A question that I hear frequently is “Which is better, Facebook, or Twitter?” I do not think this is the proper question to be asking because they complement each other. In fact Twitter by itself may seem less useful although I disagree. It is the ability to use Twitter with Facebook and other social networking sites is where the real value comes in. With Twitter, you can post either by SMS, or by using a smart phone. I think that if you really want to get the most out of all these sites is to have your own site that does not move. This site is my attempt at doing that. If you put together a permanent site, preferably a personal domain, everyone will know where to find you. At this point, you can put links to other sites that you use. Social networks come and go and though you may have many friends/contacts on all of them, you need a place that is always there. It does not have to be a blog. Some people just put together a site full of links. As you may have seen technology writer John C. Dvorak does this very thing. He put together channeldvorak.com so people have a central location to find him.
Once you have a presence that is all yours and that is not going anywhere then you can sign up for other programs or social networking sites. These sites often have plug-ins that can be installed on your personal page. Many of your friends will only participate on Facebook, or Myspace. Many will only get on Frienfeed, or Twitter. You can see the dilemma where you find yourself jumping from one site to another. With the advent of the really simple syndication (RSS) feed, many systems have been established where all social site feeds can be fed together on one site. Friendfeed is one of these as well as Google Reader. Facebook is the big rave these days with more than 200 million active users so that is where many people gather. The problem with that is popularity comes and goes with these sites. You may remember Xanga.com when it was the big thing. Then it was Myspace and so on. It is only a matter of time before Facebook will be supplanted as the number one place. By having your own page that is always there, people can find you when one of the social sites goes under. Secondly, by having your own site, search engines can find you allowing people to search for you.
If you have a Twitter account and use it the way it was intended, you will see that it is far more than just an instant messaging (IM) system. Most of these social sites have a feature built in that allows your Twitter updates to automatically update your status on their sites. Twitter is so light weight that you can use it even if you do not have a smart phone, or one capable of data transfer. They allow you to send text messages to a short number, 40404. As long as you do not post more than 140 characters in a single message, it will be posted on your Twitter page located http://www.twitter.com/yourusername. Not only can you follow your updates on the Twitter page in real time, but it also updates other social sites simultaneously. I have found that with many Twitter updates that I send, I get responses on Facebook, Myspace, and Friendfeed. Since all of these sites notify you via email when someone responds to you, it makes it easy to immediately respond back.
If you ever find yourself bored at the doctor’s office, you can just send a text message that you are waiting for your doctor and someone on Facebook responds and it starts a conversation. It helps when you are bored and stuck doing something you are not that excited about doing. So to ask whether Twitter or Facebook is better, you should be asking how do you use them together. I have met many ham radio operators online that also communicate using these tools. It is really fun once you learn how to use them. I hope this helps to explain a few ways to use them together.