I'm pretty skeptical of the value of Twitter.
Nobody has been able to construct an obvious reason why I should donate my time to get my head around it, play with it, update it, follow other people and so forth. When I've expressed this view at events and other online forums, the usual response has been "Oh, just start using it, and you'll understand the value over time".
I'm sorry, but that doesn't work for me. I don't like playing around with new social media tools "just for the fun of it", and my primary client-base isn't in the social media industry.
(Edit - the other argument I've heard is "You'll be able to have lots more conversations with lots more people". Which also doesn't work, as I already have more options for conversations than I have time. I unfortunately have to turn away briefings, conference speaking invitations, delay responding to emails and voicemails and deprioritise other interactions. I'd need to know that Twitter wouldn't just add to the problem, and that I'd be conversing with the "right" people more - ie the ones with unique and relevant knowledge, money to spend, or a good sense of humour).
I need a clear & immediate "win" if I'm going to take time away from other work or personal activities. There's a million bits of cool software, social media, or networking technology & events that I could invest time in, so what's special about Twitter? Would say, 4 hours "invested" in Twitter yield more revenue & value than 4 hours spent phoning or emailing some old contacts or clients, whom I haven't had a chance to catch up with in ages? Or 4 hours updating my website? Or 4 hours at something like Mobile Monday?
I'll contrast that with this blog, which I write because it yields obvious benefits in terms of visibility, interactivity with a knowledgeable audience, direct revenue and leads from new clients ("I read your blog regularly, can you also do XXX type of project or YYY type of event?"), and the ability to put down and "claim" ideas I have, when I don't have time to write up full reports.
On the other hand, Jonny Bentwood has highlighted just how many other analysts are Twittering away happily, so maybe it's time for a rethink.
(Socially, I'm totally disinterested in it - none of my non-industry friends have ever even mentioned it. Absolutely zero).
Now, I know that (obviously) quite a few people in the apps/Web part of my audience are avid Twitterers - but I have a variety of other avenues to reach them. Any comments on how you deal with analysts via Twitter would be interesting, nevertheless. But I'm more interested in people from the "techier" parts of this blog's readership - MNOs' radio and architecture and strategy teams, wireless infrastructure suppliers, device manufacturers, semiconductor vendors, regulators and so on. Do you already follow anyone "tweeting" on femtocells, or spectrum policy, or deep packet inspection?
Comments - either on this thread, or via email at FIRSTNAME.LASTNAME AT disruptive-analysis.com are very welcome. I'm willing to change my opinion on Twitter, but it needs to have a clear and demonstrable *business* return on my time. And the response "you won't understand until you've tried it" is unacceptable, as that generic argument could be applied to everything from religious evangelism to a new type of cheese.