Sunday, January 24, 2010

Weekend Assignment #303: To Tweet Or Not To Tweet

This week's guest professor is Carly, subbing for me after I confessed I was stuck for a topic:

Weekend Assignment #303: Do you Tweet? Why or why not?
to which I add

Extra Credit: If you do use Twitter, how many people follow you? How many do you follow?

Back before the 2008 election, when I was newly unemployed (again) and not yet on Facebook, I spent about five hours a day on Twitter. Every day I promoted the day's blog entry (this was when I was still blogging every day), a task made easier when I signed up for Twitterfeed to automate the process. I supplemented this with the occasional 140 character quip or observation or opinion or microburst of personal news.

But most of what I was doing in the weeks leading up to the election was clicking on the links in the Twitter accounts I followed, including a couple of people and shows at NPR and several sections of The Huffington Post. Reading those alone took up vast amounts of time.

Once the election was over, I was no longer as intensely interested in the day's political news, and the time spent on Twitter started to feel excessive. At the same time, I was followed by more and more TwitterSpam (Spitter?) accounts, however briefly, and sorting through the new followers started to get tedious. I soon cut back my Twitter activity. At first I tried to check out Twitter every day, however briefly, but soon I wasn't booting the site at all, unless I posted a photo on the related site TwitPic.

My posts on Twitter continued, however, thanks for Twitterfeed. Every time I posted an entry here or on the church blogs, a blurb and a link hit Twitter. All this automation was great and easy until Facebook was added to the mix, and then AIM. With all these sites feeding each other,  the cross-posting can get ridiculous. Check out the effect of last night's post on my Facebook wall above. Overkill much?

Still, I think it's a good platform, if you don't let it rule your life, or if you have bundles of time and no reason not to hang out on Twitter. I currently have 176 accounts I follow, from friends to actors, news feeds to Doctor Who set reporters (fans) in Cardiff, Wales. And I don't read any of them any more unless I have a specific reason to fire up the program. 160 people follow me in return, and seldom see a word that isn't piped in from the Outpost!

How about you? Do you tweet often, or a little, or not at all? Please tell us about it in your blog, or in the comments thread below.

While you're thinking about that, let's have a look at last week's assignment. For Weekend Assignment #302: Your Favorite Charity, I asked whether you contributed to any charities, and which ones. Click on each name below to get to get to their blogs and read more:

Florinda said...
Some of the causes I support aren't necessarily the first things that come to mind as "charities." For example, I'm a sustaining "Star Member" of KCRW, one of the LA area's NPR stations, which means they automatically get $10 from me every month. I was a member of the Memphis Zoological Society for several years after I no longer worked for them (or even lived in Memphis), and I feel guilty about letting it lapse. My support for them comes from personal knowledge of what they do, and I really should get around to joining again (especially since several of their member benefits are reciprocated by other zoos).

Julie said in comments...
Hi Karen, I'm swamped again this week, so I'm answering in the comments. Accept my apologies. I figure this is better than not doing it at all.

I support several charities. I can't say that I have a favorite. Amongst those I support are The Salvation Army, the Red Cross, and local food banks. My last charitable donation was just this week. Several of the local food stores participate in the "Souper Bowl," which supports local food banks. All someone has to do is grab a bag and take it to the checkout along with the rest of their purchase. I do that often during this time of year.

Your turn! Here are the guidelines:

1. Please post your entry no later than Friday, January 29th at 6 PM. (You can also post your response in the comments thread, but a blog entry is better.) I hope to get the next WA posted on Friday night - no more of this Sunday night stuff!
2. Please mention the Weekend Assignment in your blog post, and include a link back to this entry.
3. Please come back here after you've posted, and leave a link to your entry in the comments below.
4. Visiting other participants' entries is strongly encouraged!
5. I'm always looking for topic ideas. Please email me at mavarin2 on if there's a Weekend Assignment theme you'd like to see. If I use your idea, you will be credited as that week's "guest professor."

I hope to hear from you soon.



barrettmanor said...

Don't faint! I actually wrote something! And it's Monday!

Carly said...

Hi Karen

I thought I better play this week. LOL. You can find it here...


Mike said...

I'm up. Just under the wire!

fdtate said...

Since you waited until last weekend was almost over to post the assignment, I decided to wait until this weekend to reply...