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:
— Corryn Mobley🇺🇸 (@Corrynmb) May 16, 2017
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.