Today – almost this very minute – it is 4 years since I wrote my first post on Twitter. Now that I think of it and compare it to how much I have gained from using Twitter, I wish that I had written something a bit more profound and heartfelt.The question from Twitter back then was: “What are you doing right now?”- and the answer:
A little more time was spent dabbling around I went into hibernation for about a year until the buzz picked up again. My conclusion (and my 5th tweet) after a little reading, research, and a few experiments… Oh. The irony….
Luckily I now had two colleagues @lizzygreatfarm and @signalize who shared my rekindled interest. I quickly decided on two principles: Tweet in English + Stick as strictly as possible to professional content (intranets, social media, digital workplace), and the result is that today Twitter has become my number one source for professional news and updates.
So what have I learned after 4 years, and why have I found out that Twitter is NOT a waste of time?
1) Nothing beats learning by doing
Get in there, don’t stand on the sideline and be prepared to give It a little more time than you would expect. Whatever you do don’t be afraid to experiment – you often learn more from your mistakes than from your successes.
2) Twitter is a little like dating
…but from a professional point-of-view. You start by following someone and one day you might just find yourself in the same room as one of ‘your’ tweeps. When it comes to networking connecting in real life makes so much more sense when you have had some meaningful contact before you actually meet.
3) Stay in touch and extend the discussions
If you, like me, attend some conferences or other professional events throughout the year Twitter is unparalleled for staying in touch. LinkedIn can be used for keeping track of who you meet, but I consider it like a virtual rolodex. Twitter is so much more vibrant and provides a great basis for dialogue – there’s not much dialogue in an online business card.
So what are the negatives of using Twitter today? Well, to be honest I think that I now know exactly when and for what I use Twitter so for me, personally, I don’t really see any downsides. No doubt that Twitter will remain an important tool for my personal-professional news and network in the time to come………and in case you wonder: Yes. The apple pie was a great pudding that day!