In the past 30 (or so) months I have been using Twitter, I have been able to make more friends, network more business connections, build business connections for other people and deepen the connection with those who find what I have to say useful (My Tribe).
For starters, I have to admit – I didn’t start using Twitter actively until this year. Like my foray into most social networks, I hear about it, I look into it, I sign up if it’s not too complicated and then (and only then) if I see other’s I know engaging on it will I delve deeper.
It is the same evolution for every social network I have ever used, and I’m betting you’re experience isn’t much different. However, when it comes to Twitter it took a long time before I fully understand the power of this very social tool.
For me, it all started with reaching past my comfort zone and engaging people locally that I didn’t know in the real world. That’s when the light bulb lit. This isn’t about connecting to people I already know. It’s about growing my connections beyond what is possible in a real world context.
I attended a lunch. Referred to in the inner twitterdom as a Tweetup. There I met the most intelligent people. We ate burgers and talked about everything from marketing and the tech of the day, to more personally sensitive topics. I felt like I was having lunch with some very special people, none of which I knew before that day.
Since then, they have been a major part of my ever expanding universe. We see each other regularly in the real world and talk almost daily online. I say online, but it’s as simple as placing a text message; they’re as far as my SPCOD*. Within a few short words I can express myself, be heard, have my ideas and questions responded to, reciprocated and retweeted.
I now know the power of Twitter, and you can’t take it away from me. It wasn’t something I could read or take a class on. Trust me, I have tried to teach it to people. If Twitter were to go away tomorrow someone would fill that space (Have you seen Path?). Twitter is social media jazz. In my heart, twitter is like riding a bike. You can read a book about how to ride a bike, but until you get on, let go and take off, well, then you’ll never know just how thrilling a ride it can be.