I’ve been using Twitter for the last ten months or so, and many people have asked me why. How can sending 140 character missives into the ether be a good thing? The simplest answer is that it’s fun. I enjoy coming up with quick little updates on what I am thinking about or doing, and seeing what others come up with. Contrary to what some may think, Twitter is not all about “Drinking my second cup of coffee” or “It’s raining.” Those who tweet like that don’t get many followers.
I am not a heavy Tweeter. I have sent out 1,457 Tweets and have accumulated 460 followers. According to Tweetstats, I have averaged four tweets per day, and sent the most messages in October. According to Twitter Grader, I am in the top 98.3% (#13,663 out of 952,391) of the Twitterverse. These are not particularly great numbers, but they work for me. The rock stars of Twitter spend most of their day doing little else but reading, replying and tweeting. I like to think I have a life that won’t allow that. I also have a job, that requires a bit more depth than the average tweet.
The reason I first started tweeting is that I find it hard to find the time to do proper blogs. I need to write research notes, and have more ideas than discipline, so the regularity of this blog sometimes suffers. I can handle 140 character mind squirts though. They just fit into my day better.
My time spent on Twitter has been rewarding. It alerts me to what is going on, connects me to old friends, and introduces me to many people whom I think are worth knowing. I have used it to test out ideas that eventually make their way into this blog or my more formal research notes. Twitter points me to people saying interesting things on their blogs. I can tap into expertise on travel and silly things like the best brand of tea bags to use if you want to use them in the garden. Apparently, Celestial seasonings and PG Pyramids don’t have those paper tags that inhibit mulching.
Twitter also helped us close a sale. I noticed that someone was saying they were having trouble reaching their Gartner account rep. I passed the contact on, and one of our sales people was able to close a deal very quickly. I don’t expect to get that much direct business value every day, but it’s a nice way of justifying something I like doing.