Do you use Twitter? Why or why not? First, let me say that I used to be one of those that dismissed it as pointless. In fact, I was late to the whole social media thing because it just didn't seem like something I needed to get into. Afterall, in real life, I am quite the introverted artist that is often considered shy and likes a bit of privacy. Dare to read on, "for the rest of the story".
Funny how life can change one's perception about things. For me, my look on social media changed when I met a fantastic lady on a plane ride home from vacation. After a long chat, she convinced me to join Facebook and add her as a friend. So I guess you could say that Facebook was the gateway drug which lead to Twitter. Facebook wasn't so bad and I could see some positive uses such as finding old friends, groups related to hobbies or professional interests as well as the promotional aspect for anyone's work or services.
So the Twitter use began. I started out following a handful of net associates I had met online either through forums or Facebook. I didn't normally chat much but loved finding resources from links others posted in their feeds. So, as use continued I started following more Twitter users that were website owners with topics I find interesting and useful like design blogs, technology blogs, Apple websites and blogs, and etc. Then I started adding photographers that I find inspiring, web designers with coding knowledge, and other artists with interesting things to share.
What I ended up with is a feed of many varied characters with many interests like myself. This has prooved very useful. I have a very nice collection of Photoshop brushes that I have collected from links spread around Twitter. I also have a nice collection of images for textures and icons for varied uses that I discovered through following other Twitter users. I have apps that were recommended from other Twitter users. Some of which I won a full license for in online contests discovered through Twitter. In a way, I use Twitter like an RSS feed at times for reading updates from others and to post my updates.
Another positive use for Twitter I discovered... customer service. In an age where customer service has been dialed back for budget cuts and often farmed out to contracted agencies in and out of the US for a fraction of what it costs in house... Twitter has opened a new line of "almost" direct communication for those companies online. Its provided help and advice for me several times when I need help with software or purchases. All I had to do was mention the name of the company or product in my post and they were able to track it and reply to me in a couple of instances.
So, it may seem I could just use RSS feeds and a good reader to get my updates. True, and I do. However, Twitter provides a bit more than what RSS feeds could alone. It injects a bit of soul (though a small 140-character-or-less bit) into the links and news we are feed.
That is why I only closely follow those twitter users which offer a nice balance of interesting info, links and possibly a small bit of tangible banter to keep things interesting. I also tend to only closely follow those that "aren't" willing to share their whole life. Sorry, not interested in what kids did or what color someone's hair is or should be. More interested in the hobbies, careers, and creative ideas or products.
When I hear someone claim Twitter is dumb. I ask them if they have a hobby or interest. Then I ask them if they ever searched for those who specialize in their interests? Most claim they just followed friends and a few celebs and maybe a couple media outlets. My final words to them... "Twitter is really what you make of it. If you only follow those that are uninteresting to you and don't make use of search, you are missing the big picture."