By admin on November 8, 2009
When Shashi Tharoor made the “holy cow” tweet last month, thus prompting calls for his resignation from within his own party, the common man, including this author, did not understand the reasoning behind such hoopla. In fact, I’ve long been registered on Twitter.com myself, but never did I see any point in continuing to tweet on for my own communication needs or thought it should be important for others too. The 140 character limit hinders your desire to communicate effectively (that’s why it is called twitter, anyway). So, how did Tharoor’s passing comment make such a major impact, one wondered at that time.
To understand this new phenomenon about Twitter.com, I recently started tweeting regularly myself, and how surprised I have been to find the transformation this service has gone through in the last two years. The transformation that one can see through the skyrocketing user-base, the massive load of traffic twitter receives and the overall content, moods and trends being shared by its users. The first thing I did after rejoining twitter was to look out for Indian journos and cine actors, which brought me back with some interesting observations. This post is an account of the same observations I made about tweeples (twitter members), including celebs and journos, and it also highlights how useful or not tweeting can be for you. Didn’t they have Yahoo or Windows live messenger before starting to tweet? So, what was the point in developing this new platform? Let us find out the reasons of it below.
The most inviting aspect about twitter is, it makes almost all of its published content accessible. A majority of conversations can be read and reacted upon to by anyone. However, this still shall not guarantee your participation into any conversation. You won’t be able to ask other tweeples for attention at your own will. For example, you can follow, read and respond to any tweeple, say A, B or C with extensive readership (or following), but they wouldn’t respond or accept an invitation by you to follow you, unless they found your tweets worth noticing in that crowd. The rules of engagement shall be more conducive though, for tweeples of similar professional, cultural and social backgrounds, similar followings and similar intellectual leanings.
Points you should know before starting to tweet:
- Search out for some famous names. Look out the tweeples they follow to extend your search.
- Now concentrate on tweeples following these famous names and look out for like-minded friends. Start following and request to reciprocate, if you like.
- Do not expect others to start following you, or feel hesitant about refusing some others.
- The best thing about twitter is nobody can send you direct messages, unless you started following them.
- Nothing much can be done about spamming on twitter though, as usual. Some of these spammers might prove useful, so allow them to co-exist.
Some familiar scribes and tweeples to watch out for:
An author and journalist from Sangh’s background. Currently working as the director of the DSMRF (Dr. Syamaprasad Mookerjee Research Foundation). He tweets rarely and when does so provides mostly links to his own articles in the media.
A journalist of right-centrist leanings, now working as the Associate Editor of the Pioneer. Tweets heavily while into his office, and comes out as a rare right-centrist opinion from the mainstream media.
He ain’t a journo, but could be found putting across the right-centrist vision within his own fold and to the pseudo-secularist media.
A senior journalist and the Editor of The India Today right now. Tweets rarely, which is understandable keeping in mind his first preference The India Today to answer his readers.
I followed him solely for his past equations with Kishoreda, but soon became hell bored. He is nothing but the usual pseudo-intellectual voice. The same kind of opinion I had to stop reading the TOI to save myself from. In this case, I “unfollowed” Nandy as well.
Tweets occasionally and generally keeps it to his profession and work.
She has a large following and tweets regularly when not programming, like her other counterparts in the media. She talks the usual pro-UPA and the anti-BJP stuff.
Owns a large number of readership and tweets regularly and the usual pro-UPA and the anti-BJP stuff.
Even though, she is part of the anti-BJP troika on TV with B Dutt and R Sardesai leading the charge, she is still not as stronger in her arguments as the other two and hence gets bombarded with pro-BJP tweets.
I occasionally read him to laugh out at pseudo-intellectualism. He often keeps on complaining about the state oppression, and questioning the righteousness of those opposing him, which is hilarious, keeping in mind his own arrogance.
And a shortened list of the movie-wallahs (the oldies are missing, obviously). You can follow the rest from there on. Unlike the journos, for whom tweeting is part of their jobs often resulting into verbal blows, the celebs mostly tweet in a symbolic manner to keep fan-flocks engaged. Usually, they get a massive amount of uninteresting messages, asking mostly for a hello, and therefore can not be expected to tweet any better either. Many of them (and non-celebs as well) have seemingly started tweeting only recently, just out of curiosity.
And finally, one of the most popular, most hyped and yet most boring Indians of them all.
Ironically, the lesser mortals make better use of twitter as compared to more powerful ones. A row broke out recently, after the British actor and author Stephen Fry was criticized by one tweeple from Birmingham. The latter was flooded with sever criticism and abuses as the news spread out among the Stephen Fry fans. I’d like to add here though, the more knowledgeable ones often fail to impress you on twitter, may be partially due to the 140 character limit and partially because of the high expectations we might have of them.