Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Twitter - A Learning Process

I recently posted about Why I Love Twitter. But it hasn't always been that way. And even today, it isn't a 24/7 kind of feeling.

I learn a lot from Twitter. I have the app open and the little stream of tweets runs down the side of my desktop most of the day. I find lots of resources. I get links to really great articles. So what was the problem with Twitter early on?

It was overwhelming and underwhelming at the same time. Twitter isn't just about going to the web site and creating an account. It involves a lot of searching and seeking to find people to follow. It involves learning an entirely new "language" as you figure out tweets, retweets, hashtags, Tweedle, Twitter Search, DM's, etc, etc. And then there is the search for the best desktop application for following along. Which also means finding the best iPhone app for following along. And then keeping an eye out all the time as apps come and go, get upgraded, etc. In other words, Twitter can be a lot of work!

And the result of all that? Initially, not much. At conferences, speakers routinely sent out a tweet and we all watched as dozens of responses poured in. And they illustrated how this expansive network could answer all your questions as they tweeted a question and got numerous answers. But for the typical user, it is a long time before that happens. And it can very quickly become one of those things where it feels like...sure, you can do it cause you're well known and you write books and you have thousands of followers. I have six. And if those aren't online when I ask the question, I get no answer at all.

Fortunately, times have changed. I've been on Twitter for more than a year now. I've got enough followers that I sometimes actually get one answer when I ask a question. Sometimes even two! And that, along with all the other resources I gather makes Twitter worthwhile. I love what I get from it now. But it did take time.

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