On November 5th I attended a Network For Good webinar hosted by Jason Cormier to find out more about Twitter. At this point I had no idea what Twitter was. I had heard it mentioned once or twice and I had a few friends with accounts but in general none of them tweeted very often.
I listened to what Jason had to say, signed up for my own account and wrote a blog post for work about the webinar, but overall – I still didn’t get it. I thought it was vain to think that strangers cared about what I was doing at any given moment. My friends do not need minute by minute updates even if these have a character limit. I posted a few things over several weeks, but never really got into it.
In early February I decided the only way to figure out if Twitter was worth all the hyper was to become an active twitterer. It only took a few days before I was addicted. My true obsession was trying to get more followers. I quickly learned to get more followers I had to become an active part of the community. I learned how to send direct messages, @ replies, retweeted what others said and used Twitter Search to find topics that I was interested in.
And this is where the magic of Twitter lies. People share all kinds of information in real time. Commonly people recommend articles and images. The Washington D.C. metro posts delays. Many news organizations post breaking news. And my friend Avi Mayer live twitters about “Panel discussion on Jewish philanthropy in the current economy.” All of this happens instantly.
There was one fatal flaw with all of my Twitter excitement; I didn’t have anyone to share it with. My friends knew very little about Twitter. So, over the last few weeks I have given a lot of Twitter advice and crash courses just to share my exciting news (ie: someone retweeted me, I have 30 followers…). Some people had Twitter and I exposed them to other features. Others required Twitter terminology to be translated into Facebook jargon. Others have decided to schedule time with me and their computers. They are going to sign up for accounts and I am going to teach them the ins and outs of Twitter. Two of those people are my parents… but still it counts.
Crazy how quickly things change.