I’m A Twit!!

Am I a Twit?

God knows I’ve had this shingle hung around my neck by a few dismissive folks over the years.

But I’ve never willingly adopted the moniker. Until Now.


Yes, I joined twitter. I’m not quite committed to the TwitterRevolution as I’m not sure how it will increase my productivity as a blogger or quality as a blogger or the readership of my blog. Nor am I sure how it will increase the quality of the work I do for my Wark Communications clients. Both these considerations will determine if I remain a Twit.

It seems to me that one’s enthusiastic adoption of Twitter into their daily lives amounts to taking the real plunge into social networking. Blogs are one thing. Scanning social networks (Open Wine Consortium) is another. But relenting to receiving tiny messages at random times from any number of of folks you choose to follow really seems like a leap to me.

I’m trying to figure out what place the following twitter message has in my daily life: "It’s colder today. Sun trying to get through."

At this point, I think there might be potential to use Twitter as a way to point Fermentation readers who use twitter toward intriguing news and information that may not warrant a post at Fermentation. In addition, it might be a way to guerrilla-ize my communication work on behalf of Wark Communication clients. For example. I might send out this kind of twitter: "Mayo Winery Launches New Reserve Room Food/Wine Menu: http://www.mayofamilywinery.com/mayofamily/page/reserve_room.jsp (shortening the URL, of course)

If I take this route I’ll find out somewhat quickly what type of client info is acceptable to my "followers"—that does sound nice: FOLLOWERS…Like I have some sort of torch-wielding army at my disposal.

In any case, there is an experiment underway here.

I’d love to hear from others who live in and around the on-line wine world just how useful or intrusive they’ve found Twitter to be.

20 Responses

  1. Arthur - April 8, 2008

    I’m still trying to find a utility for this thing. I guess first I have to get past my own personal impression of it as frenetic and juvenile. I tend to associate hyper, giggling Jr. High girls with this style of communication. My current question is: at what point does the urgency to communicate something supervene substance and thought out commentary?
    This thing may be valid and useful and prove to serve a purpose, I just don’t know if that will be the case for my purposes.

  2. winehiker - April 8, 2008

    If you’re reading this comment, you may know many of us other “twits” already. The kicker is that you’ll now get to know us on a deeper level, depending on your own level of participation. It doesn’t take much effort – only 140 characters at a time. Schoolgirls? Nope, you don’t have to follow them.
    There may have been a time when you questioned the notion of writing a blog, much less reading one. But you did, and you still find value in doing so.
    Truthiness: you’ll never know the value of Twitter until you leap off that roost and start tweeting.

  3. Arthur Przebinda - April 8, 2008

    I agree with you 100%. What I wrote was an honest appraisal of my initial reaction to this way of communicatin. In the end, I did say twitter may be very useful and valuable but I have to decide if it will be of use for me and if it will fit in the format of my web site.

  4. Dr. Debs - April 8, 2008

    I’m not sure that use and value are the point of Twitter. It’s a space where you can stop by, find out what your “imaginary friends” are doing, and pick up some news and gossip from the wine world. Some posts are news tips, some are wine reviews, most are just flashes about how you’re getting through your day.
    I see it as analogous to the coffee machine in a magazine or newspaper office. We’re bloggers–we don’t have offices. So our “coffee break” happens on Twitter.

  5. Arthur Przebinda - April 8, 2008

    Interesting perspective.
    If our blogs are our offices – and where we interact with our readers, with whom do we interact on our ‘coffee breaks’?
    Just thinking that one out, not challenging the concept.

  6. Tom Wark - April 8, 2008

    This is a reasonable explanation to me and it seems Twitter is perfectly capable of being a virtual coffee break room. I wonder if having a coffee break room makes me a better publicist and blogger? I’m not sure. Still testing this nifty little applications and its potential to make me better at what I do.

  7. Dr. Debs - April 8, 2008

    Arthur, I’m not sure I understand you. When a newspaper reporter is sitting at their computer in the office or at home, their readers are not with them–they’re with other reporters, or with their families. I’m a teacher. I talk to my students every day. But when I’m reheating my lunch in the break room, it’s me and other faculty. Occasionally, students wander through, and that’s wonderful, too, but the faculty are the regulars who use the room day in and out for companionship, camaraderie, inspiration, nourishment, etc.
    And Tom, that’s the beauty of both the break room AND twitter. You never know if the time is well spent or what’s going to be said or if any of it matters. Then one day you don’t show up and you miss something, and you wish you had known about it when it happened.

  8. Arthur Przebinda - April 8, 2008

    Dr. Debs:
    I guess my question can be re-phrased as: with whom do we (as bloggers/wine writers) interact with by using twitter? And is that a different group than the one we interact with throught the blog posts?
    How will Twitter enhance or add to our on-line writing?

  9. Robert - The Wine Conversation - April 8, 2008

    All the world’s a stage …
    I would put it this way.
    These tools are about relationships.
    Posting on a blog is you, your personality, your point of view. Two bloggers who *might* consider building a relationship might ‘post’ to each other, but that is like to people trying to make friends through pre-recorded video messages.
    Comments on blogs take that step closer together. Commenting on someone else’s blog is agreeing to play on “their home ground”. It is like agreeing to go on a date just to talk and chat. It is more intimate, but yet it is not ‘conversing’; it is still studied and prepared.
    Twitter can be two things:
    – in its original form it is nothing but a loudspeaker where you blast out what you want to say – and no-one listens.
    – in the best scenario (with a group of friends) it is the breakfast table conversation – relaxed, impromptu, fun, and includes the possibility of discovering new stuff and leaning lots.
    Twitter is by no means deep, but it does encourage informal, relaxed ‘chat’ with a group of friends and therefore improves your relationship with them.
    I just wonder how scalable this model is.
    After all, how would you like to wake up and find your breakfast table populated by 1,000 wine bloggers?

  10. Arthur Przebinda - April 8, 2008

    Perhaps something can be gained from the way Gary V has employed Twitter?….

  11. Dale Cruse - April 8, 2008

    I have thousands of friends on Twitter and since I often “tweet” about wine, I now commonly have people ask me for wine/food pairing recommendations. I also “tweet” after every blog post so at this point Twitter is the #1 referrer to my blog!
    @Arthur It is frenetic and juvenile. So what?

  12. Dr. Debs - April 8, 2008

    Arthur, I interact with readers and bloggers. Just like I talk to whoever I know who walks through the break room. And I get lots of new readers through Twitter.

  13. Arthur Przebinda - April 8, 2008

    Dale, I think you are misreading me on the frenetic & juvenile part. I was saying that my initial and visceral impression of Twitter (after watching their demo video) was that it struck me as juvenile and frenetic. I never discounted its utility – and I still don’t – and I am not trying to insult anyone who uses Twitter. If that is how people are reading it, it’s not what I was trying to say.
    I have said here that I have to look past my personal reaction to decide what utility is has in the scope of MY site. As Tom puts it: “How will this tool increase my productivity?” and “How will this tool increase the quality of my site?”
    I think that you and Dr. Debs are clearly giving testimony to twitter boosting your traffic and readership. So I put a check in the “pluses” colum for that question.
    The missing part of the equation for me is how can I use Twitter to benefit my site without having to post content to two sites instead of only one? After all, nobody likes doing more work and doing two tasks instead of one is not increased productivity or efficienty. That does not discount the fact that doint two tasks does have a measurable ROI.
    I admit I have not had the chance to explore Twitter so this may already exist, but what would seal the deal for me is if Twitter offered a plug in or some utility that would automatically create a Tweet when I create a post on my site.

  14. el jefe - April 8, 2008

    Here’s the thing about Twitter – I was one of the bigger skeptics when I first heard about it – but what Twitter has done is give me additional dimensions to the people that I have been blogging alongside the past two years. I now know what they drive, that they had a baby (a lot of babies!), what they did, what they like. The bloggers I know on Twitter have gone from being people that I might like to meet to being people that I know I want to meet. I have no idea what that means from a “practical” or “business” aspect, but who knows what the future will bring?

  15. Craig Camp - April 8, 2008

    Twitter just seems fun. Meet some new people, see what’s going on. It seems everything I do in my life is driven and trying to accomplish something. Twitter is just a bit of fun. I hope it accomplishes nothing else than introduce me to some interesting people.

  16. Matthias Metze - April 9, 2008

    It’s funny, just yesterday some German wine bloggers started twittering, I was not the only german wine guy on twitter anymore (http://twitter.com/MatthiasM) – and now: Tom Wark on twitter – cool!
    Will there be a wave of wine-tweets now? I’d sure like that 😉

  17. Dan Cochran - April 9, 2008

    the world wants to know – will you be taking part in Monty Python’s Upper Class Twit of the Year competition?

  18. winehiker - April 9, 2008

    My earlier comment was addressed not only to Arthur, but to any reader/blogger who’s still a skeptic about participating on Twitter. But Arthur, I don’t understand you either. Why is your resistance to participating more valuable than participating? Right now, you’re shouting from the closet.

  19. Arthur - April 9, 2008

    Actually, I am participating. I never dismissed Twitter in absolutes.
    Here is my situation: in the daytime I run a 4-clinic medical imaging practice, I run my own website (for which I need to create content and I am also currently rebuilding it) and I have agreed to be a moderator/admin on a wine community. All three of those endeavors need time and keep me very busy. Then, there are those little other things in between these primary tasks that can add up…
    Personal, visceral reactions aside, my questions all along, have been a response to Tom’s initial ponderings about the utility of Twitter in his daily work (and ultimately in mine):
    Twitter is a social tool, but how can I use it to help my own website? How can I use it to do things faster, more efficiently and be more productive? How can I do that without being redundant and doing more work or the same thing twice? How can I use Twitter to benefit me but not have it eat up more of my free time? Is participation on twitter going to help my projects more than my participation on OWC?
    These are all questions and they are my own questions based on my perspective and my needs. I sense that people are not seeing them as questions but as final judgments of Twitter.
    With regards to resistance being more valuable than participating: I think I have clearly explained that it is not resistance that drives my questions and (I think I’m explaining this for the third time here) I have stated that I acknowledge my initial response to this tool as a personal/emotional response and am looking past that to understand Twitter’s utility. Taking a few days to think and answer the above questions is far more valuable to me than diving head-first into something and finding that it results in me having less time to accomplish my primary tasks.

  20. Vail Wine - April 10, 2008

    twitter is trying to find its niche. it’s kinda like seinfeld – it’s not really about anything. twitter creators are trying to catch the wave of the finicky social media crowd. maybe they have something maybe they don’t, but one thing is certain – it’s site du jour. hmmmm, i wonder what wine to serve with that??? 🙂

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