After joining twitter on February 5th, 2008, using the service has been one hell of a ride. Last week I clocked up 2,000 followers and pushed passed the 14,000th tweet, so I thought it was time to share my experience with twitter.
One the surface twitter is an unassuming simplistic service, with a 140 character limit on each post. Spend some time and delve a little deeper and you’ll discover a very advanced ecosystem. Twitter has much to offer, one of the most important is – The Link Economy. Posts may be restricted, but links allow readers to view get more information via websites, images and videos to escape the 140 character limit. Entire business models have been built off the fact that click throughs of these links can tracked to determine the effectiveness of a tweet.
After spending some months posting technology tweets, the follower count began to grow, somewhere around the 1000 follower mark, something changed. Twitter was no longer just a real time information source, but rather a platform that allowed instant feedback of seemingly any question I had. As the follower count increases, the number of responses grows with it, twitter is now an invaluable source of information. What was expected was that I could find answers relating to tech, but what was surprising was that my followers also shared a lot of other topics, so regardless of the question, there’s usually someone who responds.
I’ve met some of the most amazing people not only in Australia’s technology industry, but from all over the world. Twitter is the ultimate social networking tool needed no introduction to contact people. Some of those relationships have developed to friendship offline as well and meetups and conferences have never been the same since twitter’s introduction.
Access to people
Twitter is being used by people like no other service. Just try and get in contact with the CEO of a company using traditional channels like phone or email. If you get any response at all, it’ll likely be 3 months later and be from the assistant’s assistant. Bizarrely top ranking personnel in companies or even celebrities are using twitter like no other service. Twitter allows for a direct connection to businesses, celebrities and service operators like nothing else.
3 screens and a cloud
Twitter have managed to pull the very strategy that technology giant Microsoft have been trying to achieve for years. There’s never been a shortage of ways to access and contribute to twitter, either by the web or dedicated applications. As far as device support, there’s twitter for your mobile phone, twitter for your desktop and even twitter on your TV.
Accept that information will pass you by. If you ever needed a way to realise that your human and can only absorb so much information, run the latest real-time TweetDeck app. Personally I run it on an additional 24 or 27” monitor and glance at from time to time throughout the day. Once you do accept that you can accept that some stuff will pass you buy, you’ll realise that if you choose who you follow carefully, you’ll see surfacing the important stuff for you (via Retweets).
There’s plenty of benefits you can take from twitter, but one important aspect to remember is that you get what you give. I encourage everyone to actively contribute constructively to the conversation, providing help to other where you can and the internet can become a very powerful place.
So I encourage you all who aren’t on twitter, to try it out, stick with a while, and see if you can’t find great benefits in the service that I have.