Chirping on Twitter


“You talking to me? Are you tweeting ME?” Dove image courtesy of dzz, Morguefile.

I’ve been on Twitter for a considerable time now and I’m enjoying the fact that more and more people are talking to me. At first, it seemed like Twitter was just a giant firehose, spraying thoughts from people all over the world. One friend of mine has compared it to the world’s biggest tea party, with conversations going on in various spaces.

But in a way, Twitter is also like blogging: you have to give to receive. The more I respond to other people’s tweets or send tweets to them, the more likely they are to say something in return.

I like to imagine that Twitter users fall into different bird categories:

Owls: These people are the power users of Twitter, with thousands of followers. They are knowledgeable in their own fields and adept with using Twitter. When I click on a link in their tweets, I’m rewarded by an interesting photo or an article where I can learn some noteworthy information.

Blue jays: This group are show-offs. They haven’t quite figured out that Twitter is not about selling 24/7 (ugh), but more about building relationships and sharing knowledge. They constantly ask for retweets and when you click on a link, you are taken to a website where the user wants you to buy something. A pop-up window may appear, too.

Parrots: They’re colorful and entertaining. Their tweets make me laugh. I’m following Steve Martin, the comedian and actor, because his tweets are hilarious.

Hawks: This group is the strangest on Twitter. They pounce on me and follow me, but then fly off elsewhere. I guess they just want to increase their number of followers.

Doves: They nest on Twitter and are interested in having conversations and building relationships. This is my favorite group, because it’s fun to say things, be answered and get some back-and-forth conversations going. Some of my fellow bloggers have joined me on Twitter and vice versa, and I find it great fun to talk with them.

Baby chicks: This group are the newbies on Twitter. They’re still getting the hang of how Twitter works, but they learn in time.

Blog readers, can you think of any other bird categories? I’d be interested to hear your thoughts.


Filed under Social Media

28 responses to “Chirping on Twitter

  1. I think you see the same types of birds on blogs as well :-).

  2. I just can’t get interested in Twitter.

    • I can understand that; it’s all a matter of personal taste. One thing I love about it is that I can send a tweet directly to an author or entertainer I like, which is a bit intimidating when it’s a highly famous person but fun, too. And if I’m lucky, they may read it or better yet, respond! Two of them have, which was a thrill for me.

  3. You make me curious and tempted to revisit Twitter which I have not delved into at any length to date — however, the last thing I need is another distraction. ๐Ÿ™‚ Blue jays are the perfect representative for the show-offs. ~ Kat

  4. I think I might be the ‘ugly duckling’, feet paddling furiously, no idea how to do it or what to do and wondering why I can’t be like everyone else!

  5. My new category that I will add to the list (and which I come under) is penguin. Penguins will sometimes jump in and swim around and have fun in the Twitter pool, but are often just standing around and not joining in at all.

  6. prathima

    Peacocks that only tweet to show off…?

  7. Love your analysis here. Never been on Twitter, though, so I’m truly not qualified to give any other options. Guess it’s time I dragged myself over there and started having a look (I’ll definitely be a tiny little chick there ๐Ÿ™‚ )

    • It can be a lot of fun. And there are lots of websites and books out there that explain how to set up a Twitter account and use it. But if you decide to buy a book about Twitter, get something that was published as recently as possible so that you have the most up-to-date information. Twitter, like other social media platforms, introduces changes from time to time, like our beloved WordPress.

  8. I love it, and I think you’ve covered the different types of Twitter users perfectly! I agree with you – Blue Jays are infuriating, and I definitely find myself avoiding them more now. I also agree with Parrots, and especially Steve Martin – his tweet about doping the other day made me laugh a lot!
    By the way I just followed you on Twitter! (My pic on Twitter is the same as my pic for WP). ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thanks for stopping in and sharing your thoughts! Since Twitter was named after birds, I thought it would make an interesting post to compare the users to different birds. The blog comments on this one have been hilarious!

      Steve Martin is someone who has really mastered the art of the tweet, in my opinion. Maybe it was all those years of stand-up comedy and one-liners, hmm?

      *gallops over to Twitter to check out the Steve Martin tweet you mention*

  9. Gosh, I barely have time to keep up with all the blog posts I need to read. How does one have time for Tweeting? I haven’t even entertained the thought of it, but this was an enlightening post. Thanks!

  10. I’m definitely a baby chick. I don’t know what the heck I’m doing on Twitter, and I’m sure it shows!!!

    • I would say to follow people with interests similar to yours and who have tweets you like. Before I decide to follow somebody, I review their tweets. Direct them to website articles, photos, etc., you think they might find interesting. But also comment on their tweets, too. It makes other Twitterers happy that you took the time to say something, and you can have some funny back-and-forth conversations this way.

      • My problem is mostly time. I already spend about 2 hours a day on WordPress, either blogging or catching up on other people’s blogs. Throw in Twitter, and work, and life, and I don’t know that I’d ever have the time to actually sit down and write. Ahhhhhhhh!

        Good advice, though ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ll definitely keep it in mind when I begin my Twitter conquest.

  11. Like the way you grouped everyone into bird categories — the descriptions of those flocks are perfect. (Steve Martin is hysterical in any media)

  12. travelrat

    I think the one that amuses me most is @Queen_UK. Not Her real Majesty, of course; some of the things she says would have got the writer sent to the Tower in bygone years. But, so funny!

  13. Impybat

    Oh my, the birds are a perfect analogy. I’m like a parakeet chirping into a mirror in her cage. Every once in a while, I’ll tweet about something, only to find I’m mostly talking to myself.


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