Twitter is like… Metaphors for Newbies and Veterans Alike

Alone in a Crowd

Describing Twitter to people that haven't used it isn't particularly easy. So I thought I'd take a stab at helping people understand what's it's like by comparing it to every day things. And with that, Twitter is like…

1. A gaggle of teen-age girls. All talking at the same time with no one actually listening. Not that it matters, because no one is saying anything important anyway.

2. Walking through a crowded room. You catch snippets of conversations, but can't really tell what people are talking about because you didn't hear the beginning of the conversation and you're not around when it ends.

3. A buffet. You get to listen to a lot of different people in a short amount of time, but in the end you have to admit that you would have had a richer experience had you just focused on one person.

4. Speed dating. Some people are boring right from the start while others seem interesting. Sadly, they only seem interesting for the first 140 characters but the rules say you can't stop listening to them or they'll think you're mean.

5. Scanning radio stations. You never manage to catch a conversation when it is starting, but if you scan through the tweets fast enough and long enough you can maybe piece together the list of conversation topics for the day.

6. The housing market a few years ago. You spend too much time on it, are twittering because everyone else is, and the bubble will eventually burst.

7. Birds at a bird feeder. All the fluttering about looks exciting and you can't stop yourself from joining. But then everyone disperses as quickly as they gathered and you realize people were just after a their share of the seeds.

8. Going out of your way to expose yourself to too much information in too little time. Very much like grabbing every pamphlet you can from every slightly interesting place you visit and then never remembering where you went or what the hell these leafletey things are on about. Submitted by Robert K of Creare Group.

Got another metaphor? I'll happily add it.

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  1. I have been in Twitter for over three years. I tweet politically, sharing info far into the twitterverse. My Klout score is 54. There are tools to isolate areas of interest, lists, hashtags, I find the impact of this steady stream of super info very valuable in keeping up with news, political updates, and feedback. Disagree with your generalized assessment. Tired of watching the TeeVee? And its predictable stream? Get a Twitter account. You might get enlightened.

  2. Excellent! Humorous & true...I thought I was the only one not really impressed with the 'twitting' trend.. :)

  3. Twitter is an outlet of self-expression for those times when there's no one around to laugh at your incredibly witty remarks.

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