Revisiting "the 10 ways I learned to use Twitter"... and adding "Attention Lens" and "Presence"
SlideShare raises the upload size to 50 MB...

Isn't TweetLater missing the point of Twitter?

Schedule Future-Dated Twitter Tweets » have to admit that I don't quite get TweetLater:
"Now YOU Can Schedule Future Tweets For All Your Twitter Accounts"
And this:
"Stuck on an aircraft? Back to back meetings? Taking vacation? Running errands? Playing with the kids?

Have peace of mind and more free time. Keep your Twitter feed ticking over with new tweets even when you're not in front of your computer."

Now, don't get me wrong... I fully understand and appreciate the value in scheduling blog posts. Some time back when I was more interested in growing my readership, I did exactly that. I would write up a series of posts and have them set to publish on certain days at certain times. Do a flurry of writing and then let the posts just stream out there over the next days or weeks. Every now and then I consider doing that again. It makes sense to me if you are trying to maintain/grow readership and want to maintain consistency in posting.

But those are blog posts... usually larger blocks of text. And usually pieces that I really need to write on my laptop or other computer. They are took long to really type on a Blackberry or other portable device. (or at least longer than *I* want to type on a Blackberry!)

Do we really need this for Twitter?

Isn't the point of Twitter really to talk about what you are doing now... or what has your attention now? Isn't it really a tool for your life stream? Or for pointing to your blog posts? Or querying your network of people? Or hanging out at the virtual water cooler?

Now maybe those are just ways that I use it and maybe others have other uses where TweetLater might be useful. But given that you only type 140 characters or less and that you can do this from a zillion different interfaces (cell phones via SMS, cell phones via web, Internet cafes, any web access, other sites, etc.), it seems to me that it is easy enough to update Twitter from most places.

More to the point, if you are stuck on an aircraft or playing with your kids, why should you be twittering? In my book it's perfectly okay to be offline sometimes.

Are we finding people who feel they MUST twitter all the time?

Are there people who feel that they need to twitter on a consistent basis in order to grow/maintain their followers? Will people really have more "peace of mind" if they queue up a bunch of tweets?

Are we just creating another rat race where Twitters feel they have constantly keep producing? (And isn't that just a hamster wheel?)

That's certainly not how I use Twitter, and it seems to me to be the polar opposite of the whole Twitter "What are you doing" mindset... but maybe there are some folks out there of feel "they have to twitter" in order to keep on going. (I would suggest that perhaps such folks need to "chill out", but hey, that's just my view.)

Where I could see it working

Now where I can see something like TweetLater being used is for Twitter accounts tied to an event where you tweet out parts of the schedule. For instance, let's take a tech conference that has keynotes, breakout sessions, breaks, etc. The organizers could publicize that people could stay up-to-date on what is going on at the conference by following the conference twitter ID. The organizers could then use a service like TweetLater to queue up tweets to go out at certain times:

  • 8:55 - "Keynote with XXX, CEO of YYY, starting in 5 minutes in Grand Ballroom I"
  • 10:30 - "Morning refreshment break in Foyer II sponsored by XXXXX"
  • 10:55 - "Concurrent sessions starting: XXXX in Panama 1, YYYY in Panama 2.."
  • 11:00 - "Exhibit Hall now open. Visit booth 1234 to win an iPod."
Etc, etc. You get the idea. The conference staff could queue up these scheduled tweets to go out but then also send out unscheduled tweets as the need arose ("Session A in Panama 2 has been cancelled as the speaker's flights were cancelled."). Attendees who followed the conference name could get those updates on whatever device they found useful. All in all I could see that being useful at a conference.

So there I could see it being useful. But for individual twitter users? I don't see it... but maybe I also don't see all of how twitter has evolved.

What do you think? Would you use a service like TweetLater? Do you know of people you think might?

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