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Beaconfire Survey: Twitter

, Thursday, January 14th, 2010

Periodically, we do a survey of Beaconfire staff to get impressions on a variety of non-profit technology issues. All opinions expressed here are solely those of their authors.

Twitter is an increasingly important player in social media – even Congress is tweeting. But while some people love Twitter, others love to hate it.  We asked our staff: To tweet? Or not to tweet?

(As a twist, tweeters were limited to 140 characters in their defense.  For non-tweeters, no limits.  It seemed only appropriate.)

Amadie, Marketing Consultant (@amadie): I tweet on online community, fundraising, analytics, and general randomness. My TweetCloud: tweetstats.com/gr…

Tim, Functional Consultant: I swore I would never – and didn’t see how it was anything but splattering my friends with the minutiae of my life.  Now I splatter daily.

Mark, Functional Consultant: 2 tweet, bt carefuly. No m@r hw shrt or fleeting, tweets stik arnd, r srchable & shw up lk NEthing. esp if ura celeb. Ask Gilbert Arenas.

Shiloh, Marketing Consultant: RT @Mark: tweet carefully. No m@r hw shrt or fleeting, twts stik arnd, r srchable & shw up lk NEthing. esp if ura celeb. Ask Gilbert Arenas.

Miro, Software Engineer: Tweeting needs to die a quick and painful death, at least in its 140 character iteration. The phone technology is progressing at such a point that within a few years, we should have fully web and email-enabled phones in every hand at which point the silly texting limitations and hvng t abbr evrythg is just a ridiculous requirement.

Instead of limiting our communication by the early 20th century technology, we should move it all forward by about a hundred years, and just call it all data … voice, web, texting, email. It’s all just bytes moving around.

While tweeting has its useful social uses (see Iran, natural disasters), and should be kept around for those reasons, far too many abuse it and try to make it deeper than it should be. See tweeting from Congress people as they’re in session, and the likes of Sarah Palin. If your entire thought can fit into 140 chars, maybe you should keep it to yourself.

Jo, Marketing Consultant: I tried to like Twitter.  I really did. I got an account, I followed a bunch of smart, entertaining people… but I gave up. There was too much noise, not enough signal.  And in too many cases, no thought behind the content.  Twitter has some good uses, I’ll admit… but give me a good ol’ blog, and I’ll be much happier.

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