Monday, January 16, 2012

My first personal experience with the power of Twitter

I have been a Twitter skeptic. I think you know the discussions of "what is the value of Twitter... Why should I bother... Who's listening... It's only about the latest news for Jennifer Lopez." The answer came on Saturday morning.

I am continuing to work on my social media presence. My first activity of Saturday was to connect up LinkedIn and Twitter. I have seen other people do this and I enjoy seeing their tweets in LinkedIn. And the extra visibility that professional tweets receive on LinkedIn doesn't hurt and helps form a deeper impression of a person than just their professional summary. [Of course, when looking for a job, visibility is the key so you stay top of mind to prospective employers.] In the midst of the setup, I ran Twitter and saw the following post from Lori DeFurio, who I used to work with at Adobe: "Im at #CLSwest today. 1st time. Great crowd. Looking forward to great discussions". I looked it up and found that this was a Community Leadership Summit being held at eBay in San Jose. This was an unConference being held for social community organizers. The day was full of metrics, twitter, and community platforms. I had an extraordinarily educational day, but that's for another post. It certainly launched me on a much more social path than I was a few days before and I had been trending towards that path in any event.

I told my family that I was not cooking breakfast, showered and got in the car. I arrived at 10 AM just before the second sessions were to begin. These connections were made from a random tweet, the first in four days, that Lori happened to do.

The bottom line is that Twitter connected me to an in-person social community that was in my backyard. I have now experienced the value in a profound but entirely unexpected way.


At 8:10 AM, Anonymous Dan Lesage said...

For example, check this out as a use case that IMHO is totally wrong: Anywhere that someone is relying on a consumer of a tweet to be present, active and actionable seems very wrong to me.

At 1:54 PM, Blogger Charles Myers said...

I view Twitter in much the same was as discussion around the coffee-maker. You can't count on it as a way of getting information but you also make connections that would be otherwise invaluable.

You're right about the use case if your second comment being off. Twitter may reach some people who happen to be searching on the proper hash tag. But it's not a reliable support and notification channel: it can only add to that. It adds to a well-constructed web site and curated blogs.

I do believe that the social world is a bit taken with Facebook to broadcast messages (more politely called marketing campaigns) and Twitter to handle complaints. These are both very valid use cases, but neither builds a self-sustaining community.


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