Twavelers hungry for regurgitated information.
Twitter Travel Trends
I have seen a lot of stories lately about the wonders of Twitter, especially for travelers. It is true that Twitter has at times reached beyond its self-imposed limits with instant knowledge we may have otherwise missed. The recent engine fire on Royal Princess comes to mind. But the other 99% of the time I find Twitter aggravatingly twivial and gratwuitously superfluous. Most of the time Twitter is self-promotion distilled into 140 characters; ego gratification for the ADD crowd.
Do we really live in a world where people want travel information every three seconds, but only in 140 characters or less? What does this say about us? Are we all so bored that we need new information every three seconds? And are we all so boring that 140 characters is enough to say anything? Are we all so attention deficient that we can't absorb more than 140 characters of information at a time?
When most travel journalists tweet it is nothing more than advertising - they tweet links (or twinks, if you will) to their articles and ask you to come and read them. And that is Twitter at its best, promotional links with no censorship or rating system. With Google you can look up a topic and see relevant articles listed. With Twitter, you only get what people want to send you. It is essentially fast-paced, compressed spam.
Twitter has an extremely low return on time invested. CruiseMates has a monthly audience of 225,000 visitors, but my Twitter audience is only about 425 people of which only a fraction see anything I tweet at any given time. Most Twits (isn't that what you call people addicted to Twitter?) are watching at least 100 people, some 1000. Most tweeters tweet far more than I do, so I see my updates roll off the page almost as soon as I put them up. If that is true for me it is also true for my followers.
I also see travel journalists with as many as 4000 followers - but not all at once. How did they get them? The key is to tweet as often as possible and hope other twits will retweet your name. So, here is the problem; building up a substantial Twitter audience takes tons of Twitter time, and every minute I spend on Twitter I am neglecting my audience of 225,000 readers for a few dozen people. Where are my priorities?
Another twick of Twitter is that you follow those who follow you. It's a Twitter courtesy, or a twertousy, if you will. So, most travel journalists who have a big following also follow lots of other travel journalists. So in the end when they are not diluting their proprietary travel information by giving it away to every other journalist they are merely engaged in meaningless conversations.
Today I watched a Twit ask every single cruise line Twitter representative (or Twerp, if you will) to describe their loyalty program. How can a cruise line describe their loyalty program in 140 characters or less? They all tried anyway. CruiseMates just did a report on cruise line loyalty programs and it took us 10 pages of solid text.
If that twit had googled "cruise line loyalty programs" they would have seen that between CruiseMates and sister site CruiseReviews, our loyalty program articles come up numbers 1 and 2 in Google search results. So hours of uninformed Twittering equals one Google. You don't need to go to Stanford to solve that equation.
Don't we all know someone who generally only accesses the world of knowledge through other people, never directly? They never read a book, watch a documentary or Google any subject just because they wanted to know more about it. Aren't these some of the most irritating people you know?
On my way back from Europe I sat next to a guy who hadn't brought anything to amuse himself for a nine-hour trip. When I wasn't talking to him he just sat and twiddled his thumbs. I thought "he must be on Twitter" and I soon wondered if that was where Twitter got its name, from thumb twiddlers. That is how I picture Twerps, or Twits, or tweeterbugs, whatever you call them.
And what is the absolute most boring tweet possible? Tweets about Twitter! OMG! I h8 Tweets about Twitter! Do you know there are Twerps and twits tweeting on Twitter who are solely Twitter experts, or twexperts if you will? They specialize in Twitter twerpitude. It's twutterly twidiculous and I twot I taw a puddytat.
Twanks for tweading this. And if you came here because of a tweet I twittered retweet me. By4now.
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