in Ideas

How Twitter puts the “social” in media

I was hesitant to join the Twitter revolution. In part because there must be something embedded within my personality that came from growing up listening to a record player that thinks it’s just plain silly. I started with a private one, in part because, I wasn’t sure how I would use it. I decided to change it yesterday and made it public again and I synced my Twitter with my Facebook status, as a way to leverage the usefulness of both.

For a while, I mocked the whole thing pretty bad. I mean, we’re derided enough as it is in our field, as time wasters. I don’t make it through a presentation without someone asking me, “How do these people get anything done?”

Now I’ve been schooled by the more savvy social media cognoscenti and I can see why it’d be useful, even if the way some people use it doesn’t resonate with me. I’ve taken to it as a place to dispose of random thoughts, but more importantly, as a venue to connect to people I’ve met in the social media space. I find it more personal — strangely — than Facebook in that way.

Whereas walled garden social networks are pretty useless for really doing much more than snooping on people you don’t know well, Twitter is a really good way to communicate, learn and interact with people whom you meet online. So it can deepen connections in a way that no other network can do.

Even if you’re just a consumer of information from someone you follow, it can be an excellent way to delve into the universe in a proactive way. For folks who simply don’t have time to blog or can’t think of very long posts, Twittering can be a way to grease the ideas skids and to start formulating ideas in a proactive way.

I’m still not completely sold on the medium and I am just as quick to deride it as others who simply don’t use it — after all — I can see very clearly the inanity of it all. But if you’re going to be involved in the social media space anyway, you might as well continue to find ways to maximize your participation.

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  1. Hey it’s ok… I slammed twitter for months before finally jumping in around Feb and now it’s completely changed everything I do.

  2. I agree . . . been trying to wrap my head around it. However, as a marketing and branding consultant to education, I have to understand how it works (and the value) to determine if it’s something I should recommend for certain clients. I’m still in that “shaking” my head phase. But, your comment about forming deeper connections certainly makes sense. Happy Holidays!

  3. it’s only natural to look at a new media or technology as a complete waste of time.. we don’t perceive the value till we engage with a person through the media.

    I call it “The 3 Stages of Twitter Acceptance” and described them at

  4. Good approach Ron. I’m still not sold on the overall value of Twitter for me personally, but depending on how it is ultimately used, it could well have real power for certain people. What amazes me, though, is how quickly so many people dismiss a new channel, new tool, or new platform. If they don’t somehow get anything out of it after a week, they blog about how awful it is that everyone is wasting time using it, and they criticize people who like and use the service. We are at the very, very beginning of all these things, and it will be a good while before micro-blogging (to take one example) shows whether it’s truly valuable, completely useless or – most likely – somewhere in between. Patience, people. Patience.

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