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Cupcakes


 
I keep wavering back and forth whether to publish this post. This was originally written in November 2009 – half a year ago – and I have hesitated whether to publish it since then (and like I said, I’m still not sure I should’ve). But it’s almost 4am and usually my judgment is a bit clouded at these hours… and I can always remove it later (if you think I should: please comment below? I won’t be offended).

 
Most people who know me realize I have an unconventional sense of humor – though I usually tone it down depending on circumstances. I’d like to think most people “get” my sense of humor, but not everyone do.

 
The following events took place when I was trying to work and do something very hard and very important and just felt I couldn’t concentrate. Sometimes in similar situations, I need something sweet… badly. That day, there was nothing at home, and I felt I would go crazy unless I get something. I felt I need cupcakes.

 
So I let loose… didn’t tone myself down at all.

 
You may ask why am I posting this in my blog? Good question. This, in my opinion, is the perfect example of Twitter for people who don’t use it (in a non-business context). It demonstrates.. the appeal.. of this medium: the fact you can have group chats in real time and people can jump in and out of conversations without you knowing them beforehand. You couldn’t do this in Facebook or Google. Only a real time social media network would enable you to do something similar. Even a chat room wouldn’t enable that, as the number and diversity of people listening would be far more limited.

 
Interestingly, I lost some followers during these events, but I gained many more. This later encouraged me to do much much more of these on Twitter. Yet I haven’t published any of these (mis)adventures on this blog. Note that people kept sending me pictures of cupcakes for months after these events.

 
Hopefully my readers will think it’s both amusing and relevant.

 
..and like I said, I reserve the right to remove it..

 
Thus started the cupcake saga. Here’s a summary of the twitter messages that took place on that day. It started like this

 
(each line is a tweet)

 
me: Anyone has cupcakes they can send me? I really need some #cupcakes #goodpeople #please

lefinley: in the oven now…..address please? ;)

me to lefinley: #chocolatechipcookies will do too. How soon can you make it??? This is an emergency

me to lefinley: you aren’t serious, right? :( (((((

lefinley: sorry – can’t get 2 NJ in time….plan ur emergencies in the future please! ;)

me: Where do I find cupcakes in Jersey City on a Saturday? The place is desolate on the weekend. ARGHH!!! Help!

ColleenBurns: found it on @yelp they are open till 6 “Made with Love Bakery”

Me to ColleenBurns: RT found it on @yelp they are open till 6 “Made with Love Bakery” -> probably closed and far from my place, but if I start

Me to ColleenBurns: RT found it on @yelp they are open till 6 “Made with Love Bakery” -> running like a madman, I may make it. I need cupcakes.

Me to ColleenBurns: RT found it on @yelp they are open till 6 “Made with Love Bakery” -> Oh, and forgot to say: THANKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Me to lefinley, heykim: Thanks for trying to help, much appreciated!

Georgia_Teacher: Why in the world are you in Jersey City on a Saturday looking for donuts?

Me to Georgia_Teacher: Not donuts. Cupcakes. Donuts would be like giving Tylenol to a terminal patient. I need cupcakes.

Me: If I don’t get cupcakes soon,something terrible will happen, not just to me, but to everyone in the area, if I don’t get cupcakes soon.

Me: I suspect I’ll implode and start sucking everything around me, kind of like a mini-black hole. But that’s just an unproven theory

 
[noticing people are unfollowing me]

 
Me: Nice to see my cupcakes threats are make people unfollow me. This is not an idle threat. Bad stuff will happen. I need cupcakes!

Me: Even my English is breaking down as apparent in my last few tweets. Ok, that’s it. I’m going outside

lefinley: no problem – good luck on your search = YELP rocks!

Me to lefinley: As things should. I’m sure some disaster movies have started with a guy desperately needing cupcakes.

Me: Ok, got the address of a cupcake place. Leaving now. If this works I’ll tweet a picture. If this doesn’t, you’ll hear about this

Me: “Man mysteriously implodes, police are investigating. Looks like a cupcake deficiency caused this natural disaster”

 
[Walking for an hour randomly]

 
Me (through cellphone): I must be miles from home. Found a Dunkin Donuts place. No cupcakes. Danger now spans NYC as well.

 
[Walking for 2 hours, bypassing my house by at least 25 minutes, half delirious, eventually I got home with some loot]

 
Me: So here’s what happened (BTW, I think this episode cost me quite a lot of followers. Have mercy people, I was in distress)

Me: I walked for miles and miles and got completely lost (no shoprite). Every place I asked, no cupcakes. I could tell people were afraid of me.

Me: Eventually I got to a shop. By then it was really bad. I asked for cupcakes but all that came out was grunts. I must’ve appeared deranged

Me: I tried to say “I have a Ph.D., I won prestigious awards, I used to work for Goldman Sachs”. But nothing coherent came out of my mouth

Me: Eventually I pointed out at the hostess cupcakes and paid for them. I knew by then this would not be sufficient to prevent the upcoming doom

Me: The poor people of NJ and NY didn’t realize what will happen unless I eat quality cupcakes.

Me: So I got hostess cupcakes, 16 brownie bites, ice cream, marshmallows and an Oreo cake.

Me: I hope this will save us. May god have mercy on our souls.

 

Aftermath

 
me: I’ve eaten them, feel much better now.

carribean_skye: were you looking scary too?

Me to caribbean_skye: I think I looked a little bit like when Bruce Banner starts the transformation to the Hulk

Me: Well, I’m back to work. I think the disaster has been averted thanks to my heroic efforts. Unsung heroes, now I understand the meaning.

 

My proof

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mass unfollowing

Unsurprisingly, there are various approaches to follower attraction and – for lack of a better word – follower removal. Some people, and I believe these are the people Twitter originally aimed to attract, just naturally meet people. Follow those whose tweets interest them and unfollow those whose tweets do not.

 
Another group of people are similar to the above, but they aim to gain as many followers as possible. I admit to belonging to this group, primarily because it gives me a much greater audience to this blog as well as significantly more opportunities for interaction and meeting people (it’s also so easy so why not do it?).

 
A third group aims to gain as many followers as possible since every follower is a potential buyer. If you have 50,000 followers, and you try and sell something, even if 0.1% on average buy, then it’s still 50 people – which is a lot if you compare it to other ad models (i.e. PPC).

 
The philosophy behind following and unfollowing is clearly intertwined. If you’re in Twitter and truly only care about interaction, then there’s no reason for you to care if you are being unfollowed (unless this offends you).

 
If you try and gain as many followers as possible, then you’re fully aware of the fact that if you don’t follow someone back (reciprocal following), there’s a good chance he’ll stop following you very soon. So often you see people who follow roughly the same number of people who follow them.

 
Personally, I believe that only those who offer truly unique and interesting tweets can expect someone to follow them and not need to follow back. For example, if you’re a celebrity (I covered this in greater detail in my post, Why Do People Follow Celebrities?) then your life is deemed interesting to your followers even if it’s completely mundane.

 
But even if you’re not a celebrity, but say, are a very funny guy or a very interesting person (i.e. Iconic88, one of Twitter’s treasures), then it also likely that people will continue following you because of who you are and what you say.

 
Alas, for most people, that is not the case. A while ago I looked at the tweets of some people I consider celebrities or experts in their respective fields. Although they may be interesting, even fascinating, in real life, their tweets are, how shall I say it, not really interesting. They often deal with the uninteresting trivia of their life (i.e. I don’t particularly find interesting what William Shatner had for lunch). It may be fun and exciting to interact with them, but normally these people also don’t interact with their followers – don’t respond to their followers’ comments, etc. I’m not just talking about people with millions of followers, but also those with a far smaller number. Some even have fewer followers than I have (and I always respond to anyone who attempts communication – not talking about DMs which are really unusable).

 
For the sake of fairness, I’m not sure how many people would continue follow me if I did not follow them back. I almost always tweet articles from my blog, other articles I find interesting, retweets of articles other people found interesting, blip my favorite music, and generally chat the vast majority of my time – or better phrased “interact with my followers” ;-) ). So I assume if I were to, say, unfollow 90% of my followers, a great number would unfollow me. I also think it’s not unfair.

 
This brings me to an interesting question: so assuming one is not a celebrity or someone whose content greatly appeals to the masses. What would happen if he or she were to unfollow most of their followers? Let’s try and see.

 
Recently I was unfollowed by three people I was following for a long while. When I looked at their follower charts (as I like doing, since there’s always something I find interesting in this data) I noticed that all three did a mass unfollow. Note that this seems to be somewhat of a recent trend since some companies pay people who tweet and their ratio of followers to followees is one factor in determining the price they can demand (supposedly, the greater the ratio, the more of a celebrity you are – which actually does make sense).

 
Since I don’t want to mention any names, I’ll bring the follower charts of these three. If you have any guess who they might be, please do not comment below as I will edit the names out. This is not meant to be a personal criticism of anyone. Really.

 


 

As you can see, in the first two images, there was an immediate mass reciprocal unfollow, following by a stead steam of unfollowing. In image 1, even now, a month and half after the mass unfollow, the trend of unfollowing appears to be continuing. In other words, this person is still losing followers.

 
In image 2, which is much more recent, despite the smaller scale of the mass unfollow, the exact same thing appears to still be happening.

 


 
In image 3, it is a bit harder to tell since the mass unfollow has just occurred – so the trickle hasn’t started just yet – but in all likelihood, the same thing will occur.

 
Personally I believe that in all three cases, people have unfollowed for one or more of the following reasons:

  1. Just because. You unfollow me, I unfollow you. It’s not fair otherwise.
  2. Automatic unfollow: you unfollow me, my autopilot program detects this after X days and unfollows you.
  3. You’re boring, and suddenly I realized that now I have no more incentive to follow you, ergo, you’re gone.

 
Despite the fact that in none of the cases 100% or even 50% of the people have unfollowed the person, the trend in all cases appears to be negative, so there’s no reason to assume it’ll stop – though of course there isn’t enough data to support this theory. Personally, I don’t think it will stop for exactly the above reasons. I think most people simply aren’t aware that they are no longer being unfollowed, and the slow trickle of unfollowing occurs because one by one they discover that.

 
My own personal reaction to this was to immediately unfollow all three once I realized I am being unfollowed. As I discovered, it seems I did not follow them for their content as I do not even notice their tweets are gone. Otherwise I would’ve stuck with them.

 
Any thoughts?

 

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many followers on twitter

After using Twitter very heavily for – what – 3 months now? I’ve noticed that there are certain mandatory milestones people who use Twitter pass through.

 
The first occurs somewhere around 150 followers/followees. You realize there’s no way you could keep track of all the conversations since the web interface isn’t really designed for this. At this point people either limit the number of people they follow (too many conversations going on), start using specialized software (such as TweetDeck) or just give up and return to Facebook saying that Twitter sucks and they don’t see the point (in fact, I’ve dedicated an entire post to this, Explaining Twitter to Facebook Users).

 
The second is actually an artificial milestone: it’s set exactly at 2,000 followers. This number is defined by Twitter itself. I don’t remember the exact rule, but it goes something like this: you can’t follow more than 2,000 people unless you have at least 90% of that – 1800 – followers (or something similar). This is actually pretty effective, and you see a lot of people with disproportional follower/followee ratio (50 followers and 1750 they follow). Usually these are people who try gaining a large number of followers very quickly. Not that it’s impossible, but this is not the right way I believe, and neither this is the point of Twitter. The easy – and the fun – way to overcome this is by progressing through interaction (and I’ve written a post about that too: How to Gain Twitter Followers For Free and With No Tools). I wasn’t even aware of this limitation when I crossed 2,000!

 
(An interesting side note, several friends have told me in the past that I have an anecdote for everything. This is true. For almost everything I hear there’s something related I can think of. A family trait, we all are like this. Funny that my blog is starting to look like that too, don’t you think?).

 
The third milestone, is one I believe I reached in the past two weeks is – I estimate – around 5,000 followers, and will shortly elaborate on it.

 
I’m sure there are more such milestones I haven’t reached: 20,000, 50,000, 100,000, 1 million, 3 million, 1 billion, etc. And of course, some milestones can only be reached by God and Ashton Kutcher, and neither is talking to us, so they shall have to remain a mystery.

 
So back to what I wanted to cover in this post: What happens when you start having a lot of followers? (which in this context, is my third milestone).

 
Although I “only” have 7,000 followers, thanks to my witty banter, humorous activities and unnatural modest personality (not to mention my own custom devised algorithm of finding followers – why do people need software packages? It’s just so easy), and some of my best Twitter friends have way, way more followers than I do (like Darren, 101,000 followers, Heather, 22,000 and Ken, 20,000), I’ve started feeling a change once I reached the third milestone. By the way, these three people are always going to be on my #FollowFriday list. Truly some of the greatest people I know on Twitter and outside!

 
An important point: I follow almost every single person who follows me. Why? I just think it’s fair. This point is arguable since I know many people don’t agree with this philosophy, but personally I think that unless you’re a real (non web) celebrity or truly have something unique to say on Twitter (not your blog, TV show, or whatever), you can’t expect people to follow you if you don’t return the favor. The fact John Chow lost a quarter (or more) of his 60,000 followers since his mass unfollow just proves this point – and I don’t think his process of losing followers is over just yet! Of course, this only holds true if you’re actively trying to expand your number of followers: if you’re just in Twitter then there truly is no obligation for you to follow anyone.

 
Here’s what happens – at least to me:

 
The good

  1. When I first heard of Twitter, I read that you can pose a question, and you’ll always get an answer from someone in the Twitterverse. So after I joined and had a couple hundred of followers I tried it. No response. I tried it again later. No response. And again. No response. Kind of sucked, but I thought – I guess I simply don’t have enough friends/followers.

     
    However, some time ago after the ‘third milestone’, I tried again. I pose a question and now I always get answers. Usually multiple, and usually from people I don’t know. This is just awesome. For someone like me, who thrives on interaction and enjoys meeting new people and starting conversations this is absolutely fantastic. I’ve actually started doing it just to get closer to some people who follow me (and I them). This is one of the best aspects of Twitter. I’m really enjoying this.

     

  2. You start getting offers for Sponsored Tweets. My original reason for entering Twitter was promotion of my blog and I knew this may have financial repercussions even though I didn’t anticipate or aim for short-term ones (it’s been 3 months and I’m still not doing anything of the sort). However, I truly hadn’t expected anything like that. You tweet a 1-3 messages and get money? It’s not a lot of money, yet this was still a nice surprise. I tweet sometimes hundreds of messages a day, what’s another one? Let alone one I mark as ‘#ad’ or ’sponsored’ (the application gives you that option)

     

  3. People you don’t know start referencing you or a conversation you had in a way that implies they know you or have been following your conversations, at least to some extent. Some people may feel threatened by this, but I just love it. It’s like skipping the whole “introduction” aspect of becoming a friend – like jumping directly to stage 2 of a friendship.

     

  4. Continuing the last item, people you don’t know start including you in their #FollowFriday. This even now still surprises me and greatly flatters me.

     

  5. You get more business opportunities. I’ve already had several such discussions – which makes sense, because there are so many people on Twitter who look for that, myself included. The one that most surprised me is the offer to give high level direction to a new Twitter application as a “Twitter Guru”. And more so, that the advice I gave was extremely easy to give and I also think, extremely useful. Twitter is truly very simple after all. After you’ve used it for a while you know what could be improved on and what is already great.

 
The bad

  1. Your twitter mailbox becomes useless. Tweetdeck shows you only the last 20 messages, so these days I usually don’t even bother checking my DM box – it’s filled with “offers” and twit validations and whatever. It’s a shame they can’t get a better system for that, like a white-list or a word filter (I’d filter every message that mentions “Trump”), because I’m sure I missed the occasional important direct message (apologies if I never answered someone who reads this).

     

  2. There is a definite loss of privacy. Personally, I’m not too sensitive about what I say. Although at times I’m sure it would be best if some tweets were not public, I still don’t worry about that too much. However, particularly when engaging in personal conversations, sometimes it’s almost easy to forget there’s an audience (and this changes when someone jumps into the conversation – happened several times). This is particularly true when you speak to someone who has fewer followers – or follows only real world friends – and may not to be used to keeping this in mind.

     

  3. Twitter becomes an increasingly greater time hog. Today I had lunch with a friend who told me “but you don’t really know or care about all 7,000 people, do you?”, and I said I don’t know all of them, but I know many, and certainly will be happy to get to know better anyone who is interested in knowing me. Furthermore, those that I do know, I care about, and as a result, I find myself spending more and more time on Twitter. People who know me know I’m very honest about saying this. I’ve met some fantastic friends in the past few months as result of using Twitter.

 
I don’t know what the future will bring to either myself or Twitter (personally I’m not too certain about its future). I assume it’s a different scenario when you have a 100,000 followers. I certainly have no problem conversing with multiple people at the same time (I vaguely remember even testing myself using various messengers and the maximum conversations I simultaneously could do is 8 – not just in terms of typing – I type very quickly – but also in terms of being truly focused on the conversation).

 
However, with such a great number of followers I’m sure one may easily find himself talking with many more people than 8. That would be beyond my technical ability (though it’s possible mentally I could do more than 8). If that happens, I’ll simply become a slow responder, I guess. Not that I envision myself ever having 100,000 followers (I anticipate I’ll peak at 30,000. Don’t ask me why, it’s just an educated guess).

 

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Celebrity following

 

As you may know, the famous blogger, John Chow, has recently unfollowed almost all of his followers (~55,000) in a single day and left only a 100. I read his post about this and all the comments (there were a lot of those). I also read several of the posts other bloggers wrote following his decision, some with very harsh criticism. I’ve met John Chow in Affiliate Summit East and spoke to him on several occasions and think he’s a very nice guy. He unfollowed me too, but then again, I can’t say we are close, so I understand his decision, and certainly don’t take it personally.

 
But this post is not about John Chow’s decision. Plenty of words were written about that.

 
After reading all the mentioned posts it made me think: why do people follow celebrities? I don’t think John Chow is really a celebrity, but to a certain audience, he is. When I was an academic, certain people were celebrities in my field, but I assure you, they won’t get recognized on the street and you’ve never heard their names.

 
There are several reasons I can think of why people would follow a celebrity on Twitter (and note that this also applies to other social media sites such as Facebook):

  1. To get a reciprocal follow: meaning, if you follow John Chow, he might follow you in return. I believe that’s usually not the case when dealing with celebrities because there are several other million people you can follow who will follow you back, but I’m just listing it as a possible factor.

     

  2. Because you’re curious about their lives. Why do people follow Ashton Kutcher or Britney Spears? To see what they do in their day to day life. Hey, it’s all public, so why not? They invite this publicity.

     

  3. Because they provide interesting content. Some celebrities, such as Mashable, write excellent content. Really, almost every one of Mashable’s tweets is a winner – I could not unfollow him even if I wanted to because he’s simply too good a source to give up. It doesn’t matter at all that he doesn’t follow me back. The New York times doesn’t read my blog and I don’t stop reading it, do I?

     

  4. Because they want a chance to interact with them. If you follow someone, you can comment on something they do or they may follow you back… and then you may actually get to ‘talk’ to them. Touch the stars. Be a part of their lives. This goes back to one of my first posts which dealt with interaction.

     

I think for most people it’s usually (4), that is, the chance to interact with celebrities, and to a lesser extent, (2), that is, to simply follow their lives out of curiosity. However, let’s face it, the tweets of most celebrities are extremely boring. It’s like seeing the twitter account of your not so bright teenage next door neighbor. That being said, interacting with a celebrity means you get to say “Hey, I chatted with Britney today” even if all she responded to you was “thank you” – and you get to talk about this for years to come! So I think interaction is the main reason, even if it’s trivial interaction.

 
This reminds me of quick personal anecdote: should I be discussing this in a public forum? Never mind. In the mid 90s, a friend of mine used to be a secretary of a very famous Israeli general who – years later – was a candidate to be the head of the Israeli Mossad (he didn’t get the job by the way). You’d often read about him in the news at the time since he dealt with very sensitive issues. When she left her job, she had a small going-away party (for around 20 people), and he came too as her boss. She personally introduced everyone to everyone, so I was introduced to him as well. At some point someone was talking in the background while she was making a speech, effectively interrupting her (rather impolitely), so he shouted “Silence, Schlessinger!”. Clearly he confused that guy who was misbehaving with me (my friend quickly corrected him, “No no, that wasn’t Udi, he’s a good guy”). But for years later I used to say “You know, the potential head of the Israeli Mossad shouted at me in anger”. Silly, I know, but worthy of an anecdote even 15 years later. Don’t you think?

 
Anyway, my above conclusions made me examine my own list of people I follow. I follow very few celebrities, and most of them are in John Chow’s league (i.e. most people won’t know them). I asked myself: why do I follow William Shatner? I really liked him in Star Trek, but his Tweets are boring (no offense Bill if you’re reading this). I know why I follow Mashable (mentioned above). I started following Brent Spiner (Data from Star Trek) because – I guess – I was curious and wanted to interact with him, but now I follow him simply because he is a very interesting person. He’s extremely witty and funny, and provides one of the best sources of content on Twitter.

 
After this pondering I realized that very few of the celebrities I follow are really justified. Most are either boring (often very boring) and they most definitely don’t interact with me. So why should I follow them? Once I realized that, I unfollowed most (like all 6 of them ;) ) and left those that either I really find interesting, or have interacted with in the past. Sorry Shatner, you had to go. Don’t take it personally, I still think you were awesome in Star Trek.

 
Just thought I’ll share this with you, my reader: if you follow some people (celebrity or otherwise) on Twitter, ask yourself, why do you do that? Do you really care about them? Do you just follow them because you want an extra follower? Do you find their tweets interesting? Thoughts worth thinking in my opinion.

 

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Explaining Twitter to your Facebook Friends

This post was surprisingly hard to phrase exactly the way I wanted to. In fact, it took me three days to write, and during this time an event happened which directly related to what I was writing.

 
Before I begin, I want to quickly compare Facebook and Twitter.

 
Facebook: you have a list of friends, who see your status messages which you can frequently change, you can share with them photos, videos, email, a million applications & games, and even chat. You’re limited to 5,000 friends.

 
Twitter: you have a list of friends, who can see your status message you can frequently change, but are limited to 140 characters. You can send email, but again, are limited to 140 characters. You can see status of groups using the # tag (i.e. #quotes). You can resend other people’s status (Retweeting) which will result in your followers seeing this message. You’re not limited to a maximum number of friends.

 
I’ll admit that a few months ago Twitter seemed to me like a stripped down version of Facebook. Why would I need Twitter if I have Facebook? I mean, everything I can do with Twitter, I can do with Facebook, only better, right? That’s a view that most of my friends on Facebook seem to have. And like I said, until recently, so did I.

 
But oh, how wrong was I. If you’re a Twitter user that that follows at least 200 users you probably know what I mean. If not, please read on.

 
Once I started using Twitter more seriously I realized that Twitter and Facebook, although on the surface seem like two incredibly similar applications, are in fact completely different creatures. The difference is simple. In my opinion – and some readers may disagree – Twitter is not so much a social network, as much as a cross between a gigantic chat room and a search engine. Whereas Facebook is, well, a straightforward social network. Each is great in its own way – I don’t mean to imply one is better than the other, they just have different usages.

 
The way I see things, in Facebook the point is really staying in close contact with your friends. Seeing pictures of their kids. Getting a general update of what they do in their lives. All relatively slow paced. In Facebook changing your status more than, say, 5 times a day is almost considered impolite, whereas in Twitter some people change their status hundreds of times a day (which would be completely unacceptable in Facebook – I think they even warn you if you do this).

 
But that is the entire point! In Twitter the point is ultra-fast conversations between individuals and groups of people. The 140 limit is intentional: it (correctly) assumes that our attention span is becoming shorter, and consequently, enforces brevity – short and precise messages. In Twitter you can send a message to all your followers (which could be more than a million, i.e. @Mashable), or send a message to followers of a group, which are marked by the # symbol. So sending a message to #quotes will result in everyone checking this list getting the message.

 
In twitter, Retweeting is a large part of the culture: sharing something with everyone that you got. Or reinforcing that a tweet you saw by Retweeting it – kind of like saying “I also think this is good”. If I tweet something, and Ashton Kutcher (@aplusk) with his 3,270,965 followers decides to retweet it, then these 3 million twitter users will see it. That’s a huge difference between Facebook and Twitter.

 
But the biggest difference of all is essentially that of Twitter being a Search Engine. I only got this point when I heard Jay Berkowitz (@JayBerkowitz)’s excellent seminar. In Google, if you’re lucky, a site is indexed in 1-3 days. Sometimes sites aren’t indexed for months, and if you have a doubt, check out my own site: www.sciportal.com, kind of a website I use for testing various things (and the first domain I owned for commercial applications). It hasn’t been indexed since June 20th despite repeated attempts to force Google to index it using various methods.

 
So suppose I want to ask someone whether the new movie, District 9, is any good. All I need to do is go to search.twitter.com and search for ‘district 9′, and I will find hundreds of people who tweeted about it in the last 10 seconds. Can you do that in Facebook? Can you do that in Google? Most definitely not.

 
Consequently, attempting to compare Facebook and Twitter without considering all these facts is like comparing oranges and apples. It’s simply not the same thing and not even close.

 
The frustrating thing is that many Facebook users – again, yours truly was like this before – join Twitter and expect the Facebook experience. They are annoyed by the vast number of messages. Admittedly, it can and is overwhelming at first, and that’s why tools such as TweetDeck exist – to create order in the chaotic mess that the Twitter timeline is.

 
Today, a friend of mine “diplomatically” complained that I’m sending too many tweets and this is “noise” in his opinion. I “diplomatically” replied “too bad, that’s how Twitter works, maybe you should stick to Facebook if that’s how you feel”. He thought I was being sarcastic, but I was not. I explained him that what he sees as noise is what I consider a wealth of opportunity to meet people, to hear a random smart quote I can retweet, to get the occasional relevant article that I would’ve never seen otherwise. To meet new friends. And that to me, this is not noise at all, but the entire point of Twitter. I also pointed out that I follow more than 20 times the number of people he does (he follows 50 people, I follow around 1,100), and yet I manage not to be overwhelmed and in fact greatly enjoy the process.

 
His response was to unfollow me. I think he thought I’m trying to mock him, but I genuinely was not. Twitter is about interaction. If you want a silent, nearly static, social network experience, then Facebook really is for you. But if you want the “noise” that Twitter brings, the retweets, the group chats: the #FollowFridays, the #Quotes, the #Google messages – the chaotic mess that is Twitter, then you are going to love it in Twitter.

 
Personally, I love both. So I use Facebook in one way, and Twitter in a completely different way. And that’s how things should be in my opinion.

 
What do you think? In this article in particular I am eager to receive comments. Either way, don’t forget to follow me! :)

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