "friends" are often added on a whim or with a marketing agenda, and some people have hundreds or thousands of "buddies" on their contact list that they'll never interact with.

I'm probably oversimplifying all of this, and really, it comes down to how an individual utilizes the service. However, I'm inclined to believe that most social network activity is nothing but noise -- noise that I happily live without.

/bitter rant

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I've never twittered although I have an account. Twitter is an incredible dysfunctional application that seems to attract only sports and movie "superstars" and their minions who are so starved for attention (and frankly stupid), that they can only come up with 140 characters to promote themselves.

For Matthew, I don't think you oversimplified anything. It's a piece of crap intended for the utterly simple minded and clueless.

tengeta tengeta said:

I went to a twitter profile once. By mistake. I have not once used the site and have no plans whatsoever in the future to consider otherwise.

For those that do use it, enjoy. I guess.

mrtraver said:

I use it to get updates from my kids' school, so i know when a game is canceled, etc. But that's about it - i've got nothing to say on there.

codefeenix codefeenix said:

I dont tweet, but i check it a few times a week.

newegg sometimes tweets deals.

There is the LHC and their updates.

Timonius Timonius said:

Never have, never will.

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I've never bothered to visit twitter / myspace ...... visited uselessbook or whatever it is called only once and that was that for me. Its total wastage of time in my view and is for the kind of people who may grow mustaches for charity or have nothing productive to do.

treeski treeski said:

I'm a big fan of Facebook because it allows me to keep up with people that I otherwise wouldn't be able to. But I've never found a big attraction to Twitter, and as is, I can't see myself ever signing up.

Guest said:

Twitter sux. I always thought it was overrated.

Clrabbit said:

Never twitted, I didn't like being confined to 140 characters, I have gotten into Google buzzing sense I can post images and just use it as a mini personal blog.

spikester48661 spikester48661 said:

NO WAY! but I will face book a little.

BlackIrish said:


You nailed it!

I can only see possible usefulness for Facebook/Twitter if you have long distance relatives and want to stay in contact and not pay huge phone bills.

But still, Skype would be a much more elegant solution. The same goes for business contacts and partners. Email and IM software are fully capable of doing everything.

Finally, I think you can't actually "keep up" with people via a website. It's like brain masturbation - you don't contact talk with them or feel emotions. You just pass on cold information and glitter, so you don't forget each other. But you aren't becoming any closer...

/another rant :p

maestromasada said:


High five!

windmill007 said:

Twitter is so lame. Myspace use to be ok till facebook come along. Now myspace is dead and facebook rules if they would stop redesigning the site. People who won't try or use facebook are people who hate any technology. I have found so many lost friends and school mates I am still amazed. I like how facebook is starting to integrate into other services on the web. Other businesses need to stop trying to compete with facebook and just find a way to integrate into it. ...yes google I'm talking to you about your twitter wanna be buzz service which was dead before it started!

purplehayz said:

Short answer - yes.

Longer answer... I <3 Twitter. I've been on for over 2 years. I've made friends all over the country, which wouldn't have happened via any other existing internet technology. And I've learned a great deal too.

Who could ask for more?

If you want to "talk" with me more I'm purplehayz on Twitter.

Have fun! - Bob

Guest said:

At first I didn't like it but now I use it all the time. Nobody follows me (well only 4 people that I've never heard about) but I don't care. I use it to learn about news that I would take a lot of time to find otherwise. I don't follow any star. But I follow a lot of news websites, gossip sites, and some interesting bloggers. All in all I'm glad I have it. It's also nice to see what people think about a program you're watching on TV (The Grammy's, the Olympic Games or your favorite show) or stuff that are happening in real life (like the huge storm in DC) which is why I use a lot the search engine. It helps to have an ipod touch and a good wifi connection to be able to reach Twitter even if you're not in front of your computer...

So, bad first experience, excellent second one.

Phantasm66 Phantasm66 said:

treeski said:

I'm a big fan of Facebook because it allows me to keep up with people that I otherwise wouldn't be able to. But I've never found a big attraction to Twitter, and as is, I can't see myself ever signing up.

Agreed. I think Facebook is useful and a laugh but Twitter is kind of taking the whole thing a bit too far, IMHO.

Guest said:

Buzzzzzzing around

i forgot twitter !

google has done an excellent job of integrating buzz with the emails

so u r more likely to check buzz often !

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I doubt it very much, because I know many people who doesn't use gmail anymore for one or another reason.

DarkCobra DarkCobra said:

It's without equal probably the stupidest waste of time imaginable. Suitable for hormone raging juveniles and ***** movie stars who already overvalue their importance. I'm old school and if ya got something relevant to say then just say it, but twittering one's every movement throughout the day is a silly narcissistic game. It's a "fad" that will soon "fade".

fwilliams said:

I think I created an account, but never used it. Just another place to login to read a bunch of dribble. I started using buzz, but not sure how much I will use it. At least I do not have to login to a different site to use it.

Will whoever creates these applications (ie gmail, twitter) please come up with a method that I can create my account with out having to come up with some strange user name.

Come on. Let me type the user name I want. The program can assign a random number in some other field to make the record unique. It can also use other fields like address to determine if you already have an account when you are trying to create an account. As far as I know I am the only one in my house with my name. And if people want to be creative and use names like WhiteCobra, does it really matter if there are a couple hundred WhiteCobra's around the world.

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

I don't use it, and I think for person to person contact it wouldn't be something I'd use. But I do think it could be usable as a way to get out information, like one of the above posters said on getting notice of game cancellations, school cancellations, pretty much any news event could be something that twitter would be good for.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

The "Tweet to End all Tweets"........

In the realm of things superficial, irrelevant, idiotic, and inane, Twitter has maxed out the concept.

Accordingly, and in the same way that, WW1 was billed as "the war to end all war", I plan to open a Twitter account, to distribute my message, "Don't any of you imbeciles bother me now, I'm taking a s***"!

ET3D, TechSpot Paladin, said:

No, I'm not a twit. I did register there once for a competition that wanted a retwit, and if someone whose opinion I read and care about mentions his twitter I'll visit it once, but I don't much care for reading the other people's responses. It's not that I mind the shortness, but give me a good RSS feed and I'll follow that.

Guest said:

Your sad if your an everyday person and have twitter.

Its just a blog service for celebrities

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Your sad if your an everyday person and have twitter.

Its just a blog service for celebrities

A fad .....

Nicely summed it up

Renrew Renrew said:

Pet Rock, Cabbage Kids, Beanie Babies, 3D and Twitter--more fodder for the garbage can of history.

Jos Jos said:

I signed up for an account a few years ago when the service was fairly new. Although I don't update it much, I do check it every once in a while to see what's up. I follow mostly people in the tech industry and friends. Sometimes it's just noise, sometimes I've learned about interesting stuff. I guess it's as useful as you make it. You don't HAVE to follow celebrities you know? :-)

Since some are commenting on other services as well... I never liked MySpace but I use Facebook to share pictures and stay in touch with friends and family. Turned off all notifications, tweaked my privacy settings, and stay away from quizzes, games, fan suggestions and group invitations.

Guest said:


captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Suffering the Slings, Arrows, and Malware of Online IQ Testing..

....[ ]....I use Facebook to share pictures and stay in touch with friends and family. Turned off all notifications, tweaked my privacy settings, and stay away from quizzes, games, fan suggestions and group invitations.

Do you find it ironic that in using a "social networking site", that you have to become a partial xenophobe to survive it?

Julio Franco Julio Franco, TechSpot Editor, said:

Just like Jose I use facebook on a limited basis for sharing photos and communicate with friends and family that otherwise would be harder to reach. I certainly don't obsess about it and try to keep it as confidential as possible. In that sense I somewhat agree with captain, but it's a necessary measure to make the most of the service without falling prey to money-making tactics and other potentially more obscure uses of my personal info.

tonylukac said:

I tried using Twitter to compliment someone who provided the flash chromium os written about in Techspot. No following tweets occurred, so I gave up on it.

unrealmp3 unrealmp3 said:

I'm not twitting, I'm buzzing.

TorturedChaos, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I'm not a big fan of social networking sites. I do have a myspace my (now ex) girlfriend talked me into setting up several years back, and used to visit it regularly and play with it, but I got board with that fairly quickly and might visit it once or twice every couple months. Have a facebook for a similar reasons - and used to check it daily, but got board with it quickly. Now I log in once or twice a week to keep up with some friends who I don't see much or live several states away. As for Twitter - never really saw the appeal of it, but I have never been to their site either.

Most of my online communication is done through Vent mostly, with a bit of MSN in there.

Guest said:

Honestly, I find the service pointless. I have no interest in hearing when someone is brushing their teeth, or sitting at a cafe reading a newspaper. It serves no purpose for me either, why would anyone be interested in me going to work, coming home, going to bed, repeat!?

Guest said:

Four days then out. I bookmarked some "friends" pages to see what they've been up to. But for me life is a too short to be spent sniffing through the bird droppings.

Guest said:

twitter is just another type of spam to me and totally overrated... Signed up once and never used it. Facebook ok. :)

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