I’ve observed several celebrity Twitter users to have a friend/follower ratio that is heavily skewed toward the follower side. This means they have a huge following, but follow only a very few people. While most do reply to tweets related to them or directly sent to them as @replies, a lot are probably just using Twitter to post updates about themselves (which is understandable, especially for folks with a very public life). Some others are most likely marketers. They don’t engage in conversation much, but they do post a lot of quotes, retweets and links.
On the other hand, some Twitter users I know are more of readers rather than writers. They seem to have a lot of followed folks, but only a few followers. And they mostly engage in conversation when the topic interests them.
I’m part of the second group. I must admit I’m not too fond of tweeting out of the blue, about what I ate for breakfast, musing about the weather, or complaining about the chores I’m currently doing. I mostly scan and read updates from my Twitter friends–mostly on my mobile phone using Gravity–and reply to or retweet interesting messages. I also try to get ideas for blog posts or articles from my friends’ feed or from searches relevant to my interests. For me, Twitter is not a platform for simply shouting out my ideas, but rather a community with a rich cloud of information ready to be harvested and processed.
What about you? Do you tweet to read? Or do tweet to write?
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I use twitter as a marketing and traffic generation tool; thus I keep extra precaution not to tweet something that is boring and self promoting (write) or un-follow someone quickly if they are too “spammy”.
I like Twitter for both reading and writing. I love having being able to share something funny I’ve found or ask for help with something. And, I enjoy getting to know online acquaintances better. That’s primarily why the list of those I follow is so much smaller than those who are following me- I don’t want to be flooded with Tweets from people I am unfamiliar with.
But I do like to retweet past blog postings, in case they get someone’s interest and they visit my blog. My posts get tweeted on auto-pilot. When I’m online I follow what’s going on, but I usually only tweet in response to something some else says.