I Use Twitter
So the other day I got an email from someone asking me why I don’t blog as much as I used to (historically). The reason isn’t because I have been too busy (although I have been plenty busy), rather it is because I use twitter now religiously through the week.
Twitter fulfills most of the reasons why I began blogging. It allows me to share ideas, thoughts, and opinions easily and allows me to also keep a record of them for me to review and use at a later date. Since one of the main reasons I created this blog was to serve as a knowledge base for myself and help me articulate and consolidate many of my thoughts twitter just makes sense.
Not to worry, I am still going to blog periodically when thoughts or ideas don’t fit in the typical 140 character limit of twitter, but I don’t expect to be blogging as much as I used to (when SharePoint 2010 get’s released this might change :P).
I am not going to join the masses and tell you why it’s so good for business, professional development, staying up to date, and collaborating with peers or people with a similar interest. There are thousands of great articles that already do this. Instead I am simply going to say:
- If you haven’t made a twitter account then make one. (https://twitter.com/signup) – Piece of advice, be smart about your name. Think of what you are representing and why you want to use it. Professional development? Personal? Business?
- Download a twitter application like tweetdeck (http://tweetdeck.com/beta/) You need something like this because twitter.com is unmanageable.
- Find some people you have a common passion, interest, or thought style with and follow them. (If you like SharePoint, Social Media, or Project Management feel free to follow me: http://www.twitter.com/rharbridge. I also really enjoy @LLiu, @MSDN_Office, @sharepointbuzz, @gannotti, and @EUSP for SharePoint and social media information if you want some suggestions for other people to follow. You can also find the people I follow on my twitter page.)
- Determine how comfortable you are with the number of updates you can handle. You typically can’t read every update from everyone. You can pick some people to pay particular interest to however, and using filter and search techniques in tweetdeck you can control how many tweets you see/want to read. (Don’t just blindly follow everyone, or you’ll have a very hard time digesting it all.)
- Be smart about what you post, but post a few simple things. This could be article recommendations, blog recommendations, or simply introduction statements. This gets you used to adding tweets and sharing. Remember everything you say must be PUBLIC and you shouldn’t post anything you might later regret. Over time you will begin wanting to share with people and it will come effortlessly. Just remember every time you post it tells a bit more about you and what you find interesting or important enough to share. This means over time the people you follow and who follow you will be more and more helpful and responsive. (At least I think that’s the theory.)
I still have many friends and colleagues who have not yet joined twitter and know quite a few businesses that aren’t on it. It’s a difficult thing to understand and has a lot of noise and confusion around it. So hopefully this can help get you started.
Looking forward to what comes next,