How do you use Twitter?

If you use Twitter (of course you do!), do you have specific thoughts on how you use it? What do you do with your followers – follow them back automatically? Or are you choosy?

And what about why you use Twitter? For the conversations? For connecting? Or what?

All of this forms part of an impromptu and unscripted 17-minute conversation last evening with my AdHocnium colleague and principal catalyst Chris Heuer which you can listen to here (RSS subscribers: if you don’t see the in-page player above, here’s a direct link to the MP3 file [7.9Mb]).

Chris wrote a great post on the AdHocnium blog (and extends his thinking in a post on his own blog) with this paragraph broadly echoing our parallel thinking about Twitter:

[…] Ultimately, whether or not you follow everyone who follows you is a trade off between two different priorities. You can receive signals that have greater value/meaning and thereby maximize your return on time invested in the Tweetstream; or you can follow everyone who follows you and reap the benefits of the ever expanding network effect. In that many of the people I know with exceptionally high followers have great difficulty being genuinely involved in the larger conversation regularly, and/or set up tools that let them privately filter it down to the inbound @username search feed and a group of people who they really are interested in listening too.

So do listen to the 17-minute podcast and let us know what you think.

And if you’d like to follow us on Twitter, Chris is @chrisheuer and I’m @jangles. We might even follow you back :)

Finally, unless you’re a geeky type or interested in podcasting production, you can safely ignore the following texts. Otherwise, continue reading.

Technical note about the MP3 recording:

Chris and I had our conversation over Skype. He recorded the call at his end using his Utterli account that gave him a mono MP3 file created at 64kbps and 44.1kHz.

The quality of that recording isn’t brilliant, wholly because I was using the microphone of my Logitech Ultra Vision webcam rather than the Shure C606 mike I typically use for podcast recording (one of the consequences of impromptu).

So I’ve tweaked the file a bit to produce another MP3 that is much easier on the ear, where Chris’s audio is crisper and clearer and the echo-y effect on mine is a bit less. Throughout, the audio levels are consistent for a better overall listening experience.

Here’s what I did on my Windows Vista PC (Dell XPS 420):

  1. Take the original MP3 file and convert it to WAV using the defaults suggested by Switch Audio File Converter: PCM uncompressed, 44.1 kHz, 16 bits, mono.
  2. I ran the resulting WAV file through The Levelator – one of podcasting’s indispensible apps – which output that file to a new WAV file.
  3. Using the Switch Audio File Converter again, I converted that final WAV file into the MP3 file that’s in this post with the same properties as the original file (mono, 64kbps, 44.1 kHz).
  4. Using Winamp’s file editor, I opened the MP3 file and added ID3 tags. Then, with the AudioShell ID3 Tag Editor, I inserted cover art I’d created with Paint Shop Pro Photo X2 Ultimate into the MP3 file which will show up notably on your iPod screen if you play the file on that MP3 player.

The whole process took less than 15 minutes.

About Neville Hobson

Entrepreneurial business communicator with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Co-host of the weekly business podcast For Immediate Release: The Hobson and Holtz Report. Also an occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Follow me on Twitter and Google+.