December 11th, 2007

Why I Stopped Using Twitter


There’s a lot of Twitter hype in the blogosphere today, and I’ve contributed plenty of my own Twitter hype in the past. So I thought it would be a good opportunity to offer some anti-hype, derived from my own experience using Twitter — an explanation of why I STOPPED using Twitter.

For a period last summer, I was a Twitter addict — addict really is the right word. I found Twitter to be mesmerizing, which partly reflects the brilliance of the design and partly that I was following really interesting, insight, enjoyable people, whose random musings were worth following (and my high opinion of the people — many of whom read this blog, and whose blogs I read — remains unchanged).

But here’s the problem, and why I quit (with the requisite 12-step program, yadda, yadda):

Twitter is massive waste of time.

Let me immediately qualify that — it’s not that ALL of Twitter is a waste of time. It’s that TOO MUCH of Twitter is a massive waste of time. Some aspects are hugely valuable and well worth the time. There’s really interesting “conversation.” There’s connectedness. There’s discovery.

But the noise to signal ratio is WAY too high. And the temptation to Tweet for the sake of Tweeting is WAY too high.

An example of high noise to signal is the Twitter “half conversation” — where two user are talking to each other directly, but you only follow one of them. So you hear half the conversation, like listening to someone on their cell phone. It’s quasi-voyeuristically interesting sometimes, but mostly it’s just annoying.

And the nature of networks means it’s impossible to ever follow everyone who the people you’re following are following — because then you’d have to follow the people those people are following, and the people THOSE people are following (and before you know it, you’d be Scoble — and few people have that superhuman capacity). So it’s guaranteed, by definition, that your Twitter feed will be filled with half conversations.

But the big problem was that I was paying attention to Twitter too often when there was something much higher yield I should have been paying attention too — especially work I needed to get done.

The web itself — Techmeme alone — is a huge blackhole of distraction. It’s hard enough to stay focused when you work on the web.

But Twitter has turned distraction into an art form. It’s like hanging out at a bar with a bunch of interesting people (some of whom are talking on their cellphones) and forgetting that you have to go home. Which, when done in moderation, is a very GOOD thing. But it was too hard to moderate Twitter. With Twitterific, it was literally always on.

And so I decided that I needed to shut it off.

I’m not sure that this is a failing on the part of Twitter — perhaps its cup runneth over. But it does make me wonder whether it will ever catch on beyond geeks who thrive on spending massive quantities of their lives on the web. (And, yes, hi, my name is Scott and I’m a web geek — I speak from experience.)

Twitter shares much in common with Facebook and MySpace — socializing on steroids, round the clock, always on, with no limits or boundaries or clearly defined utility. Which, again, are not inherently bad, and can actually be very good.

I guess it’s a matter of personal choice (e.g. I don’t watch much TV), and what type of user an application wants to serve. For people like students and web geeks, who are already predisposed to sink a lot of time into the web, applications like Twitter and Facebook make a lot of sense.

For people who look to the web as a tool for efficiency rather than time wasting (e.g. people who use search instead of randomly surfing for what they want to find), the first generation of social apps my prove to be just playthings, rather than applications that make their lives easy and simpler (again, think about search as the archetypal web app).

That said, Twitter and Facebook are pioneers — proving grounds for technology that will evolve into highly useful applications (e.g. Google wasn’t the first search engine).

In many ways, the web has become the new TV, i.e. a way to veg out — Twitter and Facebook make that time wasting social, which is probably a good thing on balance. But it still sucks time away from “real life,” i.e. family and work and having time to spend with people IN PERSON.

I’ll add as an interesting footnote that although I haven’t Tweeted for months, I continue to get new followers on Twitter every day — which is evidence that the network is expanding somewhat randomly and arbitrarily, rather than based on clear value (i.e. decisions about who to follow on Twitter are typically impulse).

So to all my Twitter friends — I’ll miss you…but not really. I read your blogs and you read mine, so I guess what I’ll really miss are your random musings. That is, those that you don’t blog. Well, you know what I mean.

That’s my story — and I’m blogging it rather than Tweeting it.


Hmmm, well that seems to have struck a nerve.

Charlie O’Donnell objects to this being on the top of Techmeme, which of course has nothing to do with what one user of Twitter thinks, but rather many users of Twitter who either strongly agree or disagree with what I tried to articulate.

Many of the reactions (very few of which, I’ll observe, are less than 140 characters) strike me as similar to the reactions I got to my mobile web sucks post — the problem isn’t the technology, it’s that I’m a not a good user. If I were a better user, than I’d find more value.

And I don’t disagree with all of the comments and suggestions below about how Twitter can be useful and valuable — that’s how I got addicted.

The problem is that breakthrough technologies should make you feel smart, not dumb, make your life easier, not harder. I come at this not as industry analyst, but as an individual user who had a net negative user experience.

I was actually motivated to take the time to experiment with Twitter, and try to figure out how to make it work. How much time do you think mainstream users (assuming that is Twitter’s ultimate market) will give it before they give up?

The lesson I’m looking to learn from experimenting with Twitter, Facebook, and other apps, is how such applications become indispensable.  I’ve heard a lot of good argumens for why Twitter has value — if properly calibrated — but not why it’s indispensable.

I got addicted to Twitter, and then tried seeing if I could live without it. And I did just fine.

But if I tried living without search, email, IM, web bookmarking 0r news aggregators (Techmeme) — then I’d be in pain.

Twitter may be the first step on an evolutionary path to something indispensable, but for me, it’s just not there yet.

Comments (114 Responses so far)

  1. One word: Pownce.

  2. I’m with you Scott. I stopped about 3-weeks ago for the exact same reasons.

    I also agree that it’s kinda bogus to just talk to the open air, and for people to have thousands of followers and to not follow them back.


  3. I refuse to get sucked into the Twitter game. It just seems like a colossal waste of time and it won’t serve to get much accomplished. In fact, last year, I gave up IM altogether. Why appear like you’re not working or take 15 minutes to have what should be a 3 minute conversation? Silly.

    From January: Why I Stopped Using IM and Won’t Use Twitter

  4. Twitter is a simulation of brain thinking though not as micro as neuron is. So just imagine when we quit thinking(it’s also chaotic). I’m not proing twitter, but microblogging is becoming a new phenomenon for sure. It’s a pity that you quit twitter which you may not realize what you have lost.

  5. It seems like people have lost sight of the simplest Twitter use-case: Follow a bunch of your friends so you know what they’re up to.

    That’s what I do, and I love it. Then again, I only have about a dozen friends :-)

  6. [...] IM nor email nor Facebook status; it’s all those things and less. Scott Karp, meanwhile, explains why he has given it [...]

  7. I’d like to comment on this… but I’ll wait a few days… why? Because its the number one story on Techmeme… one user… deciding not to use an app anymore. I’m not going to perpetuate that as being the top Tech conversation going on right now.

  8. Eh… screw it…

  9. I am writing an article based on an actual person, whom I call, ‘the demon bride of twitter’. She posts all the time through the day, from work, at home, at the airport, what she’s eating, how she’s feeling.

    Another person is a well know tech columnist for ZDnet, and he is an IT specialist with good articles; his tweets? “I am making pork chops” Give me break

    Now, the Demon Bride of Twitter is at the airport in DC and tweets, ‘I am at the airport near the food court’,, and although I never met the young lady, I have read her blog on Jewish conversion, and she is great writer and seems to be a good soul.

    I see her updating her locations, and I send her a message, ‘honey, be careful what you send out there, there a lot of bad out there.”. Cat stevens – right?

  10. Excellent points, and ones that I too experience every darn day with Twitter. However, the explosion of Twitter-love today did allow me to find dozens of interesting people that I may continue to follow.

    It also has brought a new concept to my mind on handling all these new voices at onces. That’ll take a bit of time to get used to.

    Twitter is a time-sink, and it is a pioneering social network. That is one reason I’ll stick with it though and see where it takes me next.


  11. Word.

  12. Then again,as they came along, we found a way to deal with the interruptions called fax, Fed Ex, cell phones, blogs, and IM, and the world keeps spinning around.

    IMO You’ll lose more than you’ll gain by not paying attention to the trend toward mobile communications, which is what Twitter embodies.

  13. Twitter is the Web 2.0’s PowerPoint.

    Twitter encourages sloppy thinking and discourse. Twitter writers rarely think long enough to compose their ideas or fully form their arguments.

    Twitter does not foster conversation. It fosters a series of quips and glib one liners.

  14. [...] The web has given us incredible tools and overwhelmingly easy information access, but as Scott Karp remarked today, it is also a “black hole of distraction.” [...]

  15. I think it really depends on how you utilize it. It could be addictive no doubt at the same time if utilized properly could be an effective tool

  16. It’s great social marketing too. Everyone is a micro-celeb/micro-conglomerate. You can bank on that timesuck being something to monetize later.

    Watch the A-list with something to sell, and they do it VERY well, even if by reflex.

  17. Scott- I struggled with Twitter initially as well and yes, it has negatives. As for “time sucking”, I see email, IM, rss and many other “web” tasks can do the same, if you let them.

    However, I think there are a few applications where twitter can be very useful.
    – To follow your actual friends and keep up with their lives (as John Z stated)
    – To find good links (digg is dying and good link sharing can be hard to come by)
    – To quickly gauge interest/feedback on a topic (real-time polling)

    I do agree Twitter can be exhausting, but like most apps it’s how you use the tool, not what the tool doesn’t do for you.

  18. Scott – I too offloaded all my chat clients long ago. (I admit to recently loading Google Talk to test it out :)

    On the other hand, while I don’t use twitter on my cell, I do visit it a few times a day. You’re right in what you said about the ‘tech’ crowd. One of the best vehicles I’ve found to see what’s on other people minds before writing a piece (and also to promote a bit).

    The biggest drawback (only?) that I’ve found is that not enough people follow you back. If you do, you can gain some real insight (at times), as well as discover interesting stories and info that nobody’s talking about.

    It’s time management for me but no compulsive twittering?

  19. I’m sorry, but giving up on Twitter because of a high signal to noise ratio is throwing the baby out with the bathwater. The beauty of Twitter is you have complete control over what you see. Too much chatter from someone? Turn them off? Someone pitching their blog/web site/business too much? Turn them off. Yes, it does take some fine tuning but it’s worth it.

  20. You hit the bottle too hard, and now you have a hangover. Instead of treating it like a “publication” (your words), it may have been smarter to moderate a little. How large was your friends list? Did you have any unusually chatty people on it? Did you turn them off? I’ve kept a reasonably-sized list and culled it when people have gotten excessively repetitive or self-promotional, and it’s helped me keep my 2nd bout of Twitter reasonable. My first bout, I flamed out and quit for the same reasons as yourself.

  21. [...] Karp points to the widely discussed problem with Twitter. There is a high noise to signal ratio. This is something that I’ve seen [...]

  22. I crave twitter attention and embrace the oppurtunity to exploit and get every single penny out of my tmobile sidekick unlimited data plan. I also realize that my addiction could possibly cost me my job, or, at least any respect at my job. No one else at work wants to even touch twitter. (they’re probably smart for it) I’m a lone warrior, that is, except for when I’m immersed in a pointless convo with twitterers. It is then that I feel enveloped in social acceptance. I do firmly believe that while I’m twittering, I can still get a lot of work done. I hope someone understands. Plus, I enjoy free-writing (or do they call it creative writing?) to no end. Okay, I should’ve been to sleep an hour ago but the birds keep chirping on twitteriffic =D

    ps, I got here from a tweet from ping!

  23. I got into Twitter this July, after spending the last year grokking the beauty of texting to keep in touch with out-of-town friends. A light bulb went on then that Twitter – which I’d previously thought of yet another inane Web 2.0 time-waster – might be a way to keep a little window peering into the day to day life of people you care about yet were on verge of losing contact with altogether.

    There are good points to what you say. I used to think I had to read and keep up with each and every tweet. But I realized just because twittering, like life, goes on non-stop 24/7 with your followers all the time, doesn’t mean you have to be present and alert for each and every tweet. When I have the time, I watch it, and when I don’t I’ve ceased to worry about what I am missing. It’s definitely brought me closer to folks that were only distant acquaintances, especially because of the real-time interactive nature compared to blogging. For friends that have a blog, keeping in contact that way certainly works – but more and more of my friends are not bloggers. But 140 characters, they can fit in from time to time.

    I totally agree that face-to-face is by far the best form of communication, but that isn’t always geographically feasible. Twitter hasn’t taken time away from real life interactions – but it has cut into my blogging, and that’s okay by me.

  24. [...] maanden niet. En ik ben niet de enige die er de brui aan heeft gegeven. Scott Karp, wiens blog over Publishing 2.0 ik volg, vindt het basically a waste of [...]

  25. twitter users fall into two camps. People that add/follow anyone and those that only add their friends.

    twitter has too much noise when you add anyone that adds you… be more deliberate and twitter has real utility.

    going a step deeper…you also can divide those you follow into web-only updates and SMS notices…that too can make a difference in the utility.

    YOU control the utility… saying twitter is a massive waste of time only points to your application of the tool…not to the app itself.

  26. [...] Ditto. And I came to that conclusion after about a day of using it. Just because its users are adults doesn’t mean it isn’t really just goofing around.              Related Posts [...]

  27. I enjoy and use Twitter so much that I hate to admit publicly that I’m starting to agree with you. So I won’t.

    I have had some troubling experiences lately, including a follower whose Facebook status said he was creating a voodoo doll in my image. I spent a few hours scrolling through old tweets and FB status messages to find out what on earth I had done to offend him and I am still wondering. I finally got a hold of myself and realized it didn’t matter since he wasn’t someone I would have anything to do with if I knew him in real life.

    I disagree with this statement from your post: “But it does make me wonder whether it will ever catch on beyond geeks who thrive on spending massive quantities of their lives on the web.” I think the opposite is true. Twitter is getting to be too much to handle precisely because it IS catching on. It’s just not catching on with anyone particularly interesting. It’s starting to feel like a fading former hot spot that’s been discovered by the riff raff. It’s starting to feel less safe.

    Maybe that’s too harsh. Through Twitter I have “met” a number of wonderful people that I have come to care about because I know so much about the little things in their life. But I want them in the foreground, not the background.

  28. You are referring to extreme cases, where Twitterers have gone beyond the original goal of the product which answers “What are you doing?” to your friends and family.

    It’s grown out of control, much like the marketers of MySpace who have 10’s of thousands of “friends” who they use to push their messages to their profile pages.

    I use it as a great way to integrate my thoughts into my WordPress blog and watch a few people that I’ve found interesting. Every now and then I’ll get an email notification from someone I don’t know, who is following me. I’ll check out their Twitter page and it’s nothing but marketing crap. I block them. When those kinds of users take over Twitter, that’s when I will stop using Twitter.

    For now, it serves its purpose and I’m happy with it. Plus I love the 3rd party development going on, myself included.

  29. But how will we know what kind of sandwich you are getting, or what the line at Starbucks is like??

    Gosh, I’m sure missing out on how *useful* Twitter is to average people who have thousands of “followers”.

    Yeah, I think that about sums it up for me and my thoughts on “lifecasting”. Good post Scott!

  30. [...] Karp at Publishing 2.0 wakes up with a hangover from a protracted Twitter binge, and doesn’t like what he sees: Twitter is massive waste of [...]

  31. I’m in “pain” everytime I get notifications, on facebook, that someone is “twittering this” and “twittering that”….why do people do that, it’s annoying/retarded.

  32. I remember giving up my addiction to message boards, chat rooms, instant messaging, email mailing rings, land line phone numbers, and most recently to blogging on a regular basis.

    I seems like this “giving up” is more of waiting for something better to come along. I tried out Twitter, and ultimately it felt like another place for me to put content in and rebuild my social graph.

    I am waiting for a product that will be *less* work for me, not more. A product that will give me more than it takes. I know people have all sorts of ideas about what “web 3.0″ means, but that’s what it means to me – a web app that has all the social capability of 2.0 with the added benefit of giving me a call to action that I care about.

  33. [...] “Netzleben ordnen” sind: Scott Karp schreibt bei Publishing 2.0 (argh – ein Zweinull!), warum er aufhörte zu twittern. Der Hauptgrund: Twittern ist – nicht nur, aber auch – eine Riesen-Zeitverschwendung. … [...]

  34. I’m not a Twitter user but I’m planning to join in order to understand the addiction mechanisms involved. Just recently I wrote about attention and Internet addiction

  35. [...] I Stopped Using Twitter – Publishing 2.0 Publié le 12/12/2007 par MRG Why I Stopped Using Twitter – Publishing 2.0 Let me immediately qualify that — it’s not that ALL of Twitter is a waste of time. It’s that [...]

  36. What is so funny about today’s twitter circle jerk is that everyone acted like it was some huge news event, even though almost no one except web geeks uses twitter. If it’s such a great tool, why aren’t “regular” people adopting it?

  37. If you’re easily addicted don’t do stuff which you can get addicted to.
    Don’t smoke and don’t do drugs, no booze either.

    You just have to learn to contain yourself!

    Twitter is a fairly safe addiction. I’m probably addicted. Well I say I’m not, but others around me say I am and I think that is a clear sign I am.

    I use Twitter for feedback on many issues, work related, but also “private” stuff. I use it to write things off my back and for fun. And I met a lot of nice similar minded people.

    For people with a busy schedule I think Twitter has a lot of added value for the short amounts of time in between. But you have to be a little strict with yourself. Don’t get sucked in too much.

    While you’re at it try using Mobypicture with it. This saves you a lot of time. You can show your friends what you are doing instead of typing it :)

  38. Hi Scott, I thnk you provide us with a good view of the things you like and dislike about Twitter. I have had very similar experiences but have been able to find a balance in it. I do use Twitter but force myself not to use it all the time. I can glance at it, like a river that flows by, and only if I choose to actually dive into it. Works well. One thing I don’t like about it is the assymetric relationships as you point out as well. I follow someone, but he doesn’t follow me. In the end the fun is always in the possibility to interact. But that isn’t always possible. Twitter sometimes makes me a groupie instead of a friend:

  39. I guess I used twitter totally different. I usually post on average 2-3 posts per day. I also have my flickr account and blog running through Twitter feed.

    For the most part I used it as a “personal press release tool”. I don’t think it of much value to say I’m eating a tuna sandwich but I will say I am going to so and so coffee shop, in addition to getting work done I could meet a local follower in real life and may get a potential client, etc. Sure, I may say I’m waiting on a camera lens to be delivered but it also gives a subtle hint that I’m a photographer. I’ve seen my tweets indexed by Google and that has build up SEO for myself and links back to my site.

    As someone who practices writing I have learned to write for brevity as I can often become too long winded like this comment here!

    Seriously, it’s no different that when people started creating personal home pages on Geocites, Angelfire and Homestead. A LOT of people did nothing but fill them with crazy animated .gifs, horrible backgrounds, etc. That was the “kicking the tires” stages. Many are kicking the tires with his, some will just walk away while others become great drivers.

    Yes, it can be a waste of time if you use it to “waste time” but like most things it can be useful as well.

  40. Twitter is great, give you a true sense of connectedness.. the human touch that’s much needed in online social networks.

  41. The problem with Twitter’s noise level is people feel compelled to Twitter about just about anything – even stuff other people have little interest in. That’s why the noise starts to get more distracting as time goes on. Good for you, Scott!

  42. [...] Scott Karp, a well-known media/tech blogger, has a post on why he quit Twitter. It turns out there was too [...]

  43. [...] Why I Stopped Using Twitter – Publishing 2.0 A good counter point to the Twittermania that was yesterday. (tags: twitter publishing scott-karp) [...]

  44. I think the key to playing Twitter is not to put it on your phone, where it gets annoying and expensive, too. The key is to log on to it just one or twice a day from the web, catch up with a few pages of the people you are following to see their thoughts and links and locations, and give it a rest.

    Lately, it has filled up with a lot more people just coming for a look-see, and is no longer as interesting as it was when populated only by early populars. But since those pioneers only talked about tech and Twitter itself or blogged about their baby feedings or whatever, more waves will come in specific fields and networks where it will get interesting again.

    A good international or domestic US politics Twitter network, for example, just hasn’t appeared yet, despite some politicians getting on it and spamming it now and then.

    I think what you mean to say is that for you, as an early pioneer, the wave has passed and it’s not interesting. I find far less interesting posts on it than I used to just because it has way more people on it than before and they tend to have less interesting things to say en masse, so I have to work at culling it more — and I don’t make the time for it.

    Still, for my niche of following the tech talk on social media itself and the subset of Second Life, it’s my chief news source for now.

  45. I never want to be part of twitter. It’s like being at the edge of a party and being downwind of everyone’s farts. No fun.

    Of course they are those who, so full of beans and a flatulent regard of themselves, that they want to be in the center,

  46. way to bait techmeme scott…you did it! and yes…@evan- POWNCE!

  47. [...] I was one of Scott Karp’s friends on Twitter and I admit, I enjoyed our interactions there. Now I learn that to Scott, the conversations there were a massive waste of time. [...]

  48. [...] I’d be using some adjective like “John-Dvorak-wannabee“) Scott Karp, wrote a well-reasoned explanation of why he stopped using Twitter. The problem is, his (this is where John Dvorak comes to mind) tone [...]

  49. Like so many things on the Web, what you get from Twitter depends, in large part, on what your expectations are and what you put into it.

    “A waste of time?” Only if you *let* Twitter be a waste of time. The beautiful thing about all the online time-wasters is you can get away from them by simply logging off.

  50. it is a waste…. because it takes you away from awareness of your self

  51. Wow, I work in high tech, and I don’t know *anyone* who uses Twitter (seriously). Granted, most of us are over 30. We are way too busy holding down jobs, dealing with family and personal issues.

    IM is intrusive enough, email I can answer when I want any time via my phone. Or anyone can just call me on my cell which is usually turned on 24/7. Why do I have to be updated by some windbags every time a stupid thought comes into his/her head… I’d rather have a meaningful one on one conversation with you than fragments and LOL 140 character constant updates.

  52. I gave up on the internet last week, haven’t looked back since.

  53. [...] 12, 2007 · No Comments Scott Karp leads a TechMeme discussion when he confesses he has stopped using Twitter. Not because he doesn’t like it, but because there are downsides to it that outweigh the [...]

  54. Twitter is a massive waste of time and human energy. I feel bad for anyone misguided enough to believe it is anything more then a more annoying chat client.

  55. Heard a compelling arguement from Euen Semple recently, that Twitter is good for knowing who is where and hooking up with them. Equally, knowing when people are “live blogging” about you.

    I happen to agree that Twitter is alot of noise, but like the fact that it is intergrated with IM / Mobile tech.

    I prefer blogs as they tend to be more considered, but think that Twitter is more of a comms platform.

  56. [...] interesting to see some of the reactions to Scott Karp’s post on Twitter and why he stopped using it at Publishing 2.0, a post which has now topped the cluster of Techmeme [...]

  57. Your updates strikes me as the “it’s not you…it’s me” cop-out.

  58. facebook is not the internet!

  59. I feel the same way about most blogs and print media. All this conversation, but does anyone have anything really insightful to say?

    Insight has been and always will be rare. People now are more informed on pop culture, and less informed on critical thinking and knowledge application, than ever before in history. It’s easy to mistake junk for knowledge.

  60. [...] is a lot of discussion right now about how Twittering is a “waste of time” I don’t know if I really buy into that, I won’t attempt to argue that point and [...]

  61. [...] Why I Stopped Using Twitter [...]

  62. I never really “got” it or really understand its appeal although I do have an account. I mainly use it as a “status update” for my site to let my readers or visitors get an idea of what I’m doing. Other than that, who except my closest friends (and I really mean those that matter, or maybe not even them) wants to know what I’m eating, or that I’m going for my errands, etc? They can get quite boring after a while. I didn’t subscribe to tweets but did get text message status updates from Facebook which is very similar. And, I certainly didn’t like getting constant updates interrupting me 24/7. After a while, it was totally annoying. Like Blackerry, it can get addictive quickly but also totally destroys your life as you can’t really live it without being interrupted by something that seriously can wait. Turn it off or shut it down and claim back your life. I have and it’s so much better now.

    Besides, I don’t have enough time to blog anyway.

  63. Twitter is like *any* social network: work it for your own use. There are many ways to use Twitter. And, yes, *all* of social networking can be a big distraction from *real work*. But I do believe, just like the water cooler, people like that distraction.

    Scott, some of us miss you at Twitter. Especially for wise tweets like this:

    Peace to your day!

  64. [...] Techmeme post pointing to a post on Scott Karp’s Publishing 2.0 blog. Scott titles the post: Why I Stopped Using Twitter. He points out that Twitter can be a huge wast of time. …TOO MUCH of Twitter is a massive [...]

  65. [...] Scott Karp says: Twitter is massive waste of time. [...]

  66. [...] "Por qué deje de usar ‘Twitter’" [ING] por JanSmite hace pocos segundos [...]

  67. I have been exploring twitter only recently, found it a while back, stopped, and now came back to look at it more througly.

    It is a very interesting idea if you look at it as an RSS feed into the life of posters. Just like blogs, there are A LOT of very bad blogs but you have to read some of them to find the gems.

    However, from a personal stand-point I have to agree with Scott. It is going to become cool, jump the shark, and then die a painful death (i.e. MySpace).

  68. [...] Scott Karp says: Twitter is massive waste of time. [...]

  69. I guess there are no trackbacks allowed here so my article is posted on the Demon Bride of Twitter:

  70. [...] Scott Karp of The New York Times explains why he has abandoned Twitter: “…Twitter has turned distraction into an art form. It’s like hanging out at a bar with a bunch of interesting people (some of whom are talking on their cellphones) and forgetting that you have to go home. Which, when done in moderation, is a very GOOD thing. But it was too hard to moderate Twitter. With Twitterific, it was literally always on.” [...]

  71. [...] year later, Scott Karp writes in Why I Stopped Using Twitter: But the noise to signal ratio is WAY too high. And the temptation to Tweet for the sake of [...]

  72. [...] waste of time or an incredibly valuable resource.  This latest flare up seems to have started when Scott Karp announced he was going to stop using Twitter entirely because it was, “a massive waste of time.”  [...]

  73. [...] Why I Stopped Using Twitter – Publishing 2.0 Scott Karp writes about leaving twitter for which I have some sympathy as I’ve hardly tweeted for 2 weeks; head down getting work done. Still I’ve missed it and I’ve pulled it in from time to time. I find community in it. (tags: twitter microblogging newmedia scottcarp) [...]

  74. from china,i stop it too.
    it makes too many message that’s Garbage?

  75. [...] this one before right? Twitter is a massive waste of time. This one comes from Scott Karp. Anne Truitt Zelenka responds in what I found to be a very articulate and well written [...]

  76. [...] the great Twitter debate continues to rage on (and on), I get the feeling we’re missing a key point of what true connections and [...]

  77. [...] around what is a trivial and what is a serious use of one’s time. This hierarchy then returns in assessments of the worth of various forms of online community: when the ‘wealth of networks’ quite literally cannot be translated into a pay rise or [...]

  78. [...] Why I Stopped Using Twitter (tags: links) [...]

  79. I like the idea of Twitter but not the execution. Take, for example, people who insist on Twittering a conference. They’re so eager to be the first ones to tell youw hat this guy is saying…. that they fill up the whole Twitterpage with running quotes and commentary that could easily wait until they got home to blog it — and summarize the important parts instead of emptying their brains into Twitter. It’s not as if they are covering some earth-shattering news that we nee need to know right now. Furthermore, that’s not the point of Twitter — it’s supposed to be about conversation, not “I talk and everybody has to listen.” Meh. Too many doofuses typing too much.

  80. [...] Business Week cover story on Google’s “cloud computing” strategy. – Scott Karp blogs “Why I Stopped Using Twitter”: Answer: consumption-overload. This will clearly be a generational-divide [...]

  81. Most people love time wasters on internet, believe or not. That is why the most popular stuff are time wasters such as youtube, facebook, and now twitters. The really useful websites will never be that popular., the ultimate one stop information site for you

  82. [...] waster and he can live without it, but he can not live without search, e mail, bookmarks, and IM. Very interesting point about twitter. var addthis_pub = [...]

  83. You wrote
    >> But the noise to signal ratio is WAY too high.

    Sorry, but a high SNR is better than a low SNR, at least in it´s technical meaning…


  84. [...] much of the thoughts around Twitter has been somewhere between “Twitter is a colossal waste of time” to “Twitter is an awesome online chatroom“, what’s been forgotten is that [...]

  85. [...] Why I Stopped Using Twitter – Publishing 2.0 But if I tried living without search, email, IM, web bookmarking 0r news aggregators (Techmeme) — then I’d be in pain. (tags: 2007 mes11 dia15 Twitter crítica blog_post) [...]

  86. I agree ABSOLUTELY with you! Twittering is a big waste of time and I knew it since the first time I saw all those non-sense micro-posts.

  87. I fully agree. That’s why I stopped using / following Twitter weeks ago. Though I like the concept of forcing people to be concise, there is way too much irrelevancy on it.

  88. EinMensch238 wrote on December 15th, 2007 at 10:40
    “>> But the noise to signal ratio is WAY too high.

    Sorry, but a high SNR is better than a low SNR, at least in it´s technical meaning…”

    You have to learn to read better, Einmensch238; the author wrote exactly the opposite of your quote of him, i.e. the NOISE to signal ration is way too high (not: the SIGNAL to noise ratio).

  89. I couldn’t agree more. I like Twitter, and will continue to use it, but the signal to noise ratio is WAY too high.

  90. [...] Why I Stopped Using Twitter – Scott Carp [...]

  91. [...] this week there has been a lot of analysis about Twitter, with some people embracing it and others critical. Our own Alex Iskold summed it up well in his post entitled The Evolution of Personal Publishing, [...]

  92. [...] Twitter can be a big waste of time, as Scott Karp noted in a recent post (my response at the time is here). But then, as more than one person has noted, the Internet can be [...]

  93. Twitter Must Die.

  94. [...] I haven’t had time to use Twitter recently, I’ve been following all the discussions about Twitter, because it’s become a [...]

  95. [...] Karp, Schreiber für Publishing 2.0 (argh, ein Zweinull!) hatte es vor sechs Wochen oder so schon ganz treffend formuliert: […] Twitter has turned distraction into an art form. It’s like hanging out at a bar with a [...]

  96. I think it depends on what you use it for. Using it on a daily “what am I doing base” doesn’t make much sense in my opinion.

    I do this with plazer on location related information… but this just updates my location automatically. In the rare occasion I find a new plaze I add it quickly an decide later if I want to add additinal infromation.

    But twitter seems to be a great way to use it for live comments on some special live events (like it was done on on Lotusphere OGS).

    I found a similar use for it. I added twitter to my blog ( and use it for live updating on special events (esp. in conjunction with the SMS capability) … in my case it will be nothing tech related (poker tournaments) ;-)

  97. [...] hearing about how wonderful Twitter is for a few months (And how not-so-wonderful), I’ve just signed up tweeted for the first [...]

  98. [...] Publishing 2.0 – Why I Stopped Using Twitter Chris Brogan – Twitter Revisited ProBlogger – 9 Benefits Of Twitter For Bloggers, Tips For Bloggers [...]

  99. [...] it’s interesting for me to see how some have already claimed it to be a wasteful addiction that should be bridled. Well, true, but couldn’t that be said of anything used in excess? If [...]

  100. [...] “…has turned distraction into an art form. It’s like hanging out at a bar with a bunch of interesting people (some of whom are talking on their cellphones) and forgetting that you have to go home.” – Scott Karp [...]

  101. [...] “…has turned distraction into an art form. It’s like hanging out at a bar with a bunch of interesting people…& forgetting that you have to go home.” – Scott Karp [...]

  102. I do believe you’re right, but I don’t experience it this way, because I’m only following 1 person.

    I’m very interested to put this technology into a social network about a specific subject.

  103. I think you’ve distilled many of my gripes about Twitter. Besides just hearing half the conversation, many times there’s simply no conversation, it’s simply self-proclamation. I feel like I’m in a room where whoever yells the loudest and most often gets heard. I have a sneaking suspicion than 5-10% of users are responsible for 90% of all tweets. And as you say many of these posts and observations are fascinating, but an awful lot are just clutter. I do want to follow some of the big thinkers on Twitter, but if they tweet 20 times a day and my best friend tweets once a week, I’ll miss her posts. So what good is a social networking tool that buries the most important posts from the most important people? The simplicity of Twitter is what holds it back. Beyond just its scaling problems, the tool is too crude to really capture meaningful interaction. I think there is some very interesting dialogue taking place on Twitter, but I’m back to where I was a year ago: if the top visionaries in new media have an idea to share, please flesh it out and I’ll read your blog. For richer, more reliable interactions w/ friends, I’ll stick with Facebook.

  104. [...] are a lot of discussions out on the web about Twitter and that may or may not be a waste of [...]

  105. [...] - excellent post! [...]

  106. [...] Why I Stopped Using Twitter – Publishing 2.0 [...]

  107. [...] other side of the coin is revealed in a post by Scott Karp titled Why I stopped using Twitter. He found “Twitter to be mesmerizing, which partly reflects the brilliance of the design and [...]

  108. [...] when I write about a negative experience with a website, e.g. Twitter or, someone puts forth what I call the “stupid user” argument [...]

  109. I have just decided to experiment with twitter, there was a lot of talk about it at the recent WordCamp UK conference and so, being in the web trade, I thought I should get some first hand. I find it hard to believe that I would ever find it addictive. It seems to be an utter waste of server space, or am I missing something?

  110. Its not fair to call these latest technologies a massive waste of time. While its agreed that there are too many applications out there, that may not really sound useful it all depends on what you want and how you want to use it. For me, twitter is my friend and it follows me wherever i go. It helps me to catch all the ongoing action and I simply love it.


  111. [...] “Twitter is massive waste of time,” writes Publishing 2.0 creator Scott Karp, a self-proclaimed recovering Twitter addict. “Let me immediately qualify that — it’s not that ALL of Twitter is a waste of time. It’s that TOO MUCH of Twitter is a massive waste of time.” [...]

  112. I recently dove into the twitter-sphere by watching twitter’s introductory video on their website. The main premise seems to be this: that people will feel and be more connected if the “little” happenings in their lives get micro-bloggedto their friends and potential friends. The video mentions blogging that you are “having a cup of coffee” or “reading a book”, etc. To tell the truth, how does anyone have the time or enjoy some peace and quiet when they have to twitter their daily activities to “keep in touch”? Time wasting indeed.

  113. [...] I found a post by a well versed web geek whose assessment is similar to my [...]

  114. Actually, Twitter has its own pros and cons. The audience is different but people started thinking themselves among the audience. It is a great way to keep team updated with up-to-date information.

    Its not for all. I just evaluated it and came to know that the guys whom I was following never replied back and few were following me. But why?

Add Your Comment


Receive new posts by email