Twitter rocks. But Facebook is better. (Usually. Depending upon what I’m using it for. Normally, I mean. Except for Fridays.)
Twitter rocks. As I’m sure you know by now, Twitter is snippets of info in 140 characters (or less) shared by or with people or organizations you know, wish you knew, want to know more about or know you’ll never get to know but want to know what’s new with them this fine fair day. And in deference to pessimistic pundits, while Twitter isn’t really about what someone had for breakfast this morning, it certainly can be.
I use Twitter to send out updates to friends and others who follow me, be snarky to politicians or to just fire off thoughts into the ether. My favorite self-serving tweet? Almost a year ago, in response to a request from someone to tweet about “love in 140 characters or less,” I tweeted this:
Love in 140 characters? “I gave her my kidney for a transplant, she swooned and gave me her heart. Now we’re joined at the hip.”
One of the things I enjoy about Twitter is the ability to find and track information in real time. For example, I found out about the Hudson river plane crash via Twitter, and follow different news services and blogs to find out breaking news and content updates. It makes it easier to stay up to date than constantly checking those respective web sites. Twitter can be one of the best ways to find customer service relief or put a misbehaving company in the spotlight.
And Twitter can help change the world. Remember how Iranian protesters used Twitter during the elections? (Too bad Ahma-need-therapy-nejad “won” that election…) The recent extrematragedy in Haiti hit Twitter soon after the first tremors hit the island, and Twitter got the word out faster around the world than any other news medium could have. These types of information sharing, in real time, were not possible 10 years ago… heck, they weren’t possible 5 years ago (Twitter hit prime-time consciousness in 2007).
But Facebook is better. The (now patented) Friend Feed gives you a quick glimpse into the sordid lives of all the people who’ve agreed to let you stalk them on facebook.com. You can see pictures of their child’s latest drawing (really? Macaroni noodles? Isn’t that so 1970s??), watch video clips your friends post for your amusement, or just hear about their boredom standing on line at the DMV.
Facebook offers users a place to collect and share their thoughts, (the Wall), display info on who they are, post photos from their lives, get involved with groups (Pages) and play community-based games. Twitter is… 140 characters.
Facebook enables users to be picky about who they interact with, allowing YOU to see my profile, but not this guy over there (it’s cause he smells funny). Users can have 5 or 5,000 friends (people to interact with), and are able to specify who sees what on the profile. Companies can create Fan pages and Groups to enable customers to participate and interact. Twitter is… 140 characters.
On Facebook, people can organize and make themselves heard in a large community arena. Anyone can form a group (sometimes they should reconsider). With Twitter, you need to use hash tags (#) or other more arcane characters (@, via, /, RT, ~) to help get your message out.
What differentiates Facebook from Twitter is this: Twitter is a slice of life, while Facebook is more holistic. Twitter focuses on simple 140 max character missives fired off into the Interwebs while Facebook offers a rounder view into a person’s life.
They both rock. I met Taxonomy on Twitter when she started following me (I posted something about taxonomy vendors, lol). Then she bought a Mac, and we became online friends. We would never have met on Facebook; we would never have noticed each other in the little walled garden that Facebook has become. And yes, I could do without the “I had a good b’fast this morning” or the myriad versions of the “TGIF!” messages that seem to dominate Fridays.
And I could live without both quite easily, but I’d rather give up Twitter than Facebook. If only because it’s the only way I’m able to keep up with the lives of people I have a passing curiosity about (and no desire to actually talk to them).
Big thanks to Taxonomy for this opportunity to guest blog! You can read her guest post on my blog, kidTruant.com: “Why you should spend less time on FB and more on Twitter.”
How about you? Does Twitter make your heart flitter, or does Facebook hook you up?