I’m beginning to see four distinct groups of users using Twitter. Each have their own way of doing things.

1. Casual friends and family.
Basically they want to keep in touch. Nothing wrong with that and easier to broadcast than copy/pasting an email all the time.

2. Users who broadcast but don’t care who listens.
The more followers the better and the more people they follow the more will listen. After a while though it becomes noise and difficult to track who is saying way. Take 10,000 followers and a bunch of them @reply to you, how will you know? At the end of the day most of these category of user won’t really care. I suppose you could call them Twittagers ๐Ÿ™‚

3. An industry/business collective
Keeping up with a specific domain of intelligence. I keep up with designers, hitech and data miners, some of them even keep up with me.

4. The bots.
The ones that give me cause for concern and the want inside to make my tweets private. If I mention golf then there’s a bot tracking the word “golf”, next thing I know there’s a bunch of followers because I said golf. To give you an idea how lax this system can be, I was stating the fact that I would never ever play golf.

As much as I thought Twitter would be a complete waste of time I do use it a heck of a lot, but mainly in a specific domain context. I do have problems with the signal to noise ratio hence I try to control my follows and followers to a degree that I can see messages that come in. Now I’m also using rTweeter, written by Stuart Manning, which will let me track keywords and phrases as well.

Now I can start putting the collective intelligence together.