First of all, thanks for the visit. Secondly (and rather lazily, I might add), here’s a little about me and the Blah, Blah! Technology blog:
“Blah, Blah! Technology is about delivering technology commentary and opinion on the kind of technology trends that shape lives, shape businesses and shape the future.
I attempt to take the complexities of technology and distill their terms, phrases and industry nomenclature into smaller, easier analogies and examples that hopefully anyone can read and understand and to make technology accessible to the layman.”
Why are you called Octane on Twitter?
Good question! When I started my account on Twitter, way back in 2005 (I think), I used the name of my company as my username. On the plus side, it’s short & sweet, while on the downside, Octane is a little confusing if you don’t know anything about Octane Interactive Limited, my web design, development and internet consultancy that I founded in 1999.
What’s your follow policy?
The question itself might be a little misleading if you’re new to Twitter. OK, when you follow someone — or at least when I do — I don’t expect those people to automatically follow me back.
As in life, we don’t always find that we have that much in common with the people we meet, or we feel that the person that just followed us isn’t adding the right kind of ideas, thoughts and observations to our stream of Twitter updates.
As an example, if you’re an up-and-coming singer / songwriter and you were to buy the latest album of a famous singer, would you expect them to return the gesture? Of course not, because that’s not how it works.
I’m neither famous, nor am I singer. But the fact of the matter is, we are all different and to reciprocate for the sake of reciprocation is disingenuous.
So I might not follow you back if you follow me. And of course, the opposite holds true, too. Obviously, some people feel very differently about this, but this is my Twitter follow policy, and I’ve at least demonstrated my honesty on the subject, if nothing else.
Ideally, we’ll have many things in common, so here are a few things I look for before I follow anyone, or follow back:
- A profile bio that tells me something about you, what you do and what you’re interested in.
- A link to a website or blog that tells me more about you what you do.
- Plenty of updates, so I know you’re an active Twitterer.
- We both speak the same language.
So is Twitter the place to be?
That really depends on what you want from Twitter. I could go into all kinds of detail, but ultimately, you need to know what you want from a thing before you invest time & effort in it.
Twitter is doubtlessly very popular, but it’s also technically a very weak system. There are much better services out there. But yet again, it depends on your needs and your audience.
It’s not uncommon for people to refer to Twitter as a micro-blogging system, which I’ve done myself on occasion, just so people would feel comfortable with what I was writing about. The fact of the matter is, Twitter is a status update service (not too dissimilar to what you get with Facebook), which becomes amazingly obvious the first time you sign in, when you’re asked: “What are you doing?”
Anticipating your next two questions: 1. so what’s better that Twitter, and 2. what’s a proper micro-blog? In a word, Pownce. If you’re familiar with blogging, then Pownce really is a micro-blogging system.
Do you actually like Twitter?
For me, it’s a means to an end. I use Twitter for several reasons, but most of all, it’s a way of keeping in touch with the people who I feel I can learn something from, and I use Twitter as a way of promoting the Blah, Blah! Technology blog, as well as sharing the things that I find.
For a while, I really didn’t like Twitter, mostly because of the very, very silly thing people were saying Twitter could do. As an example, a lot of weight seems to be placed on Twitter as an as-it-happens source for breaking news. Any similar system would work exactly the same given enough people using it — it’s the people that make it work that way and not the technology.
Sitting somewhere between Pownce and Twitter is Plurk, which is vastly far more useful as a service for monitoring breaking news. I say this because with Plurk, you can actually see the news happening. The reason for this unique ability is because of the amazing way you interact with Plurk.
But after all is said & done, Twitter commands a huge audience, so your efforts are as well spent there, assuming you intend connecting with people, making friends, building relationships and sharing the things you’re into with like-minded individuals.
That’s as open ended a question as you could ever hope to ask! If you haven’t already, you could follow me on Twitter. And if you’re feeling extra kind, you could also subscribe to the Blah, Blah! Technology blog.
And finally, thank you for your time. Always a pleasure…