Twitter is a most subversive platform [1]

How Twitter operates – user end

For those who don’t know, you set up an a/c as you would any other social media and Follow someone by clicking – you can use Search to find people to follow. Others follow you.

Just like the internet in general – there is utter dross out there, trolls, people flogging their wares, irrelevance, even criminal activity … and very good sources dotted in among them.

You have a timeline which is a log of all the tweets anyone you’ve followed sent out in a given time.  You could use it for friends and have just a dozen, say and it’s a nice, steady incoming message platform.  Or you could do as I and millions of others do and have a large number coming through.

The tweeter needs to remember that if he follows 20,000 people [accounts], then all the tweets of all of those come through to his own timeline and become next to impossible to sort out.  I’m just short of 2000 followers and am following about a hundred less but that generates thousands of tweets a day i.e. I need to flick past that number on my line to get to those I want.

The major players on twitter can have 50,000 to a million followers, usually they’re in the US which is given to big numbers.  Firms use Twitter a lot:

Everything is in your choice of followers [or feeds]

It’s down to whom you let through, whom you block.  For critics to say Twitter is rubbish, it’s just Twitterati chatting, is to misunderstand this platform.  It can be that way if you do not control who comes in.

I have a majority of Deplorables on politics on both sides of the pond, some from the other side who want to keep tabs on me and I’ve followed back, a large number of ‘gardening’ tweeters or ladies with all their hearts and messages of love, there’s a large food and drink blogging contingent and a small football group.

As mentioned, you have complete control over whom you choose to be there by means of the tools Unfollow, Block, Delete – it’s a good platform that way, unlike Facebook.  True, Twitter HQ itself is highly politicized towards the Left or globalists- I’ve been banned once but am now more careful about what I write.

As a news source

If you are good at whittling down to only trusted sources, your own trustworthiness as a source improves but it takes time and effort. You need months and even a year to see if a source checks out and is consistently good.

Why would you?  Because this is becoming the prime news source, with the MSM enemy territory and even Breitbart occasionally iffy.  Plus some light relief:

The women are very good at this sort of thing and so people like Julia, Goodnight Vienna, Anna Bacon and others who are perhaps at the second level up are in communication the whole time and others within their own followers get to see things they ‘retweet’, i.e. they send out something you discovered, you retweet them and so on.

An example was this by Anna Bacon retweeting a pundit in the US who ran this:

It is vastly more trustworthy, it is instant and cannot be censored – by the time Twitter tries to censor it, we’re onto something else. The tweet is archived independently and Twitter can do nothing about it. The term ‘viral’ has been used to describe it and true, a story only lasts so long.

Yes – untruths are also trolled in by seeming allies but that’s the case in life anyway – after time, they fall by the wayside.  However, there’s a lot of truth told:


The big players are on Twitter, from The Tories and Labour to POTUS to the DNC to Amazon to Tesco to travel firms – the big pundits have around a million followers, sometimes many times over, sometimes a bit less. They use it as serious advertising.

I’d call myself lower medium on Twitter, being relatively new and not being single issue, plus the messages are not popular with many, plus there is prejudice in the States to me being Brit.  What sort of traffic for a lower medium?  These were my stats a few days ago:

This needs interpretation, as it is not like blog uniques and visitors, it works a bit differently and looks far more impressive than it is.  Twitter says this:

In Union Metrics Twitter reporting, we define reach as the total number of estimated unique Twitter users that tweets about the search term were delivered to. Exposure is the total number of times tweets about the search term were delivered to Twitter streams, or the number of overall potential impressions generated. 

When we say “impression”, we mean that a tweet has been delivered to the Twitter stream of a particular account.

The difference here is that your tweet reaches your ‘followers’ and that tweet is then seen by other people if you retweet – so it becomes exponential.  It certainly reaches those numbers quoted above but if each one of them is like me – they scroll down quickly and one’s tweet is one of thousands, to be ignored or noted.


On a blog, someone goes to an RSS reader or follows a search term or even visits – the number of visitors therefore, because it involves effort on the part of the reader, is by nature far less.  The core is those who have you on their reading lists or blogrolls.

If you want in-depth, then a blog is not the place – you need pdfs.  If you want a fair amount of detail on something but not overwhelming, then a blog is perfect.  If you want instant unvarnished truth through your trusted sources, then Twitter is the first choice.

The 140 characters

Just as blogs use links to get across far more information than a blogpost can contain, so Twitter is totally reliant on links – 140 characters or maybe 17 words is not a lot to contain everything you need to get across.

Links are the conduit.  It would be wrong to think of Twitter as ‘shallow’ — it’s just a platform in itself, more like a series of newspaper headlines – it is an indicator, that’s all, of a topic you might like to explore explore via the links.

A balanced view of life

Twitter can also give you this via your choices of whom to follow.  On this page, I’ve included different types of tweets coming through to me – you can use the platform to bring whatever balance you like through to your computer screen.

Part two gives some examples of how it is politically useful.


14 comments for “Twitter is a most subversive platform [1]

  1. May 17, 2017 at 14:13

    I must confess that I don’t understand Twitter. I can see its potential but I don’t understand how it works. At some stage I will have to sit down and try to work it out.

    • May 17, 2017 at 15:51

      I just explained how it worked. 🙂

      • May 17, 2017 at 20:56

        It’s some of the nuts and bolts stuff I haven’t mastered yet.

  2. ivan
    May 17, 2017 at 20:05

    dfordoom, don’t bother trying to work it out, you might not even see anything.

    Every time I click on a link to a twit all I get is a load of disjointed headers/words down the left of the screen and if I scroll down I get a notice saying something about it not loading and to try again. Trying again gets the same thing so why bother.

    • May 17, 2017 at 20:30

      You Luddites all – a squiz at the screenshots shows it does work if done properly. 🙂

      • May 17, 2017 at 21:08

        I get lots of messages about tweets not being available, and they always seem like they’re going to be the interesting ones. I’m not sure I understands how to do links properly. They don’t seem like the links that other people have in their tweets. I don’t understand how and why I’m supposed to use hashtags. I’m really mostly interested in using Twitter as a way to promote my blog, rather than as an end in itself.

        Part of the problem is that my Mac is ancient and my operating system is hopelessly out of date which might be why things don’t work properly. I will be buying a nice new shiny computer, the minute I win the football pools.

        I am definitely an unashamed Luddite. I detest all digital technology. To me a computer is a necessary evil. I like what computers can do but I hate the wretched things with a passion. I especially hate being forced to get a new computer or upgrade the operating system just so Apple can make more money.

        I don’t even have a mobile phone. Not even a dumbphone, much less a smartphone. I hate them too. Smash the machines. I was meant for a horse-drawn world. I’m sure I’d have been a whizz with the Victorian steam-powered version of Twitter.

        • May 19, 2017 at 14:53

          I’ve just had Twitter breakdown on computer and now also on iPad. Only response is to go away, come back later.

      • May 19, 2017 at 14:26

        OK, a technical question. How do you get those nice links to a blog post? The links that have a picture you can click and a sort of preview thingy in your tweet?

        • May 19, 2017 at 14:54

          You’ll only get those within the text. Some sites make a link turn into a graphic … but not all. It’s hit and miss a lot.

          • May 19, 2017 at 16:27

            OK, thanks.

  3. Distant Relative
    May 17, 2017 at 20:37

    So you have to keep your eye on just short of 2,000 followers in case someone has tweeted something interesting in 140 characters during the day or night? No thanks, I have a life!

    • May 17, 2017 at 21:11

      I had a life once. A real life life. I didn’t like it very much. It didn’t agree with me.

    • May 19, 2017 at 14:56

      It doesn’t come to that – many are readers and the active are far fewer. It takes me far more to keep the blog running than the Twitter a/c, which is why so many bloggers have gone over to it.

      I like the blog – it’s more stately, allows more in depth, it’s more genteel.

      • May 19, 2017 at 16:29

        I like the blog – it’s more stately, allows more in depth, it’s more genteel.

        Agreed. Blogs are hard work but quite satisfying.

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