Is Twitter a Waste of Time?

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Twitter.com the holy grail of networking? Or a waste of time fad?

blue red pill

Some say Twitter transforms lives, grows a business, is a hugely powerful networking tool etc…

Others say it is a time vampire, verbal masturbation, the latest fad etc…

Who is correct?

They both are…. and neither are.

You see, people are focusing too much on Twitter, and not so much on the people using it.

If you are a social, people person, who loves to network and share… then you are likely to love Twitter, and will likely find a way to make it benefit your brand and business.

If you are a more direct, no-nonsense, more private person… then Twitter is going to seem like a complete waste of time.

You also need to look at what you do and what you want to accomplish… for example, if you are in the public eye, even if it is as a blogger… then you should benefit from being on Twitter. If you are a behind the scenes person, then you probably won’t.

Then you have the people who are already where they want to be… Seth Godin and Mike Dillard are two great examples. Both of them don’t really feel that Twitter is a great use of their time, but why should they? These guys don’t need to build a huge following… they ALREADY have one.

Like I said, I believe both groups are correct… it just depends on the person using it.

For me personally, I am a social guy, and love networking… so I use Twitter… BUT, I use it strategically, I remain aware of the time I am putting into it, and I don’t build a business or website around it.

So let’s put down our verbal swords, accept that we are all different, and stop the arguments.

Make Tweets, Not War ;-)

Hope this helps.

Dean

PS: I am at Twitter.com/DeanHunt

  • http://www.handmade-crafts.co.uk/ British Crafts

    I do like the phrase ‘Time Vampire’, and I do find I get a bit sucked into Twitter – but it’s definitely useful.

    Anything which increases connectivity and offers the potential to expand your contact network is surely valuable?

    If you fail to realise that potential it could be perceived as a fault in the medium.. but could it be your fault (in general – not you in specific, Dean!) instead?

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  • http://deanhunt.com Dean Hunt

    Yes, “Time vampire” is another thing that Twitter has been called.

    I think we share the same point…. it is the person, as opposed to the medium.

    However, I dont think there is a right or wrong, there is no point trying to use it if it goes against who you are as a person.

    We are all wired differently.

    Dean

    PS: for what it’s worth, I am a fan, and use Twitter often. I have over 10k users across 2 accounts and tweet daily.

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  • http://theyppublishing.com YvonneW

    Yes, “Time vampire” it can definately be.

    I find twitter can be good for brand awareness increase traffic to your website.

    I also find there is alot to learn from other individuals you are following on twitter. Some of these individuals are internet marketing experts.

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  • http://imwithjoe.com Normal Joe

    I agree totally with your post dude, it depends on the person.

    I’m social, so it’s fine for me, but I have to keep track of my time spent as well.

    I’ve been able to communicate and build relationships with people I probably wouldn’t have had the chance to otherwise, so that’s cool for me.

    It is what it is,

    see ya

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  • http://www.nathangilder.com Nathan Gilder

    Dean, I guess it depends on how many posts we make talking about TMNT – lol :-)

    This month I’ve really dug my heels into Twitter and found it to be not only a lot of fun, but a superior networking tool for meeting new people.

    There certainly is a balance of time-waste vs goal-achieving. If we’re careful to have that in mind while engaged in it everything should be okay – explaining that to naysayers might not be as straightforward however

    Cowabunga

    Nathan

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  • http://www.pentasure.ws Francois Meyer

    Hi Dean, As you say, what do you want to use it for, and sort of person are you. I just feel that the tweets go so fast past you, you might miss out from very valid ones.How do you guys keep it up.
    Then some peoples tweets does not make sence at all.
    Why do they write them? I would like to know.
    Wishing you enough!

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  • http://deanhunt.com Dean Hunt

    Nathan – the lesson there is to not tweet after a few glasses of red wine ;-)

    That said, the turtles tweets were some of my most popular tweets of all time, and got me a whole heap of new followers… so there is method in my madness.

    Francois – very true. TweetDeck can help with that.

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  • http://jimmyadames.com Jimmy Adames

    I think people over-analyze and over-think these things because they have their own agenda.

    Any platform that can give you exposure is always a good thing and let me be more specific FREE exposure.

    It also gives you the opportunity to connect to people you wouldn’t otherwise have the chance to.

    BUT no matter how you slice it Twitter is a powerful tool because of how fast information goes through there – that alone makes it well worth anyone’s time.

    Jimmy Adames

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  • http://deanhunt.com Dean Hunt

    Jimmy,

    I agree with you 100%.

    Dean

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  • http://www.correctmindforweightloss.com/ David Maleney

    I’ll take the “I can’t believe the Man U-Liverpool score” pill, please ;-)

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  • http://deanhunt.com Dean Hunt

    David, merely a blip on our march to Premiership glory.

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  • http://www.copy-cat-copywriting.com/blog Cathy Goodwin

    Agree with Jimmy Adams and would add that it depends on (a) your market and (b) your ability to write upbeat posts that generate responses. I draw on my copywriting training and skills.

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  • Ben

    I have considered using Twitter but it is possible to make tweets and have others make comments on my tweets … but only I can see the tweet responses?

    I would like to use Twitter to be able to share information with our members but I don’t want members to be able to contact one another.

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  • http://www.WhatYouKnowIsWorthMoreBook.com Melanie Jordan

    Twitter, like any social media site, has to be used strategically, just like you pointed out. And fortunately there are many ways to remain engaged with your Twitter followers without being on it constantly.

    I actually did my own piece on this same question on my blog a few months ago that your readers should enjoy “Twitter: Infopreneur Friend Or Waste Of Time?” http://melaniejor.typepad.com/whatyouknowisworthmore/2008/09/twitter-infopreneur-friend-or-waste-of-time.html

    Melanie Jordan
    “Author of What You Know Is Worth More Than You Know(TM)”

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  • http://twitter.com/barbaraling Barbara Ling, Virtual Coach

    Twitter is not a waste of time if you know how to weave it well into your marketing, networking and social media-izing.

    It’s a tool, like a hammer is a tool. You’re the one who wields it.

    Data points, Barbara

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  • http://jotito.wordpress.com Jo

    I agree! A couple of days ago I sent a message through my Facebook network and asked why people weren’t on Twitter. Half the people hadn’t heard of it and the others didn’t know enough about it to see the point.

    It’s still catching on here in NZ. Most of my twitter network are from overseas and the ones from NZ have just started creating their network.

    But you’re right – the people on Twitter are what matters.

    Those like Seth Godin don’t need Twitter as you say – they are already where they want to be. I did a test on Seth Godin to see how many people tweet about him in a day. Everyday when I wake up there are at least 100 tweets and it happens all throughout the day. The man isn’t even on Twitter and yet he is!

    Now when it gets to that stage, I will let you know:)

    You can catch me here at Twitter http://twitter.com/tetekura

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  • http://www.alvindimla.com Jan Alvin

    All I can say is, Twitter have a numerous purpose. Some are using it only to their circle of friends to be connected. Some are using it to socialize and make connection. Some are using it to make money. And also, Corporations may use it as their way of customer support.

    Yes, Twitter can be a Time Vampire but how many victims can you make??

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  • http://kpfingaz.com Jay Gumbs

    I still haven’t witnessed the power of Twitter for myself but I know of others who it is working for. I think you make very valid reasonings of why this is.

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  • http://www.pmgresults.com/ edmond hawkeye hennessy

    Was hesitant to comment on this topic – particularly, since it will be burnt into cyberspace forever.
    Am a Twitter user – and have been accused of being extroverted (in a constructive way).
    Have even been tracked on Twitter by our State Senator – for positive reasons.
    Run a Consulting practice and have little breathing room.
    Do leverage many internet-based vehicles to support the business.
    Although Social Media sites and other creative vehicles can be stimulating, challenging and rewarding – especially, with the range and variety of people and topics flowing – their value, in terms of, being a solid source of business opportunity is undetermined.
    There is a point about the Target Audience being sought and the nature of the product or service being offered (and, other factors), however when one gets a response like “just sitting here enjoying a hot cup of Joe” or “the popcorn is in the microwave – would you like some,” one has to step-back and figure that the wrong line was tapped.
    Twitter and other vehicles have a long way to go – they have created the connection and provided the medium – it can be powerful – we just need to learn how to use it and other vehicles effectively.
    For me – will keep those Tweeters going, however hold the butter on the popcorn!

    Edmond Hawkeye Hennessy
    CEO
    Performance Marketing Group
    Author: Market Warfare: Leadership & Domination Over Competitors
    A Breakthrough book that is changing the Market Landscape

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  • http://www.for-the-troops.com Kevin Puls

    Twitter could be a waste of time, depending on how you use it. But keep in mind…

    When terrorists stuck Mumbai back in November, It was people who tweeted about it that got the news coverage- four hours before CNN ran with it.

    When the plane crashed into the Hudson River in New York, it was people who tweeted about it that broke the news.

    It’s a tool, so you can use it, abuse it, or not use it at all.

    Best,

    -K

    P.S. Keep in mind, Joel Comm had a 12 hour Tweet-a-Thon a few weeks back to help raise money for clean water initiatives in Africa. Here’s the link to the video replays http://tinyurl.com/dyb8kl

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  • http://www.chuckbartok.com Chuck Bartok

    Good points as usual.
    I am always stressing to our Members
    to use Twitter and other SN platforms
    judiciously…
    I also love the Phrase “Time Vampires”

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  • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

    Dean, here’s a question for you: How useful is Twitter for non- social media types? So many of my new followers are IM types, which is useful to a degree. I can learn from them, but that’s not my niche, so I can’t really add to the conversation. I know it’s about finding people from your own niche, but in general it does seem like Twitter is heavily weighted toward all you brilliant online marketing pioneers.

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  • http://deanhunt.com Dean Hunt

    Susan,

    That is a superb question.

    I agree that Twitter is weighted towards marketers… but I don’t think it is as heavily as it seems.

    What I would do is take the bull by the horns..

    At the moment, it sounds like you are getting followers, as opposed to choosing your followers.

    Most people who you follow will follow you back, so use something like the search feature of Twitter Grader to find users in your area: http://twitter.grader.com/search

    With time you can build up a large amount of people who are focused in your niche.

    I hope this helps.

    Dean

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  • Michael

    Do Time Vampires drink virtual blood?

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  • http://tlmarketing.net Tom Lindstrom

    It depends on how you are using social sites including Twitter.I use it daily, but only to share good links I find around the web and also to get new ideas for future blog posts.

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  • Charlie

    Per some friends that have been bugging me for a while to join Twitter (after suggesting I join Myspace, which they don’t even use anymore, and then Facebook which they now rarely use, if at all) so far, it’s been a time Vampire for me as well, but I’m trying to have an open mind. I’m a writer, and an aspiring screenwriter as well. I’m also trying to help an unemployed friend ( with no twitter or facebook account yet)connect with people in his field. I twitter daily. I even have a blog that contains poems or short story ideas that I ask people to read. I have even asked if there are any screenwriters looking for fresh ideas for films. The result? It’s like being in a conference room with thousands of people, each with their own agendas, and I’m at the front of the room, talking and trying to get some attention, and everyone is doing the same thing; talking out loud to other people, and no one is listening. I’ve spent hours on twitter, tweeting and responding to other’s tweets, and I’m basically invisible, except for those companies trying to get me to buy something. With the exception of my friends who tweet, I get no responses, whatsoever. And I’ve checked my blog constantly. No one, besides my friends, have even bothered to look at it. So far, It’s been a complete waste of time. I’m being bombarded with useless information, like someone being pissed off that the Jonas Brothers won on the Kids Choice awards, or someone else was upset that someone in Sydney Australia stood them up. I had to turn my device off because yesterday I received 57 text messages of information as usual as the preceding two examples.

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  • http://www.apdinternetmarketing.com APD Internet Marketing

    Interesting one this. I’ve started to use techniques to build my followers and have added nearly 2k followers in about 5 weeks.

    However, it’s not increased my business. I mix social, free info and selling in about equal mix, but get very little from it. Maybe it needs time to bed down, but it does make me cautious of building followers for the sake of the numbers looking good!

    Just my twopenneth :>)
    Cheers
    Derek

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  • julia

    great site with testking 642-357 good post….i really appreciated your work

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  • Josh

    “If you are a social, people person, who loves to network and share… then you are likely to love Twitter”

    Social people network face to face. Anti-social people spend time in front of the computer on social networks. Social networks are anti-social.

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  • Rohan Rao

    One thing about Twitter is the fact that it forces you to be pithy and eventually improves your signal to noise ratio.

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