I’m using Twitter?

I signed up for Twitter a couple of years ago, but I never got around to actually using it. Some part of my brain thinks it would be a great way to do… something. But I have no idea what that would be. I’ll need you to teach me, and help me understand what you’d like to see from my Twitter feed.

Obviously, you don’t want to hear about the minutia of my life, but I think there’s value in great big collaborative conversations. Part of me finds it very exciting, and part of me thinks it’s a time sucking black hole. What am I missing?

Here’s my Twitter feed.

12 Replies to “I’m using Twitter?”

  1. Alan Boyle of MSNBC’s Cosmic Log has a twitter feed that only updates to say that his column has a new article. I think that you should at least link your new articles to twitter. You can do that with twitterfeed

    Other than that, stick twitter in your browser bar using twitterfox or something and just mention interesting things that you find on the net but dont necessarily want to post a whole article about.

    My twitter feed is twitter.com/johnbenac

  2. It could be used as a “breaking news” feed, directing readers to the main article on Universe Today? I’m not sure how many new readers this would reach, but it might be a nice addition…

    Cheers, Ian 🙂

  3. Well, I think it’s very useful that there’s a place for all the people who talk so much that they never think. That way, the rest of the internet can be kept almost sane.

  4. It’s pretty useful for advertising your new posts. Lots of people surf their twitter friends for new content to procrastinate with.

    It’s also pretty useful at coordinating during conferences, when a lot of people are in relatively close proximity and everyone is trying to find something to do in the evenings. If you use twitter for nothing else, use it for this!

  5. I don’t think just feeding in article links is a good idea. If someone wants to follow UT, they will get the feed themselves – on the other hand it’s not nice to clutter up others’ timeline with it.

    This does not apply to (a few) articles you like to point people at who are not regularly reading UT.

    I think an especially good use would be quick astronomy updates (GRBs, SNae etc.).

  6. hallo Fraser

    1st of all thanks for your work on Universe Today and Astronomycast.

    Use twitter for what it meant to be used:

    micro blogging. for everything that is not worth or where is no time for a full blog post.


    does a good job. he is some kind of stock market guru. when there is an interesting article somewhere or if he is thinking about something he is twittering it.

    Or if Phil (BadAstronomy) has a good article link to it. (tinyurl)

    But I would also love to read every day stuff from you.

    Thanks for your work


  7. I’d post one article per day if you’re going to post any into Twitter, max. The reason is that attention is precious, and you’ll be respecting that by *choosing* the best story of the day to share there. If you treat it like an rss feed, people will gloss over and you’ll lose the magic.

    I think Ian has a great point to use it also for breaking news, but again, if you tweet too much, people will just stop noticing.

    Also, use it like group IM – people will reply to you, and you can reply to them, but if it’s just a dump for article links, there’s no conversation, and that’s what twitter is great for: conversations in a group of people without having to get into the same time and place.

    I think the best thing to do would be to make a twitter account for universetoday, and let the one under your own name be for you and your own personality. Thanks for jumping back in there, all my comments aside. I’ll be looking forward to reading your tweets as a supplement, not replacement for Universe Today.

  8. I think that Twitter is awesome for quick posting, you even can do it from your cellphone.
    IMHO it fits for “breaking news”. Even if you are away from your laptop or have no Internet connectivity, you can post news from any event “on the road”.

    I think that use it to advertise your new posts is not a good idea.

  9. I went to the Twitter site and ran their little video. I don’t know. I mean, I think I am psychologically incapable of saying anything in less than 140 characters. That’s a personal failing, I admit, but there it is…

  10. I lean towards “time sucking black hole”, but maybe I’m just to old to appreciate it! 🙂

    Only kept “Second Life” two weeks, as well…

    Not everything you CAN do on the net is useful…time will sort things out. Blogs like this I put in the “useful” category…a nice place to catch breaking astronomy/space news, as oppoed to someone’s self-absorbed rambling. Twitter seems aimed more at the latter, IMHO.

  11. I am anti-Twitter. Mr. Cain, you are missing nothing and just made a good decision. Let Twitter fade in the noise. There are many other better black holes that will suck up your time.

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