Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Dear Randy: Do You Still Use Twitter? Why?

A society colleague asked me this question recently, and I enthusiastically said "YES."

Why?  Because it is usually instant news.  Some people don't blog.  Some don't use Facebook.  Facebook users see only about 6% of their Friends posts because of how Facebook shows posts. 

I've found that I find more real "genealogy news" on my Twitter feed than I do on my Facebook feed.  Twitter users see the posts of those they Follow - all of them.  I have over 6,000 Followers on Twitter, and I Follow over 3,350 tweeters.  Almost all of them are genealogy buffs. 

I put "genealogy" in the Search field at the top of my Twitter feed, and was rewarded with a list of recent tweets.  I picked some out that were of interest to me:

Each of these tweeters took the time to put the word "genealogy" in their Twitter posts, and that enabled me to easily see it.  Most of them used a hashtag "#genealogy" but not all of them did.

I don't spend a lot of time on Twitter.  I usually spend 15 to 20 minutes a day at around 4 p.m. and use the words "genealogy" and "family history" and "ancestry."

I also write a tweet for almost every blog post I write and post it, and then I copy it to Facebook also, with a link to the blog post. 


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Copyright (c) 2018, Randall J. Seaver

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Diane Gould Hall said...

I always use Twitter when I blog. I don’t have any statistics as to how well it does or doesn’t work, but I will continue to do so.

Susie Q said...

Guess what..... some folks don't Twitter....

David said...

The problem with Twitter is that it is gaining a reputation for being politically biased and censorious. You may not believe that reputation, but I happen to think the reputation is fully deserved. Regardless of whether the reputation is correct or not a lot of people think it is.

That means that Twitter has lost the trust of a great many people. Social networks are based on the network effect: the more people use them, the more useful they are. If a large proportion of people feel that Twitter is biased and censorious one or both of two things will happen:

1. Lots of people will stop using the site, vastly reducing its usefulness and viability, perhaps to the point where a feedback loop kicks in. If that happens the site is doomed: look what happened to Myspace and similar sites when they fell out of favour.
2. The current US government may look to pass laws governing tech monopolies/oligopolies like Twitter and Facebook and Google which apply the rules of the US constitution to them as if they were quasi-governmental entities. In other words those organisations must apply the first amendment as if they were a government body. They wouldn't like that at all, and it would be a significant burden to them. However the way they are going it might end up being what happens to them.

Moving from the decentralised blogs to the centralised social media was an enormous mistake in terms of giving those companies far, far too much power. I don't see how it could particularly have been stopped, but it was a bad idea. Now we are reaping the fruits of that centralisation, and those fruits are rotten.