Posted 10 April 2012 - 11:48 AM
Perhaps I am being a bit unfair but I suppose that the problem with OT it can all too quickly dominate. I've seen on some days nearly a third of daily postings on here are OT, and usually by the same people. Chacun son gout I suppose and of course Twitter is full of OT but you don't have to subscribe to it unless you want to. But that's another subject.
It is hard for those not familiar with Twitter to understand it at times, especially from a non-involved distance. It is all too easy - and many people on here have done - criticise it as peripheral but you only get what you put in; increasingly with history on Twitter (and not just military history) there are people posting very focussed content; i.e. they post on their subject matter, not about what their cat just ate or that they are going to the shops. Several WW1 historians are on there but they haven't all adhered to that and have seen it as a vehicle to host their daily thoughts about life, cricket, God etc. Fine, but they wonder why they don't have many followers; in these cases all too often Twitter can just be a means of talking to yourself. Wiser Tweeps post info, stories, links, photos of interest and ENGAGE people in the same way posts on here do; and doing this means you get a lot of followers as people on Twitter interested in history want focussed content. The difference with Twitter is that it reaches a much greater audience than here and the general public are more likely to follow someone on Twitter than register on this forum. The GWF may have thousands of members but only a small percentage of its members regularly post; a huge number are inactive. From my experience on Twitter the feedback and interaction is much greater; a recent example: I was filming in some Somme tunnels covered with graffiti. I Tweeted some images of the graffiti and within an hour we had a photo and life history of one of the men on the wall. That is an example of Twitter at its best, and as it grows I am sure that will develop even more.
The key to it is focussed content; go down any other avenue and it's just a mediocre chat room.
Here endeth the sermon, and of course it isn't for everyone.