The Mark Ledden Blog

…audio, video, web and general tech ramblings.

Facebook and Twitter

On my first post I talked about my digital identity and mentioned my very limited use of Twitter. I thought I’d give you a quick update as recently things have changed. After learning more about how it works and what can be done with it I’m making regular constant use of Twitter and slowly but steadily building up my followers. The micro-blogging site has me hooked!

I’ve heard people describe Twitter as a constant stream of status updates, ‘like Facebook’. Which is in some way true and probably is the easiest way to describe it to somebody who, like my former self doesn’t yet understand it, but ultimately misses the point. Anyway it was indeed Facebook which modeled their live stream of status updates on Twitter but the difference isn’t in the way it works, it’s in the content.

In my world the difference between Facebook and Twitter is quite simple. Facebook is personal: Meaning only close friends, not so close friends and work colleagues etc. It is my personal space to keep in touch with the people I know. I don’t generally reach out with Facebook looking for people and I certainly wont accept requests from those I don’t know. Twitter as I see it is a professional space: I can broadcast my work and events, find out from like minded people about their activities and more importantly reach out to find more of these people.

One of the reasons for this is because Facebook updates are only available to the ‘Faces’ in your ‘book’. It provides a ‘safe-zone’ if you will, which can be a benefit: I don’t necessarily want the world to know about my events last Friday night (not that I have anything to hide :)). Tweets however can bounce around the Internet for all to see. In fact once you Tweet something you have no control over where it ends up, which is kind of exciting; the possibilities are endless!

My Facebook news feed consists mainly of pointless day-to-day activities that are meaningless to me. (I guess you can choose your friends but you can’t choose what they say!) On Twitter the people I follow give me updates that mean something to me, be it links for tutorials, news, reviews even just a solitary insight into their mind. Ultimately I wouldn’t necessarily be Facebook friends with everyone I follow on Twitter because these are two parts of my digital self.

Twitter’s winning formula is in it’s speed and simplicity (even though it often suffers from site overloads). The limit of 140 characters makes you refine what you are trying to say so it counts that little bit more. In an attempt to sum things up one thing I can say is that I think Facebook is more about who you are and Twitter is about what you say. This might not be the case for everybody though.

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