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January 30, 2009

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Everything here is spot-on... with one glaring exception: "Twitter is not just a messaging system, it's broadcast too". Wrong way round. Twitter is a broadcast system that is capable of messaging. There's a big difference.

Twitter is a micro-blogging platform that can, by virtue of its simplicity, be used to communicate in a variety of ways - it's like a blank canvas that people use in lots of clever and interesting ways. But it winds me up when I see people who solely use their accounts to send @ replies (NB I happily acknowledge that I don't have to follow them, and how anybody uses their Twitter feed is up to them). To me, when someone only sends @s, unless they're sparking interesting crowdsourced conversations they're wasting everybody else's time. Because of the volume of people talking to them, celebrities do this a lot, and yes the recent influx of PRs do it too. The thing is, I want to read what they have to say, but I don't want to read their private communications. That's what direct messaging is for, but even that's rubbish compared to, say, instant messaging.

So yeah, Twitter is great for getting your message out, just not so much for messaging each other.

nice article. I'm just trying to get to grips with everything that twtr offers so v helpful!

@richard Thanks for the insight. You're completely right. Twitter's original tagline was "what are you doing right now?" So yes, broadcasting turned into messaging. I kind of got it back to front on that one.
Nice to hear from you. Will follow and subscribe and all that.

Like Claire, I'm just getting started with Twitter and having a knowledgeable PR practitioner post a precis on its usefulness is a great help indeed. Thanks, Drew! As I get my feet wet Twittering, I'll look forward to gaining a more thorough understanding of how to best utilize this tool in my daily activities.

Thanks Drew. Duly circulated around my team...

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