Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Twitter trumps Facebook

Most of my friends and colleagues are on Facebook. I was but am no longer - see 'The Facebook dilemma'.

Not many people I know use Twitter. Not sure why, but here's some guesses:
  • Isn't Twitter just a bunch of navel gazers tweeting about what they had for breakfast?
  • Already use Facebook and there's a limit to the time I can spend online, let alone on a new learning curve, especially when I don't see the value.
Fascinating, because when I was on Facebook, it soon became apparent that it was a colossal time waster (see earlier blog). Sure, it was neat to see the photos 'friends' took on vacation, and learn the minutia of their lives, but mostly, anything learned was trivial.

Moreover, Facebook is basically selling users to its advertisers. On CBC one morning I heard someone say that when social media sites like FB are free, what they are selling is YOU.


In contrast, with Twitter, you learn things of substance and often before they appear elsewhere, providing you follow users worth following. I could discuss how Twitter has been useful in the so-called 'Arab Spring' and similar worldwide phenomena, but I'll keep it personal.

Twitter is a single website I go to daily to keep up with what interests me. It's the equivalent of one-stop shopping.
Some of those I follow on Twitter:

1. CSTM: @CanSocTransMed
  • Latest updates on the CSTM website and transfusion medicine in Canada.
2. California Blood Bank Society: @cbbsweb

  • The CBBS E-Network Forum is one of the quality places on the Internet to ask transfusion-related questions.

3. Dr. Brian Goldman: @NightShiftMD
  • Dr. Goldman, a Toronto ER physician and host of CBC's White Coat, Black Art, tweets about the latest news related to Canada's health care system.
4. Dark.Daily.com: @Dark_Daily
  • Robert Michel tweets highlights from the Dark Daily, which provides business and management intelligence for laboratory managers, pathologists and diagnostic executives. Great way to keep up with the business of lab medicine.
5. CBC's 'The National': @CBCTheNational
  • Learn what's on the 10 pm hour-long newscast (Best newscast in Canada, hands-down. Sorry to all those who loved Lloyd and now Lisa LaFlamme, but CTV is definitely "news lite".
6. Chelsea football: @chelseafootball and Team Fernando Torres: @TeamNandoTorres
  • Passionate about European 'futball' (soccer) and a huge Fernando Torres fan, even though he's having a terrible year.
7. David Pogue: @Pogue
  • David is the tech columnist for the NY Times. Following his tweets is an easy way to keep updated on the latest IT advances.
8. Oxford Dictionaries: @OxfordWords
  • Love words and language? These tweets will delight.
9. Dan Gardner: @dgardner
  • Dan, an Ottawa Citizen columnist, specializes in piercing the nonsense of Canadian politics.
10. Old Strathcona: @oldstrathcona
  • I live in the Old Strathcona district of Edmonton and appreciate keeping current with local businesses and events.
11. Rick Mercer: @rickmercer

Long ago I learned that I was addicted to information. Twitter provides information worth knowing.

With apologies to buddies on FB, with few exceptions, Facebook does not offer info worth knowing. With FB you can easily spend hours browsing the trivia of your friends' lives and come away with nothing that matters, at least nothing you will remember for more than a couple of minutes. Given our time on this planet is limited, is this time well spent?


You can create a Twitter account and never post a tweet. Go to Twitter and sign up.

Choose a username that does not reveal your identity. For example, I chose bogeywheels and my spouse and I chose grumblingonions as usernames. Thus our Twitter accounts are @bogeywheels and @grumblingonions.

People know who we are only because we included our websites in Twitter info but you can leave all the info blank and remain anonymous.

Once you have a Twitter account, you can subscribe ('follow') whoever you want. You never have to tweet. But each day you can access your Twitter account and read the tweets of those you follow.

All the valuable information you want in one place. That's the beauty of Twitter. And do not be put off by the 140 character limit. It's a great way for users to learn how to write concisely.

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