I agree the basic twitter.com page is like a firehose. However, I've got a few ways of stilling the flow.
I use "Hootsuite" and arrange those I'm following into columns according to interest area e.g. ESL, travel, etc. Then I only put the ones I'm REALLY following closely into each category. The conversations are threaded and if you click on a little + next to the message it brings up a preview of the real site with an image and some text.
If you want to send longers messages, you can use twextra for rich formatting too.
Another nice service is twitt.er times which gives a newspaper version of the main tweets you receive which have attachments. It includes images, a summary of the story and who tweeted or retweeted it.
Also, you can use twitpic or twitvid to upload and share pictures and videos. Twitter is also rolling out a suggested friends function (on the regular .com site).
Of course, I agree that some of these are add-ons rather than built-in features, and that Facebook is more for personal & social communication.
However, FB is not without its issues and limitations also. One of the biggest was privacy problems, which I'm not sure are completely addressed yet. For adults I guess this is less of a concern than with children who may share more on FB than they should. Also, I believe third party companies can still access your friends and friends of friends for direct marketing. Finally, all the stupid/inane apps (like Farmville) are still potential hazards.
That is why I've been terribly unfashionable and started a MySpace account. It's harder to convince friends to use it, but if you look at the new interface and some of the other nice features, it's really as good as FB. Since I have recorded a number of music tracks, MySpace also lets me share these directly from my profile both in audio and video formats. It also offers a blog where you can rant on longer if you want, and it's the second biggest network behind FB.
Bottom line, there's a place for both. It's just a question of getting them to work for you efficiently, and of choosing which to use in which context.
Posted 11th August, 2010 at http://jasonrenshaw.typepad.com/jason_renshaws_web_log/2010/08/facebook-or-twitter-or-both.html
I have to agree with you too. All this ’social’ life can be very exhausting to keep up with. I think many of us decided to dip our feet into the waters of the social web and found that it was really more of a tsunami and a small, babbling brook.
An interesting point, if you watch firemen with their hoses, there are usually two, three or more holding on the line to handle the pressure. So, perhaps you need to hire an assistant to keep it all going. Hugo Chavez has 200 apparently, though one has to wonder what’s the point in his case.
I have managed a slight tapering of the flow by using columns in Hootsuite (Twitter) and just looking at ones that interest me. If I want to read about travel, I just look at that column. Additionally, I’m no longer following a number of those following me as either (a) I don’t have the time or (b) I’m not that interested in their tweet topics.
Possibly the best decision was to set up a Bloglines account. Now I can follow about 70 sites of interest by simply receiving their RSS or Atom feed. The posts can be read without going to the individual sites, so it really saves time and ensures I’m current with what’s happening.
As Marcos said in his comment, it’s a question of determining what one wants to get out of the social web and then building a strategy to go with it. (I haven’t quite worked that out yet.) I’m fortunate in that my tiny website is not looked at that much and is a work in progress. Still, keeping up with the tweets seems the biggest challenge.
Perhaps we should re-write the etiquette for Twitter along these lines:
(1) if you decide to follow me, I may or may not follow you
(2) if you mention me, re-tweet me or send me a tweet, I may or may not acknowledge this or reply to it
(3) if I re-tweet you, I may or may not retweet all the sources before you
(4) I may or may not reply to your tweets either at all or in a timely manner
(5) I will not look back over tweets sent more than two hours ago unless they are DM’s or mentions
(6) I act this way because I want to live my life in balance.
Best wishes, Greg.
Posted by: Greg Quinlivan | June 11, 2010 at 03:43 PM