I give up! I tweeted, I chirped, I peeped...I gave Twitter a try. Bottom line--I don't get it.
It seems to me (and Virginia Heffernan, with the New York Times Magazine), that it is a bunch of people talking at each other and no one is really listening--but how can you listen? You only get 140 characters --not words---characters, which is really only equivalent to one medium sized sentence.
So how do people communicate on Twitter? They don't. Someone told me that Twitter is a way to connect with other people; a place to learn more about them. A place for everyone to feel like one big happy family.
But to me it is all superficial and lacks depth. Just because Ashton Kutcher tweets that he is "putting my head on a pillow. Echad!" or that Oprah shares that she has a "busy day ahead ..... Time to grab that coffee and get going" it doesn't make me their BFF or even an acquaintance.
When people's thought process extends past 140 characters, they direct fellow Twitterers to their blog or website where they don't have space limitations. So Twitter becomes one of those infamous "shortcuts" that actually takes ten times longer than the direct route (just going directly to the blog/website).
All Twitter does is add more bullets to everyone's already long to do list. Like anything else, in order to do something well, you must put time and energy in to it. Twitter is no different. To because effective you must Tweet frequently, read and comment on other tweets, visit and comment on websites that you are directed to and then do it all again and again and again.
Because Tweets are added all the time, it is impossible to ever feel caught up. Therefore, the Twitter bullet on your list can NEVER be crossed off.
My advice to writers--WRITE. You don't need to take up valuable writing time on Tweeting on Twitter. Your time should be spent building the action in your novel, researching for your next article or mining your memories for personal essay topics. Leave Twitter for people like Ashton Kutcher who apparently don't have anything better to do with their time.