Twitter. Twitter. Twitter. Oh, and Twitter.

Aren’t you sick of it yet?

I’ve avoided this post for a while now, because I didn’t want to offend anyone.  Read on though, because I don’t hate Twitter. I’m just frustrated with some of it’s users.

Online Social Interaction

It started about ten years ago with online journals. For the most part, someone would write about their personal life and a small group of friends would keep up with each other’s journals. These pretty much fizzled out about five years later when everyone realized their life wasn’t all that exciting and no one actually cared to read about them.

The death of the online journal was quickly revived and renamed, however. Blogging was popularized. The difference? Not really anything, except blogs were accepted territory for non-personal communication as well as the same old boring personal diaries.

Blogging will surely have a much longer lifespan. It encompasses so much ground (personal diaries, company news, online magazines, professional journalists, etc.) that the death of blogging won’t be because people get tired of it, but because it gets renamed. The tension between professional journalists and amateur newsies will cause some sort of split and renaming of each vehicle of media.

So blogging hasn’t even died and now we have micro-blogging — the pesterous, constant updates about people’s unexciting lives. At least, that’s what it started as. Now, it’s pesterous, constant spam with the unexciting personal updates mixed in.

Find out how many people are “eating hot dogs“. Who cares?

Why Twitter Sucks

90% of the users are marketing & PR “experts”. Haven’t you noticed that it seems like everyone is a marketeer with a blog (which just so happens to be posts all about Twitter)? I don’t want to generalize though — there are plenty of people out there that have nothing to do with marketing and there are a few bonafide experts.

In reality, it’s a pool of mediocrity. Twitter gives everyone a platform. For the marketeers that don’t really know anything about marketing, they can create a Twitter account and get a ton of followers. There’s something tangible they did and they claim to have done it with some sort of Twitter insider knowledge. The question remaining is: did you actually popularize a product or service?

What in the world is the point of following 1,000 people? I use the music site lala.com and you can follow people to see what they’re listening to. Now, if I followed hundreds of people they probably wouldn’t be listening to what I like and how could I even keep up with what they’re listening to? Instead, I follow just a handful of people with music tastes that I like. The same goes for Twitter: if you have hundreds of people you’re following then you have a low quality stream of updates and what’s the point?

Why Twitter CAN Be Great

With all of the crap I just dropped on Twitter, there’s still some light shining through.

News. Some really interesting news has been recorded because of instant mobile access to Twitter.

The right kind of marketing. Because people are going to use Twitter no matter what, there are some things that can be done well to market to them: exclusive Twitter coupons/promo codes, contests, integration with offline campaigns. Notice, these examples don’t include anything that would require updating your account 100 times a day or even gaining followers.

That’s about it all the good I see in Twitter. I don’t care if you are pooping, going to sleep, or hate your boss.

I’m Guilty

I didn’t get this frustrated sitting on the sidelines. I was a part of the mess for a while.

I actually used Twitter primarily to promote my non-profit website giveaway and it worked wonders. You can see why though. I was doing something nice and giving something free.

So, maybe this’ll be a wakeup call for some.

Site Updated & Why You Should Be Using Thesis

thesis-300x250First things first, the site has a refreshed look. It’s the same basic design it was before, but I’ve changed several things.

Before I get to the site changes, the other big news is that my site is now being hosted by HostGator. Previously I was on MediaTemple. Lots of great things to say about them, but the 1 thing that matters the most to any site owner is the availability and speed of the site.

All was great when I first started with MT, but things have been on the decline for a while….to the point that the site was taking 5-10 seconds to START loading. Crazy.

So I’ve heard great things about HostGator and things are MUCH faster. Good move Patrick.

Site Changes

Like I said, the basics are still here, but there were lots of kinks. Previously I meant to work in some fairly important features like, say subscribing to the blog and searching the site. Doh! Well, I wanted them in the design badly, but got stuck on how to actually make it work. I built the site upon the Thesis theme and because I was a newbie with it I failed to achieve everything I wanted.

Now, I’m no newbie.

That’s why I can comfortably tell you to download the Thesis theme for yourself (like right now!).

After playing with Thesis enough I was easily able to accomplish everything I wanted. Now I think the site is beautiful. Thesis takes care of so much and really makes my job easier.

So the actual changes include a sidebar with all the cool sidebar stuff. There’s better formatting in the blog, a subscribe button, and a smarter home page.

FeedBurner Increases Subscriptions

Maybe.

So last week I activated the FeedBurner plugin for WordPress which redirects all RSS feeds to FeedBurner and allows them to serve my RSS feed and gives me access to stats and advanced features.

Redirected All Traffic to FeedBurner

What happened after that is weird. Either I had a great Saturday last week and my subscriptions doubled or these stats are fishy.

Now, to be fair I have been kind of….well…stupid with my blog in the past. I started the blog at developdaly.com and then I moved it to developdaly.com/blog and then I moved it back to developdaly.com.

So in the past people subscribed to all of these feeds:

  • developdaly.com/feed
  • developdaly.com/blog/feed
  • feeds.feedburner.com/developdaly

I’ve used FeedBurner in the past, but when I relaunched my site two weeks ago I hadn’t enabled FeedBurner redirection.

What Might Have Happened

What might have happened here is that people were subscribed to my FeedBurner feed from years ago and they have been showing up in my FeedBurner stats forever, but then when I activated the redirection last week all of my new subscribers (to developdaly.com/feed) were redirected to FB and my stats went way up.

Still Interesting

What is at least intersting to me is that if the above is true my subscribers doubled in the last two weeks. Way to go team!