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Saturday, 4 December 2010

Live-tweet tedium, but what else can one do?

My Twitter stats indicate a fair amount of churn in a week I live-tweeted from 2 events.  I lost some long-term followers, and friends are ribbing me about the impenetrable hashtag soup that was my tweet stream over the last few days.

Still, follower count is up and I made quite a few new contacts from these meetings.  Also, aside from Twitter and blogs there's no formal coverage of such events, so live tweeting is useful for those interested but unable to attend.

And the week also brought a couple of welcome compliments for my coverage, which got me thinking: is there a better way to do it?

I considered using a separate account, but I've tried - and mostly failed - to keep 2 accounts updated in the past, as it became rather cumbersome.  Overlap of the two streams gradually increased, and inevitably they became indistinguishable.  Plus I want to keep in touch with the new people I meet through such events and I don't want to partition my life: one life, one twitter! So no second stream.

The only other 2 options seem to be: (i) accept it, you can't please all of the tweeters, all of the time; or, (ii) limit my tweeting.  But option (ii) would amount to polish on what should be a free-flowing medium.  No point in turning the antidote to traditional media into... traditional media, by applying a heavy layer of spin and forethought into managing my twitter. 

I'm reminded of a couple of observations Antony Mayfield, author of Me and My Web Shadow, raised when he spoke at Digital Surrey last September.  The first: grow a thicker skin, and the second: social networks are human spaces ... which reward human behaviour.

I won't pretend lost followers doesn't bother me.  It does - a bit, especially when they're people I know from the "real world" (TM) - and I'm fascinated by the minutiae of the social web as part of my quest to understand emerging media.  So for now I think I just have to lump it - accept that you can't make a clich√© without breaking a few eggs - and carry on as before, unless anyone's got a better suggestion?


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