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Why I Tweet

by Jeffrey Mann  |  January 12, 2009  |  8 Comments

I’ve been using Twitter for the last ten months or so, and many people have asked me why. How can sending 140 character missives into the ether be a good thing? The simplest answer is that it’s fun. I enjoy coming up with quick little updates on what I am thinking about or doing, and seeing what others come up with. Contrary to what some may think, Twitter is not all about “Drinking my second cup of coffee” or “It’s raining.” Those who tweet like that don’t get many followers.

I am not a heavy Tweeter. I have sent out 1,457 Tweets and have accumulated 460 followers. According to Tweetstats, I have averaged four tweets per day, and sent the most messages in October. According to Twitter Grader, I am in the top 98.3% (#13,663 out of 952,391) of the Twitterverse. These are not particularly great numbers, but they work for me. The rock stars of Twitter spend most of their day doing little else but reading, replying and tweeting. I like to think I have a life that won’t allow that. I also have a job, that requires a bit more depth than the average tweet.

The reason I first started tweeting is that I find it hard to find the time to do proper blogs. I need to write research notes, and have more ideas than discipline, so the regularity of this blog sometimes suffers. I can handle 140 character mind squirts though. They just fit into my day better.

My time spent on Twitter has been rewarding. It alerts me to what is going on, connects me to old friends, and introduces me to many people whom I think are worth knowing. I have used it to test out ideas that eventually make their way into this blog or my more formal research notes. Twitter points me to people saying interesting things on their blogs. I can tap into expertise on travel and silly things like the best brand of tea bags to use if you want to use them in the garden. Apparently, Celestial seasonings and PG Pyramids don’t have those paper tags that inhibit mulching.

Twitter also helped us close a sale. I noticed that someone was saying they were having trouble reaching their Gartner account rep. I passed the contact on, and one of our sales people was able to close a deal very quickly. I don’t expect to get that much direct business value every day, but it’s a nice way of justifying something I like doing.

Category: being-an-analyst  blogging  consumerization  social-software  twitter-vendors  

Tags: microblogging  social-media  social-software  twitter  

Jeffrey Mann
Research VP
14 years at Gartner
26 years IT industry

Jeffrey Mann is a research vice president for collaboration and social software at Gartner Research. Mr. Mann focuses on social software, team workspaces, the collaboration market and knowledge management. Read Full Bio


Thoughts on Why I Tweet


  1. Thomas Otter says:

    Jeff,
    Same here, also working from home for the first time in my life, I do miss the odd chat in the corridor, and the random information flow that make up office life. Twitter goes some way to replicating that.

  2. […] Read more… Share: […]

  3. […] Why I Tweet – Gartner’s Jeffrey Mann on his Twitter habbits and motivations […]

  4. Robert De Souza says:

    Nice explanation Jeff! would be great to get more of the Gartner analysts twitting….

  5. […] you should read is Gartner analyst Jeffrey Mann discussing why he uses Twitter in his blog post Why I Tweet. In a very short post, Jeff covers a lot of ground in terms of the value he gets from Twitter. Here […]

  6. […] inside knowledge, but I’ve got some opinions based on research and the ways I’ve been using the […]

  7. Michael Fraser says:

    Why I / You / We Tweet http://bit.ly/iyouwe

  8. Veronika says:

    Nice article! Twitter has gained a primary role in the social marketing. Twitter combines fun with utility. It is a great way to share information and promote your organization by tweeting the news from your company. By following this methodology you can easily create a social network which helps your business to grow in sales. These things make Twitter widespread.
    At Miracle Technologies we strongly believe that Twitter is an effective marketing tool.



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