My Love Affair With Twitter
April 19, 2011 Leave a comment
OK, so I have been a little slow on the uptake as far as social media goes. I’m an Ops guy after all, not a self-promoting marketer, although this blog is an attempt to come out of my shell just a bit. Sure, I’ve been a Facebook participant for years but more in a voyeur sense than a true active participant.
I never really “got” Twitter, largely due to a misconception, my second such realization in the past month when it comes to the use of technology. My perception of Twitter has been based in the belief that its value (or lack thereof) was solely to communicate “what someone is doing right now” whether that be picking up a 6-pack at the grocery store or spying on Tom Hanks at the Beverly Hills Starbucks. Like I have the time, energy or desire to receive up-to-the-minute status updates from quasi-friends or in many cases people I don’t know at all. Or worse, that I have to have the added pressure in my day to tell people “I just saw Tom Hanks at Starbucks” or some other unimportant tweet.
But as I’ve committed my personal and professional development to dig deeper into social media, branch out professionally, write this blog and most important, dedicate a portion of my day to consume more information (technology news, trends, insights, points of view from respected voices in the technology community), I’ve discovered just how incredibly useful and productive services like Twitter can be to accomplishing the efficient consumption of large amounts of information.
Most of the folks I follow on Twitter are technology industry participants – entrepreneurs, VC’s, bloggers – who have been successful and have something, usually insightful, to say that is interesting to me from a personal or professional development standpoint. It’s like a giant filtering mechanism for me, they filter and highlight news, information and their own point of view so I don’t have to find all this juicy content on my own. I can scan tweets quickly and choose to click through links when something catches my eye.
So, it’s not just about trivial, useless updates of personal behavior or whereabouts (although there is some of that), but also about “following” those on Twitter that you genuinely respect and believe that the content they “tweet” is somehow useful in your life, whether personal or professional.
Another key point and major distinction from Facebook – the majority of the people I follow on Twitter, I’ve never met and they don’t likely know me, so I can “follow” or “un-follow” people based solely on the quality of the information I’m getting. Much more difficult to do on Facebook. As much as I’d like to, “un-friending” someone on Facebook who you know can be painful to do. As a result, I get limited useful knowledge-based information from Facebook, it’s simply a way to keep up with folks and what’s going on in their lives and share the same in return.
Finally, I do feel a sense of responsibility to also contribute content to the social communities that provide value to me. So posting on Facebook or tweeting content on Twitter is something I’m doing more regularly now – not that anyone cares, but hey, if it’s not valued then I’ll be un-followed or un-friended.
Until then, follow me on Twitter!