Twitter can be an interesting platform.
The social media site which allows users to send 140 characters at a time as well as add gifs, videos, and pictures, has become a powerful social media tool for brands, companies, and individuals to share news and content. It has also done a lot in terms of spreading awareness about social events, charities, trending topics and social issues.
I’ve been on Twitter for a while and I’m slowly getting into the world of “GH Twitter”. Sometimes all it takes is to follow certain people and before you know it, you’re networked with other people and you get to stay on top of some of the popular topics and trends which happen on the internet in Ghana.
But I was having a conversation with my contributor Chris about GH Twitter and it seems both of us have come to a consensus. Honestly, GH Twitter seems stagnant and sometimes dry most of the time. Also, unless you’re in the know or are friends with certain people, the GH Twitter community tends to feel like a big party full of cliques and segmented groups.
All About The Clique
Twitter, in general, can feel a bit daunting sometimes especially if you’re new to the platform. But Twitter does do a good job of recommending people to follow especially if you have similar interests. On GH Twitter, you can find all kinds of little groups if you look closely. There’s “Christian Twitter”, “Football Twitter”, “Secondary School Twitter”, “Book Club Twitter” etc..
It’s just an observation but I do notice that most of the groups hardly connect with each other. GH Twitter can sometimes feel like a large party where everyone is in their group and if you’re an outsider trying to break in and engage with others, you’re not going to get engagement or responses.
My interests tend to cut across almost all different interest groups and so I follow people who are in the know about what’s going on most of the time.
It’s just an observation but I do notice that most of these “cliques” and groups hardly connect with each other. It’s like everyone is in their group and if you’re an outsider trying to break in and engage with others, you’re not going to get engagement or responses.
I don’t know if that’s a good or bad thing or perhaps it’s actually a normal thing on Twitter. But even in real life, people do have groups they associate with and attend certain events together. I’m a tech guy and I’m always looking for tech events to follow-up on but I also like art and creative stuff and it’s likely you might catch me at a Poetry Slam or Art exhibit. But I hardly see other tech guys at art events and vice versa. On twitter, GH Twitter also kind of plays that way as well.
Lack Of Engagement?
Something I can’t help but notice that on GH Twitter, there is sometimes a general lack of engagement.
For example, how often does a Twitter user get their questions answered by their Twitter following? You could say it depends. Mostly, it depends on who’s asking and how many followers they have. If Ameyaw Debrah asks a question, he might get answers more answers or retweets, depending on the question being asked.
I have close to 900 followers the last time I checked. Even if half of those followers were bots, would the other half help me out with inquiries? Or is Twitter in general itself passive, with people just logging in for a couple of minutes, reading and posting tweets, and then vanishing off back to the real world. It’s tough to say because when I was college and was on Twitter, I engaged with a lot of people because of my tweets and even once had 1000 retweets off a joke that I tweeted. I wasn’t even close to 500 followers at that time.
Most tweets that do get a lot of engagement on GH twitter, (the ones that I’ve noticed) are usually jokes, memes, and gifs than real conversation starters. #Hashtags do get tend to get and engagements more often than regular tweets.
But is GH Twitter just about jokes and #hashtags? You could try to argue that but there are conversations which do catch attention like Edem Kumodzi‘s twitter thread about being pulled over by the police. That was all organic and didn’t need any #hashtags and still got a lot of attention and engagement.
That’s one of the few ones.
Why Did You Join Twitter And Why Do You Follow Who You Follow?
That’s a question I would like Ghanaians who joined Twitter to answer. I joined Twitter in 2008 because a friend suggested it to me because a news host was using it to crowdsource news items. Most of the people I follow on Twitter tend to be in news, technology, and entertainment. I usually follow news sites and blogs to gather news and follow-up with interesting events in Ghana and abroad. But I also follow people who I find interesting and/or funny as well as some influencers in technology and blogging.
But people have told me about other sides of GH twitter which I apparently don’t know about. It’s usually a lot of gossip, drama, and controversy issues which I never seem to notice but everyone else on GH Twitter seems to be in tune with.
So is that one of the reasons people are on here? Just drama and gossip?
That’s nothing wrong with that. That’s just my curiosity to know the motives of why people join Twitter.
Maybe there are many sides to this and there’s no single answer to the question I’m asking. I may need to put on my research hat and dig deeper in this because my current assumption is that GH Twitter is just boring and full of nothing but cliques.
Perhaps I’m wrong.
Joseph-Albert Kuuire is the creator and editor of TechNovaGh.com, an online digital platform focusing on technology in Ghana.
I’m also a UX Designer, book reader, and tech enthusiast (duh!)
Email: [email protected]