Ok love is a pretty strong word, I love my wife but I don’t love a product. I am uncomfortable with that advertising term ‘Love Mark’ for instance for products like Nike, Apple etc. It does not sit well with me. But I digress, I will leave the moral/ethical/advertising stuff to someone more enlightened than me.
So on to Twitter
At first I was anti Twitter; ‘who cares what you are doing right now?’, Do I really want to know what you are doing each and every minute of the
day?, “Yeh, your friend just slipped on a banana?” Yawn!.
It seemed to me, at first, that Twitter was just about people telling me about themselves but that is not what twitter is all about. At least not
to me it isn’t.
So initially I ‘checked it out’ and ‘checked out’ almost within the same sentence. There was the instant gratification, why wasn’t everyone following me and listening to me. Me, me, me! More about Me,Look at Me,I am important.
OK I am being dramatic for effect here but if all your after is some attention then unless you happen to be talented as well as a narcissist Twitter probably won’t float your boat.
So when my head was in a better space (last year was not a lot of fun for me) I decided to try out Twitter again. This time I went in with an open mind and a Zen outlook.
After a few weeks of using Twitter I got in to a groove and found ‘my people’. I started to see a pattern here, these people were talking about things that interested me and linking off to news articles or fun stuff that I wanted to know about. I had created a content filter tailored for me by me.
Now that last sentence is a key point. I was reading articles recommended by people that I trusted and that I was interested in. This is in direct comparison to the predictive behaviour that web sites will take trying to tailor the content to me that ‘they’ think I will be interested in or being preached to by a newspaper that has contributors that may not be on the same wavelength as me. I get to pick and choose on my terms who I want to listen to and what I want to read.
So for me Twitter is a well tuned (by me) content filter for the material that I want to read.
And this brings me on to the next point of interest. Once that content is filtered, Twitter provides me with a community of like minded people that I can be ‘social’ with and debate these topics. What I really like is that I will be amongst a group of like minded people, who I don’t even know but that I can engage in virtual conversation with. Of course we don’t always agree and that is a good thing, I would hate for my friends to all agree on everything, where is the fun in that
Love (and I use that term loosely)
Last week (or was it this week, I am losing track of time in Ohio) I attended an online conference with Microsoft on Windows Azure and as well as the online live camera action we also had Twitter thrown in to the mix. All the attendees filtered there Twitter feed by #wafs and by doing so we were all a part of the same conversation. During the conference we all tweeted away and could ask questions and these would be relayed to the presenters.
I was doing an online virtual conference watching the presenters and those actually attending the conference and I felt as much a part of it as if I was there because I actually had a voice and could contribute.
In addition to being able to participate in the conference I met people I never would have otherwise and added them on Twitter.
Now the added side affect of this is that it has raised my profile and introduced me to good people I might not have met otherwise. I did not intentionally do this and it was not my motivation; it just happened organically. This has led people to my profile and eventually to my website and it means in 1 week my earning via Google AdSense have sky rocketed from $2.49 to $8.50 last I checked Hopefully a few people will like what I have to say and link to my site thus raising my SEO ranking a little further.
Let me be straight here, I am not in this for the money, I have a job that pays me well, a wife who loves me and I love her, we live modestly in a beautiful part of the world and we are happy. Our life is simple, fun and full of love. But, if by simply adding some ads on my site and contributing to the community what I hope is useful information I can get a little back then I won’t say no.
I hope this blog post has perhaps shed some light on Twitter for those that don’t get it. Give it a try, you might like it.