Why Twitter?


A little bird with a lot to say

A little bird with a lot to say



I’ve had several people pose this question, whether directly or indirectly: “what is so cool about Twitter?”  Since I find myself explaining (and sometimes defending) Twitter so frequently, I’ve decided to collectively post my reasons here. 

Let me start by saying Twitter is more than it initially appears. I don’t think “What are you doing?” in 140 characters or less, is necessarily a great introduction.

Second, I think people get bored with Twitter once they’ve hooked up with people who will follow them. What they may not understand is how much they will get from Twitter by also following others. Sure, it seems odd at first… why am I connecting with someone I don’t – and otherwise, wouldn’t – know?

Think of it this way: imagine being invited to a huge party — there will be people you know, in one facet or another — but in fact there are some you won’t know… but would like to. The catch is, you have about ten minutes to shmooz with everyone. So you arrive and start chatting with your best buds at the appetizer table, getting up to speed. A minute or two later, you glance over and notice some of your techie friends hanging out by the computer; you stroll over to share your experiences with the latest gadget buzz and strike up some conversation. Before you know it, others are coming into your corner, who might be curious about the buzz too, or — have more to add… 

This, to me, is what the twitter experience is about. Read more below.

Why am I on Twitter ?

Real-time audience. 

I love being able to have live exchanges with people/professionals I might not otherwise have conversations with – or wouldn’t even know, if it weren’t for Twitter. I’ve found others in my profession (whom I follow, and follow me back) who are extremely resourceful by posting links to noteworthy blogs, or who simply link to tips, tutorials or just great examples of design.

Information at you fingertips.

I also follow a good blend of tecchie gurus including Robert Scoble and Bwana; young entrepreneurs like Gary Vaynerchuk; several marketing and PR specialists,  Todd Defren and Barbara Gibson for example; in addition to a variety of news sources CNN, and the Utica OD.  (By the way,  there are many news sources on Twitter, you can probably find your favorite networks already established.) 

Oh, and did I mention celebrities?  There are a fair amount, although you need to scrutinize a little – there are many “phonies.”

Some that I follow are: Dave MatthewsAshton KutcherDemi MooreColdplayJohn LithgowMaria Schriver, and even the governator himself! 

Trade Show updates.

Last month the ‘TED’ (technology, entertainment, design) conference was going on; attendees were tweeting in, left and right, straight from the floor of the show – talk about fresh information!

And, as you advance in the twitterverse — you can solely seek out such highly discussed topics, using hashtags in your tweets (ie: #ted) grouping them, which makes subject matter easy to follow.

Basically, Twitter can be as complex or as simple as you want it to be. Whether a plethora of resources – tips, comments, and links to idea-sharing blogs, tutorials and other interesting sites; Or a  laid back way to keep tabs on friends, family, associates… even clients, it has its benefits.

Using Twitter as a tool.

Guy Kawasaki has a great blog entry about his approach to using “Twitter as a Twool”.  I’m not as ambitious, but some ways I apply this are as follows:

  • Throw out ideas to others in your industry.
  • Ask questions of (or answer questions to) those in your profession re: relative topics or troubleshooting issues
  • Promote a new blog entry
  • Keep up with quick news/events and other social groups you might be following (there are several *real* celebs and personalities on Twitter, and I find it’s just fun to hear what they’re up to)
  • Keep up with your friends’/family’s updates
  • Coordinate a “tweet up” — meet up with “tweeps” in person, at a designated public place.

Once you’re up and running on Twitter, you may find it overwhelming to keep up with the amount of ‘tweets’ rushing in. If you haven’t already discovered a mobile-device application for Twitter; you will find there are plenty available which will allow you to easily keep Twitter in your pocket. 

If you’ve set up your account, but  have yet to really put yourself out there, try visiting Mr. Tweet , an application which assists matching you to others you might want to follow.

There’s much that I even have yet to learn about this networking tool – but I find bountiful information by being a part of it!

Here are some links I’ve been sharing with others just getting started on Twitter: A great blog by Barbara Gibson, for starters, that offers good tips for any level of user. Another good write up by Bert Decker, on why and how to use Twitter, can be found here.

Of course, if you’re daring – you can follow me on Twitter too. Good luck!

President Obama’s Organizing for America Campaign

Will be interesting to see where this campaign goes.

Moral: don’t sit on your laurels waiting for someone else to handle your crisis.

Check out this fantastic blog entry from Gary Vaynerchuk regarding turning a negative into a positive, ending the day on an up beat, and sharing his learned experience with the rest of us! Now that’s class.

Gary Vaynerchuck puts a positive spin on what could've been a very bad day

Gary Vaynerchuck puts a positive spin on what could've been a very bad day

Basically, Gary is letting us know that you shouldn’t be waiting for anyone else to help you when a crisis hits – get up and take care of it yourself. Because of his quick actions, he was able to notify his primary audience about how he’s handling the problem, as well as attain help in doing so — all via social media!

To see what I mean, check out his response to the issue in his video to TechCrunch.com. I love this guy’s energy, frankness and integrity! That’s one cool, calm and collected head on those shoulders… Not sure I could stay so unflustered in that situation. Did I mention this guy is a wine enthusiast who’s appeared on shows with Conan O’Brien and Ellen Degeneres? (See related links below).

Indirectly, this entry also touts the amazing power of social media, Twitter to be exact, and he also points out why you should be checking out TechCrunch on a regular basis (good for him that he does!).  TechCrunch is new to me since entering the social media world, so I will definitely be reading up.

Many thanks for the awesome advice Gary!

Other related links to this entry:

  • about gary vaynerchuk
  • seesmic video conversing
  • Let the countdown begin!


    countdown to 2009

    Trying to think of some things that were memorable for me in 2008. That said, here are a few of the most influential things – in no particular order.

    Twitter. Okay, maybe not so much learning that Twitter exists, but learning how to benefit from it. As social media goes, I think Twitter offers the most direct access to people and their knowledge. If you are following the right people (think market/profession), you can learn an ungodly amount of useful information. Be cautious though, following too many people can overload your senses, and you won’t be able to keep up with all the juicy tweet-bits of information.

    iPod Touch/iPhone apps. Pure genius, props to Apple for soliciting programmers who come up with these great apps. Not only do such apps grant ease to iPod/iPhone users’ lifestyles, they also help me by keeping my kids well entertained in situations when we get stuck waiting somewhere. Some of my faves include: Facebook, Twitterific, WeatherBug, Pandora, Moonlight Mahjong, TicTacFree, TansZen Lite and myLite.

    Adobe After Effects. The art department where I work has been meeting weekly to take turns at the helm, going through a great tutorial and attempting to learn this complex but amazing software. My hope in 2009 is to actually assemble an original motion graphic piece. I recommend the After Effects Apprentice book if you are interested in a good hands-on tutorial .
    Change. What more needs to be said? President Elect Barack Obama has already shown us that he is destined to stay on the path to change for this country. What other presidential candidate could tout having a Facebook application, a twitter feed, as well as a campaign blog? I can’t say enough.

    So here’s to a newer, brighter and better year. Let’s shine in 2009!

    Happy and safe new year to all.

    Hello world!

    Welcome to the blogness. Hopefully these random passages will give someone, anyone, a glimpse into what I’m doing here.

    Who knows, maybe I’ll figure it out on my own.

    Happy reading!


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