Home > marketing, Social Media > Twitter? Don’t worry, Dear. It’s Just a Tool!

Twitter? Don’t worry, Dear. It’s Just a Tool!

Tools are very useful but not interesting at dinner parties 


Tools are very useful but not interesting at dinner parties

Last weekend  I saw my wife sawing off a branch of a plum tree she was pruning back with a saw designed to cut metal. She was managing to get through the branch but it was slow work. I handed her our bow saw and she finished the job more easily.

Furthermore, under my staircase is a big black box which contains most of my tools. There is a mix of spanners, pliers, screwdrivers, hammers and saws. One of these tools has a largish, orange handle and looks like a screwdriver for small screws.

In fact, the tool is a bradawl and it is used for making small holes in wood into which you drive a screw.  The bradawl is not very good as a screwdriver because it was not designed for that even though it looks like one.

Now, before you switch off, this is not a post about the contents of my toolbox or a rant about women and tools. Far from it.

Yesterday, there was an article on the a BBC blog which was talking about Oprah Winfrey signing up to Twitter and there was a big battle between her and some other media chap I had never heard of until yesterday for who was going to be the top celebrity with the number of ‘followers’ to their tweets.

What was interesting were the comments (of which I was one commentator) from readers. The first commentator stated that ‘TWITTER IS STUPID’. A later comment talked about lazy journalists using it and businesses using it for cheap research. Another comment said the discussion about Twitter was not adding to the sum of human knowledge. Fair point.

I used to be a cynical about Twitter. But, being cynical about Twitter is a bit like being cynical about bradawls. Imagine this statement- “BRADAWLS ARE STUPID!” It sounds odd, doesn’t it? Bradawls are extremely good for making holes in wood but they are not very good screwdrivers.

Talk about Twitter is dull, just as talking about screwdrivers or hammers is dull. But seeking how to use a tool is very useful, just as learning that a bow saw is better for chopping off branches from a tree than a saw designed to cut metal.

And talk of Twitter being used by lazy journalists is like saying that farmers who use tractors for ploughing fields should be ashamed of themselves for not doing it by hand. And what is the difference between a business using Twitter for cheap research and a business not using it and buying expensive research? It might be your job.

Twitter is a very good tool but I can’t say I am going to be talking about it at dinner parties. I will be helping clients find more customers with it. I will be using it to find work for myself. But, as with anything, a better version may well come along. And until that comes along, I will continue to use Twitter as a tool, as I will continue to use my bradawl to make small holes in wood.

  1. PJ
    18/04/2009 at 5:43 pm

    And there was me hoping to chat about biscuit jointers and routers at dinner tonight! 😦

    • 18/04/2009 at 5:49 pm

      You can if you want. We’ll be in the other room!

  2. 18/04/2009 at 11:35 pm

    Brilliant analogy! And very informative. I was really struggling to see what all the hype was about with Twitter. I am slowly catching on but still feel like I am finding my way in the dark. This helped to shed some light

    • 19/04/2009 at 10:46 am

      Hi Jennifer,

      Glad to be of service! I am more than happy to give you some more tips on using Twitter.

      I like your site. Very interesting.



  3. Jonathan Hirst
    20/04/2009 at 11:36 am

    What’s wrong with discussing bradawls – what exactly is the difference between one and a screwdriver…(Do I hear someone talking about tempering and the appropriate heat required…)

    Joking aside – very good explanation – I will use it (credit to you of course) when the next person says to me ‘Twitter – I just don’t get it’.

    Many thanks

    • 20/04/2009 at 12:15 pm

      Hi Jonathan,

      Nothing wrong with bradawls at all. They are very useful tools!

      I admit I didn’t get Twitter to begin with but I persisted and found out how it worked for me.



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