Sometimes the only way to learn something new is to try it. That is the approach I chose with Twitter. Here is the story.
I opened an account in April 2007 (not an early adopter) and abandoned it out of shear ignorance. After meeting my Twitter evangelist friends Chris Brogan and Laura Finton in September I decided to give it a try.
Chris sent a message on Twitter, called a tweet, to let the folks know that he had met me and I was worth following. I had 20 Twitterers following me in about an hour.
Twitter is a micro-blogging social media tool.
You can send a message out that is a maximum of 144 characters.
It will be sent to anyone that chooses to “follow you.
How I started
I opened a free account. While out in real life I meet some Tweeters, by accident.
I visited them on Twitter, read their profile page and clicked the “Follow” button. From then on I see all of their Tweets. Most are quite judicious in their tweeting, so it is not overwhelming at this point.
Now, every time they send a Tweet (yeah, a message through Twitter) I see the message.
“Following” is voluntary. So, is following no longer.
When you follow someone, they will often follow you. It is a sort of courtesy, but not automatic.
There are a few metrics associated with each account.
- How many follow you
- How many you follow
- Number of tweets
- Direct messages.
I ran across one account that showed over 7,000 for the follow and following stat. Yikes.
In addition to sending message to everyone that follows you, you can send a message to one person by adding a “@” before their Twitter name. Then the message goes specifically to them.
Laura answered a handful of questions in the first few days. This combined with observing how others were using Twitter left me feeling relieved. Thanks Laura.
A Huge Laugh
The first Tweet that I ever sent, back in April, was short and sweet indicating that I was adding memory to a slow computer.
The first Tweet that I received was Laura saying that she was laughing her “head” off at the five months intervening and agreeing that the computer surely was slow. Five months slow. She included a nice welcome to Twitter as well.
I was laughing, which really endeared me to the potential of Twitter.
So What is the Verdict?
The jury is still out. What has impressed me?
- Received two referrals for potential clients
- There are many Tweets about local social media events in the Boston area
- Discovered some useful resources – people and web sites
- Provided needed information requested by a Twitterer
- Received updates during events that I could not attend
- Discovered a few locals that I look forward to meeting in person
- Opened my eyes to micro-blogging
- The need for a Crackberry became obvious for mobile Twittering. Mobile’s half the fun.
- Twitter as a source of immediate assistance grows as you have more “followers”. Lost in New York?
- Early Twitter adopters are professionally tech focused and evangelistic
I think the benefit is really dependent on who you follow and what you are looking for. I appreciated real time updates from an event I could not attend.Â Chris described being lost in NY and getting directions immediately via Twitter.
How do you use Twitter?
Happy Twittering from fairminder!