This is a bit out of order in terms of the poll, but since my mother is one of the readers who most wanted to see this post, I’m going to let her trump all. :)
Lissa Pattillo recently blogged about manga publishers and bloggers/reviewers she’s found on Twitter, and as one of those I felt a bit inspired to talk about my own experience there, especially since the thing I hear most from non-users is, well, “Why?”
As with any social situation, we each create our own experience, so I’m not suggesting that everyone out there is using/experiencing Twitter the same way I am, but this is obviously what I can speak best about. What Twitter has most closely resembled for me is those old chat rooms I used to visit way back when I first discovered the internet, only it gives me the capability to control my own experience by choosing exactly who I’m chatting with (or not), and even whose contributions I’m able to see, so I can more effectively communicate with those I most wish to. Real chat rooms tend to scroll by so fast and contain so much noise that is uninteresting to me, that they are pretty much useless to me as a means of real communication. Twitter can move pretty fast, too, and the need for scrolling increases with every new person I decide to follow, but with the built-in reply tool (as well as the ability to use hash symbols to label specific topics), there’s always an opportunity to pick up older conversation.
I know that people are learning more and more how to use Twitter for networking and marketing purposes and though I’m really a novice, I’ve definitely noticed an increase in my blog readership since I joined (I use a WP plugin to automatically “tweet” new posts). My greatest recommendation for new users would be to determine a focus from the get-go and then go through the follow lists of other people with the same focus and start customizing your own community that way. Interaction is the real key to an enjoyable Twitter experience, so join in on conversations and really make a place for yourself at the table. The other manga bloggers I’ve met have been very friendly and talkative and a great thing about the character limit is that it keeps anyone from easily dominating a conversation.
I really didn’t think I’d use Twitter for much when I first signed up, but it’s become a really enjoyable part of my daily online experience as well as a useful tool for interacting with people in a a world I’d like to become even more a part of than I am now. I’ve met new people, shared manga recommendations, talked about blogging, reviewing, industry news, and much, much more. Sold? Come join me!