I’ve said “no” for a long time. I’ve seriously resisted. But, about a month ago I finally gave in and have been drug, nails clawing in the sand… to Twitter.
For those of you who don’t know, twitter is the latest and greatest social networking tool that’s been developed to “get connected” to the world at large.
I’ve resisted because I simply want to simplify my life. I don’t need anymore static in my work day, and I don’t need anymore “status updates” from hundreds of people – I already have Facebook for that.
But I gave in, and so far, I’m fairly glad that I did. Really. There are people on Twitter that add static and say stupid things like “Hey, just went to the bathroom and now I’m making toast!” but, there are plenty more people that understand how to use Twitter and really add value to the people that follow them. These are the two words that people need to learn when using twitter.
Twitter has been called “micro blogging” and I now see why. In one quick snippet, someone can relay a bit of knowledge to people that follow them. This is essentially what blogs do but in an obviously expanded way. If you follow people that know how to use Twitter, they’re essentially able to feed you quick bits of knowledge all day – things that they find value in – even if it’s a simply thought. It’s a great way to learn facts quickly or follow a link to learn more about a “tweet” that provides a good read. (Yes, when you post on Twitter it’s called a “tweet” unfortunately.)
On the other hand, Twitter allows you to become valuable to your follows. Within a few seconds, you’re message, link, question or thought can be broadcast to everyone that is following you. If you respect the power of Twitter and use it wisely, I believe Twitter can be much more than static. You can become respected and a valuable source of information to everyone that has agreed to be connected to you.
Just like anything though, you get out of it what you put in. There are always people that have no clue how to add value either – but you can simply “unfollow” them and end the relationship. No biggie.
Give Twitter a try. I’m still getting used to it and finding ways to fit it into my daily routine but my first impression is that it’s something worth investigating more. If you think Twitter is nothing more than a pimpled geek’s playground, think again. (Hey, the Dalai Lama (?) and Barack Obama have Twitter accounts!) Twitter can be a powerful networking tool to build your presence online. It has hit the mainstream and you should take the leap and at least check it out.
You can follow Chris Auman on Twitter here. Looking forward to staying in touch!