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Get Through the Fluff with Twitter

Posted by on November 25, 2008

I get a little tired with marketing fluff and superfluous words that people use, don’t you?  I mean how many characters or words can it possibly take for someone to convey a thought or an idea?  I know we all use superfluous words but sometimes people layer it on just a little thick; there have been many a situation where I just wanted to say “shut up and tell me what you want!  I wish people could just get to the meat of what it is they are trying to ask me (or pitch/etc).  What happened to efficiency?  What happened to effective communication?

If you think about twitter for a moment you will see that it is a great solution for taking care of fluff.  You have 140 characters to tell me what it is you want to tell me…go!  Stowe Boyd used the term “twit-pitch” to describe this.  Actually, Stowe reserved twit-pitch to companies that wanted to pitch him.  I’m saying we can use it for a whole lot more.  We can use twitter as a general way to see if we can convey or ask something in a straightforward no B.S. manner.  I have found that a lot of people have come to appreciate twitter, not just for the valuable connections you can make but because of the straightforward communication you can have.

When I first signed up on twitter I found that I was trying to write these fancy tweets to connect and introduce myself to people (for business opportunities and such), you know, the one’s that go:

“Hi bob, I came across your profile on twitter and noticed that you were involved in selling peanuts.  I love peanuts and I think it would be great if…..”

After using twitter for a while I now send the following messages:

“hey bob, you sell peanuts?  i love peanuts, we may be able to collaborate and help each other out, interested?”

Notice how tweets get right to the center of what needs to be said and eliminates all the extra words.  Basically what I’m trying to say is that you should be able to get across a whole thought/idea/product pitch/etc. in 140 characters or less (remember some characters go towards sending the message to the person).  If you need more than 140 characters then go over what it is you’re trying to say and eliminate all the garbage fluff words.

It’s funny because I have found that in casual conversations I am now much more direct and to the point than I was before I started using twitter.

How has using twitter changed your conversation, both on and offline?

Thanks for reading!

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  • bob ashley

    Nice post. I agree…mainly. But there's something to be said for the long, slow, undulating conversation. It has a place. And it eschews Fordian “efficiency” in favor of the slow ripening.

    We gotta know how to shift gears, from the accelerando of Twitter to the ritardando slow, patient talk to really get to know someone. But this is just so much fluff I puff! Enjoy the energy in your writing.

    • hi bob. i agree with you everything has it's place. i love the long deep conversations, it's like playing a game of chess, of course sometimes you want the quick and straightforward conversations to, like playing connect four!

      thanks for the comment!

  • EricWerner

    Good point Jacob – I think it's interesting b/c some people are used to being drawn out and indirect in everything they say. Twitter would be a great tool for training that out of people. I have to agree I've had the same experience with being more direct in person.

    I think that in general my approach is to feel around to see what kind of value I can offer and then make my pitch – fairly inefficient. In Twitter you just say hi can you do this for me – the greatest thing to come from that is most people who are not interested or not able to help you are connected to someone who is and they can just tell you to tweet @interestedparty with the same suggestion or question.

    • hey eric. i suppose it's true what they say, to each his own 🙂

      twitter has been a great tool in improving my writing efficiency, it's beautiful. our attention span is getting shorter by the day so when you are given the option for a straightforward chat, sometimes it's a good idea to go with it.

      thanks for the comment!

  • Pingback: The 4AA Twitter Group - Page 2 - 4AllAccounts()

  • I love Twitter for helping trim down the fluff that people throw in there 🙂

  • I so agree, Jacob! I got addicted to Twitter during the election and much prefer it to FB or anything else really, due to its at-a-glance nature. I haven't cracked how to use it for biz needs yet, but I'm the happiest semi-lurker around. Finding cool posts (like this one) and new blogs to read, breaking news and neat people – this is what I love and hope to bring to my tweets once I build the neurons connecting the “look how cool” thought to “oh i should share this” thought.

    140 chars is hard for me: in life I compensate by being an incredibly fast talker, but I love the way I have to revise/delete when tweeting. Forced efficiency!

    • hey samantha, twitter definitely makes things easy to read and manage 🙂 i think we have all gone through the forced efficiency where we wanted to send someone a message but were just a few characters short of making a complete thought. twitter really is a great resource for so many things.

      thanks a lot for the comment!

  • hey samantha, twitter definitely makes things easy to read and manage 🙂 i think we have all gone through the forced efficiency where we wanted to send someone a message but were just a few characters short of making a complete thought. twitter really is a great resource for so many things.

    thanks a lot for the comment!