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Once again in my weekly purge of dead accounts a bunch of "high value" tweeters came up in my "hasn’t tweeted in more than 30 days" list. And again, I’m looking for answers about their abandonment and the general state of Twitter.

Everyone understands Facebook. Let me restate that: people understand Facebook, businesses have no idea what to do on Facebook. And for the most part people understand LinkedIn, at least if they’ve had to look for work in the last 5 years or so. Even "What Color is Your Parachute" is extensively focused on LinkedIn and the internet. All fine for those two social media channels.

But something is not okay in Twitter-land. And the issues are getting worse not better. The new "upgraded" design, while prettier and seemingly simpler, actually makes Twitter HARDER TO USE! Oh great. Seriously? Now I can’t find my own Twitter Lists. And they’ve simply simplified some of the single click navigation off the navigation bar, and we have 2 or 3 clicks now, if we’re patient enough to look for something within Twitter.com. I can assure you that MOST people are not, and will abandon Twitter within 30 days of joining. But why?

If you are confused by Twitter, as are most people who are not in the business of social media, there are a couple of things you can do.

  1. Start using Tweetdeck or Hootsuite. While at first these programs may seem like more work, you will quickly see why Twitter.com has always been a nightmare, and trying to keep up with the STREAM of more than about 50 people is impossible on the Twitter website.
  2. Forget about follower counts, try following people you know. Perhaps even people who know how to use Twitter well.
  3. Don’t follow DEAL or COUPON tweeters. At least don’t follow them until you know your way around. The "coupon tweet" has just about killed the Twitter experience for most of us.
  4. Try a tweet or two. See if you get a response. Say something funny. Send an @ message to one of your friends on Twitter.
  5. Don’t over do it. I open Twitter (via Tweetdeck) about 3 times a day. For a max of 10 minutes a session. If you do more, you will either get overwhelmed (holy cow, I can’t keep up) or underwhelmed (holy cow this is all nonsense).

There are a few places you can go to get a simple Twitter orientation.

  • The Twitter Way is my collection of Twitter posts on HOW-TO and WHY-TO Tweet.
  • Twitter Basics from Twitter
  • Mashable’s Twitter Posts

Give it a try. Go away if you get bored or overwhelmed. But try again. And please use an app, the Twitter.com page is worse than ever, and makes it harder to understand what tweeting is about.

@jmacofearth (also seen on Google+: jmacofearth)

permalink: https://uber.la/2011/12/problem-w-twitter/ ‎

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