Bandwagon Twits

Monday, January 26, 2009 0:37 | Filed in Blogging, Technology

A few days ago, I read on the BBC that Twitter was now enjoying the tweet smell of success.

Use of Twitter, the mobile phone-based micro-blogging service, rocketed nearly 1,000% in the UK over the past year, according to industry analysts HitWise.

For the first time, the site has seen more visits than “social bookmarking” site Digg…

BBC News: Tweet Smell of success over Digg

Twitter, for those who have managed to avoid it up to know, has been described as micro-blogging, but it’s possibly most appropriate to think of it as text-message blogging. Basically, you send a message to your account on Twitter — either by updating it on the web, or by sending a text message — and your twitter account is updated with the individual message, called a Tweet. Each tweet can be a maximum of 140 characters in length, so this is about the equivalent of one text message (standard SMS messages can be up to 160 characters per message).

Twitter has been criticized for being pretty much the sort of service which, by its very nature, tends to contain information like “having toast for breakfast” because it’s difficult to get important stuff across in 140 characters, so it tends to get full of banalities.

And yet, like facebook and the like, there comes a point when people join up to such a service simply because it is popular, rather than them actually having any good reason to use it. These are therefore the Bandwagon Twits.

Sorry, did I say these? I meant we

Because of course I joined twitter the other day. Partially because lots of people seemed to be using it for ages and I wanted to find out what I was missing, and partly because my luddite-ness for any new service or technology only lasts for a while.

Mobile phones became immensely popular. I resisted them for a while, then got one. Facebook became popular. I resisted for a while, then joined. Likewise twitter. I can only hope that “becoming ridiculously wealthy” is the next bandwagon I jump on…

However, despite having used it a few times now, I’m still not entirely sure what the point of it is. I can update my Facebook status via Twitter, meaning that I can update my facebook status at any time, and in any place, that I have my mobile phone. I will use (and indeed have used) this service, but it isn’t fulfilling a need that I previously had: I am on the computer every day, so it’s easy enough for me to update my Facebook profile when I want to anyway.

I also have a text message plan with my mobile phone contract where I get 300 text messages every month to use up, and I generally use less than 100 of them, so this gives me the opportunity to send a whole bunch of unimportant and generally pointless text messages to Twitter in order that I’m getting better for money on my mobile phone contract.

Somehow I’m not quite convinced that’s a great reason to use Twitter, however.

If for any reason you do want to follow the inane banalities of Twitter, you can find me on, unsurprisingly, More importantly, if you become aware of a useful purpose to which I can actually turn the darn thing, I’d be interested to hear that, too…

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8 Comments to Bandwagon Twits

  1. Jack's Mam says:

    January 26th, 2009 at 1:28 am

    You probably know already you can update facebook via your mobile with texts too-check out mobile facebook, go to settings, my account ,mobile.

  2. Seb Crump says:

    January 26th, 2009 at 7:49 am

    I was sceptical about the value/use of twitter to start with – and to a certain extent it is just “another thing to monitor” – however, it has become part of my routine . It’s a great back-chat channel, source of entertainment and provides links to things I would otherwise miss. Others are addicted to it for breaking news and it’s even been of business/professional use too.

    More generally it’s influencing, if not changing, the way the whole news media is operating and reporting. See my colleagues write ups on that and

  3. cole says:

    January 26th, 2009 at 9:40 am

    Hey Jack

    Welcome to the fray.

    Beware using twitter to (ab)use up text message credits. The twitter number is registered on the Isle of Man and with some carriers in UK (eg. t-mobile) this is regarded as an international number.

    This is something that is going to sting a lot of the Bandwagon Twits in the UK!

  4. James Coltham says:

    January 26th, 2009 at 12:52 pm

    It was one of my 2009 Web Resolutions to figure out what the point of Twitter is. Best thing I can recommend is start following others and see what they’re doing.

  5. JackP says:

    January 26th, 2009 at 3:53 pm

    @Cole – I’m with Virgin, so seemingly I’m okay. Also it uses up one of my text message ‘credits’. I’ve got to say, I think T-mobile have a cheek – if it’s got a UK dialling number (eg you don’t need to go all international at the start), then I fail to see how they can call it international. I’d give ‘em a thump if I were you.

    @Jack’s Mam – well when I look at facebook mobile it says it only works with an O2 phone in the UK, so don’t know how you’ve wangled that (unless you have an O2 phone, of course)

  6. cole says:

    January 26th, 2009 at 9:20 pm

    @jackP i did good n’ proper and then got my money back in the end on the proviso i didn’t text the twitter number again.

    Still, it was a learning experience and I (and the manager from t-mobile) found out lots of lovely facts about the relative independence of the Isle of Man and that despite having a UK dialling code it is technically an international network.

    The oddity is that was previously on Virgin mobile (which uses the t-mobile network) and no charges were apparent.

    Oh well – on a data package now so can use the roaming interwebs to keep the world posted on my latest banalities

  7. Jack's Mam says:

    January 26th, 2009 at 9:30 pm

    Oops sorry if i mislead you. I had no problem setting up facebook mobile – didn’t realise it was only O2- which I am.

  8. test says:

    September 20th, 2011 at 5:10 am

    Blogging About Things…

    [...]If you are conscious what is your job you can do a lot more than if you don’t have much knowledge…[...]…

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