Well, I’ve been tweeting for a few weeks now, and on Facebook longer than that, and I thought I’d take a few minutes and do a comparison here–at least from my perspective.
Here are the pros and cons as I see them.
- Twitter seems to have more people. I could be wrong about this, but it seems really popular right now.
- It’s very easy to “follow” people on Twitter–there is no approval issue, and they don’t have to follow you back. In fact, Chuck Sambuchino at Guide to Literary Agents has this post, talking about how agents may prefer Twitter for just that reason.
- I seem to be running into more info/links about the publishing industry on Twitter than I do on Facebook. This may be coincidental, somehow connected to who I’m following, but maybe not.
- I don’t really like the layout of Twitter. Everything shows up in one place, and I can’t easily see how one tweet follows another. I downloaded Tweetdeck, which makes it a bit better, but not completely user-friendly. Or maybe just not Becky-friendly.
- It seems like people do more tweeting on Twitter than they do updates on Facebook. And it’s not easy for me to sort out the tweets with substance from those without. Now, I’m not complaining about the substance-less tweets; I do my own share of those and many I find fun. But I like to be able to do a quick scan and mental sort as I read.
- People cheat. Okay, pet peeve here. But all the squawk (pardon my pun) is about the 140-character limit. As a writer, editor, and word-player I kind of like that challenge. I’m not so pleased with the people who just go ahead and spread their news over 3 or 4 tweets. Yes, I’m being petty. Or anal. Take your pick–just do it in less than 140 characters!
- This is completely emotional, not factual, but it feels cozier. This may be my group of “friends,” but maybe it’s a factor of it NOT being so easy to hook up with people. Of course, I’ve friended people that I don’t really know, and vice versa, but there’s always some reason–I can see from their other friends what genre they probably write in, or I know them through an offline friend…something like that.
- All the replies to a status update (the equivalent of a tweet) are kept with the update. One of my in-town friends and I were just talking about this, that you can get a real mini conversation going and follow it easily, seeing everyone’s comments one after the other. It seems more fun this way.
- Different posts and announcements look different. They’ve got little icons, etc, to differentiate–say–an update from an event. This helps with my skimming.
- The quizzes. Facebook seems to have gone crazy with this lately. I went a little crazy with them myself, when they first showed up, and I have fun checking one out every now and then. (Did you know the female historical figure I’m the most like is Elizabeth I?!) There are just too many of them, though, and they can pretty much take over the page at any given time.
- The gifts. It’s really sweet when someone sends me a virtual cupcake. This, too, can go quickly into overload, though, with people sending around pretend flowers or green things. Yes, I can turn mine “off,” but Facebook shows you all the things that all your friends are sending around. Again, this takes up a lot of page space.
- This last one is just from the new Facebook. They’ve moved the birthday announcements to the bottom of the page. They used to be at the top. My guess is that they do this so you have to page down and look at the ads. (Don’t worry–I’ve tricked them. I DON’T LOOK!)
I’m wondering now, looking back at the post, if I’m whining. If you’re all thinking–then why is she out there? Well (she says with a bit of an embarrassed wince), it’s fun. Oh, yes, there’s the whole marketing thing and promotion whatchamacallit, but those are extra. I do love being connected with other writers & seeing what they’re up to (even if it IS just getting a third cup of coffee for the day).
It’s just that, you know, I want all the social networking sites to do it my way!
What about you? Are you on FB or Twitter? What’s your preference? Usually, I try and keep things mannerly here, but today is your chance to argue–convince me what I’m missing on Twitter. 🙂