Don’t whine about Twitter before you try it

19th April 2009
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God. If I read one more whiny columnist winge on about Twitter I’m going to shut off my connection for good. It’s not that hard to understand. In particular I’m referring to CNET’s latest “ranting columnist” jumping off the Twitter bandwagon. Here’s the title of the article:

“I’m officially dropping out of the Twitter gab fest”

The author wants to stop talking about Twitter because everyone’s talking about it. Novel approach but I think he’s missing the point.

So sure, I’m ranting about a rant, but stick with me here.

You can do these things on Twitter:

1. Blather on about yourself and what you’re doing (a la Oprah and Aston Kucher). Disregard any of your thousands, or millions, of followers and follow only a select group of <50 people.2. Lurk and see what other people are doing/saying. Follow a lot of people randomly, and without purpose. A great way to visualize and search for certain words on Twitter (love, hate, and want being 3 of the 5 search phrases): Twistori by Amy Hoy and Thomas Fuchs

Lurking gets you only one side of Twitter. I find Twitter really shines when you…

3. Use Twitter as a cooperative networking tool. Why are people, supposedly reputable journalists, not getting this? This is what Twitter does best and it does this very very well. It just takes a while to figure out; about an hour, tops.

Twitter only starts working after you find people you can talk to and listen to who share your interests. Once you build a few followers and follow a few people you’re off and away! Just watch what they are saying, respond, and the conversation begins.

Twitter is Interactive Email

I see Twitter as interactive email. Imagine sending out a message to the entire world and having people from near and far be able to answer your call. I’ve had some sticky problems solved in seconds, yes SECONDS, by posting them to Twitter.

But also be aware that many of your coworkers and even your boss might be tuning in, so treat Twitter as your personal, worldwide radio station but also know that once you tweet, there’s no undoing it.

What I’ve found most amazing is that I can meet my “tweeps” in real life. These gatherings are called “Tweetups” and they follow the Meetup.com format. Twitter is not hard to figure out if you give it an hour.

To anyone else who writes an article whinging about Twitter, please oh please at least give it an hour of research before you “jump ship” and whine about it to the world. Twitter is an amazing service, and helped me to move to New Zealand! Okaythanksbye. #noob.

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Nathaniel Flick

I'm a Front End Web Developer passionate about usability. My primary specialties are HTML5, CSS3, SCSS, LESS, and jQuery and I am very familiar with Foundation and Bootstrap frameworks. I've worked on top of and with Rails, Python, and ASP.net/Umbraco back end frameworks.