It finally happened. I caught the Twitter bug. And I can't seem to shake it.

I admit, I've been relatively slow to catch on to Twitter. At first it just seemed like a lot of background noise with no real purpose. Silly almost. Like, um, Facebook. Except with Twitter the discussion becomes more relevant as time goes on, not less. The conversations, even inane ones, retain a degree of rawness and truth, cluttered and disorganized as they may be.

Most Facebook pages look like a cyber circus on speed. Everything is happening and nothing is happening. Does anyone even read their FunWall anymore? Facebook has turned otherwise sane people into compulsive spammers without a cause. Everyone is inviting their "friends" to everything. And posting everything to every friend (have you been hugged today?). It's no love-in. For the business person looking for a meaningful way to network, it's a big old waste of time.

From a usability perspective, Twitter's simplicity is refreshing. I only hope the folks who built Twitter keep it that way. When I check my Facebook page, I'm not sure where to look or what I'm even looking for. Sometimes I'm actually scared to look. If decorum in business matters to you, Facebook might not be a good fit for your networking needs.

Twitter, on the other hand, is a charming little place where people quietly muse about all that they see, hear and do throughout the day. Yet words must be minced because, by default, Twitter only allows twits to tweet so many syllables at a time. It's concise and trite all at once. Of course, you can post multiple tweets on the same "thought", but if you're not careful this can appear, well, like you're just nattering for no real reason at all.

And that's what makes Twitter so appealing in a digital world literally brimming with tripe. Twitter doesn't encourage relevance; it is relevant. If 2007 was the year of Facebook, 2008 will be the year Twitter--and probably like minded applications - whittled and honed the zeitgeist of the social web.

May 1, 2008

Karri Flatla is a business graduate of the University of Lethbridge and principal of snap! virtual associates inc., a virtual consulting firm providing business communications and Internet marketing services to the progressive entrepreneur. Karri also produces Outsmart, the email newsletter for small business with big purpose. Visit for more information. Click to follow Karri on Twitter.


I recently caught the "Twitter-bug" too. I also like the simplicity that Facebook and some other sites seem to hate. Now my problem is convincing my other friends that this is worthwhile... my network is slowly growing, but nearly enough for how often I check Twitter throughout the day.

"Following" different social marketing gurus has definitely opened my eyes to stories/news/websites that I wouldn't have heard about otherwise.

Karri, I, like you, have finally been bitten by the Twitter bug, and also like you, have found it to be both more enjoyable and more beneficial than I had ever imagined.

Hi Karri!

I'll share a quick twitter follower building tip that I just used this weekend and gained 30+ followers.

Build an "Industry Twitter List".

In my case the industry was the PHP developers community. Since I was following about 30-40 of them anyhow, I wrote each one and asked permission (very important) to list them.

The end result is I have a very popular page and I personally picked up 30 new followers without twitterspamming. (Twitterspamming is bad...m'Kay?)

Anyhow, hope this sparks an idea with someone. Make it a great day!

=C= ...think for a minute.

Facebook is the bane of my life. It is very useful for keeping in touch with a few friends and family, but those "add this application" emails are annoying. Too true, I've deleted my funwall. In fact I've removed pretty much everything and my page actually loads in pretty much no time.

Twitter is way better. You don't get to use 1000 words to say yes or no. Short, concise and you make your point.

The internet and technology are supposed to make things easier and quicker. Facebook fails this, Twitter might just be the solution we have been looking for.

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