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The Twitter people

india Updated: Oct 23, 2011 20:59 IST

In the streaming global chatroom, Twitter, which allows you 140-character micro blogging to fulfill your desire to hear and be heard, you will meet all kinds of people, just like in the physical world. In my frequent visits to and interaction in this universe, I have observed 10 types of people:

1. The tourist: wants to share experiences as widely as possible, and not just with a chosen few on the likes of Facebook. They will often also post pictures — from what they eat pictures to where they are, you can expect lots.

2. The amuser: blessed with a good sense of humour and knows it’s a harmless way to reach out to people and make them laugh during a usual busy or even tough day.

3. The messenger: collects and then disseminates information. Wants to let you know what’s happening, stuff he or she thinks is important for people to know. Wants to be understood to be nice and genuinely concerned.

4. The build-your-brand person: Wants to promote himself/herself and looking to expand their brand. Won’t reply to your tweets or if you write to them, but if their new book or movie or something is about to be launched, you can expect tons of tweets, subtle and sometimes direct. If they are appearing on some TV show or a debate, they will make sure to tweet that in advance.

5. The observer: followers 10, following 500. Doesn’t want to participate or tweet but wants to observe, soaking up knowledge, gossip and news, wanting to know what’s going on. May not go with his/her real name. Mostly harmless and often moves on to another Twitter following and then another.

6. The emotionally needy: this person wants your attention and advise at every step — which mobile is better, which movie to watch and when in a new city, which places to shop and eat at.

7. The celebrity: some of them tweet very rarely but use the medium to check their popularity, how many followers and what they are saying about them. Then there are celebrities who are active and do express their views, interact and are generous enough to thank followers for compliments. And then there are also some who don’t know what to do on Twitter but to not be on Twitter would be old-fashioned so they have an account.

8. The information aggregator: for these people there is no easier way than to use the medium to get relevant information quickly from one source. Occasionally they will also tweet but mostly check updates on the latest across the globe.

9. The bodyguarded: if you disagree with these people on some subject, their friends and fans would pound you and protect the person till you wonder why you, in the first place, followed such a person. Reality dawns that such people have close loyalists and others drop off soon.

10. The shy guy: in Twitterverse, such people can stay anonymous — they tweet on issues they wish to speak about but not openly under their own identities.

The writer is president – food & FMCG category, Future Group