"I just don't get Twitter," I remember saying to Tim when I first started my account in the spring of '08.
"It all seems a bit narcissistic - tweeting or twitting or whatever-you-want-to-call-it about your life. And, besides, I wouldn't be able to keep up with all of those updates. Oh, and people on Twitter must be on the computer all day long!"
Fast forward to a few months ago. "Twitter is awesome," I say to Tim, "I like it better than Facebook, actually."
I came full circle, my friends, and I'm here to tell you why Twitter is terrific. I'm going to chirp out its merits and - who knows? maybe you'll want to start a little nest of your own.
1. Twitter strengthens relationships. A number of my friends are on Twitter and I love that I can get a quick peek into their lives. It's also ideal for sending short messages to friends, eliminating the need for old-school e-mail. For example, I sent a message to @medarcie on Friday and asked her family to come to lunch.
2. Twitter is a powerful way to use your consumer voice. Most major brands are on Twitter and they are listening to what people are saying. So if you say "I went to @Safeway today and the service was outstanding, but the produce was just so-so"...there's a good chance Safeway will reply directly to you (See...WAY cooler than Facebook!).
3. Twitter cancels out the need for newspapers and magazines. Most local and national news networks are on Twitter. Follow them and you'll get instant news at your fingertips. It's much faster than skimming through pages of a print publication (and there are no ads!), not to mention the fact that you'll get news that is more customized to your interests. Take The Wall Street Journal, for example. You can choose to follow Breaking Headlines, Life & Style, World Markets, UK news, take-your-pick from 55+ categories.
4. Twitter can save you time and money. Let's say you're looking for a 5K running plan. Or you need a cool idea for a science fair project for your kid. Or you want to find the best restaurant with a kids-eat-free deal in your city. Tweet-Tweet. Then, wait for recommendations. Oh, yeah, I should clarify: By "wait"...I mean, like, two minutes.
6. Twitter allows you to raises awareness for causes closes to your heart. Are you passionate about breastfeeding, education, cancer awareness, or abolishing poverty? Get on Twitter. You can follow (and converse with) politicians, relevant non-profits, and fellow activists. You can even plan a local TweetUp to further your cause. I'm going to do a little shout-out to the American Red Cross (@RedCross) in this paragraph because - FYI - March is Red Cross Month.
7. Twitter can get you job offers and clients. I went to dinner at Napa Rose with @MicheleDortch a few months ago. Over wine and swordfish, she said, "I've gotten multiple job offers and freelance work because of Twitter." Whenever she needs a new project, she'll just tweet out a little note about her expertise or a link to her CV...and then see what happens. I'm sure it helps that she has a masters degree and is tremendously talented and all, but we can all learn from her smarts and connectivity.
8. Twitter can help reassure you that you're not alone. A couple of weekends ago, I went to breakfast with @myapronstrings and @OurCrazyBoys. When we talked about Twitter, one of us at the table said something to the effect of, "It's kind of nice to know that I'm not the only one who wants to throw my teenage son out into the snow from time-to-time." Priceless, no?
Want To Follow My Tweets? I am: @stephsday.
WHAT ABOUT YOU? Do you use Twitter? Why or why not?
***If you have questions about Twitter, ask them here and I'll try to get to them in a future post (No question is too silly. K?).
I have a question about Twitter. I always picture it as a IPhone+texting deal. Short, sweet, quick. But for me, I've gotta go check if I have enough internet left from our satellite set up (limited bandwidth even at $100/month-yipes!), and then if I do, turn on the computer. log in, and jot down an update. I've been hesitant to tweet for this reason. Seems cumbersome and like it will just be a time-suck that doesn't add much. Is it more of a quick-phone-texting kind of a thing? And, how do you "read" twitter. Because whenever I visit the home page or my own page, it just looks like advertisements flashing by as I drive down the freeway. I so rarely have seen anything that's worth actually reading or linking to there. Maybe it's who I'm following? Thanks for any advice you can give.
Hi Jeanine! I think you're right that Twitter is more of a smartphone thing. That said, I tweet from my laptop too.
There are several ways to "read Twitter." You have a few options:
1. You can only follow people that you are TRULY interested in.
2. You can follow lots of people and then create "lists." For example, I have a list for people from my hometown, a list of people/businesses that tweet about pregnancy, etc. Then, you can just follow those lists.
It's important to keep in mind that it is IMPOSSIBLE to actually keep up with everything that is tweeted. I just scan my feed every once in awhile to see if there is anything of particular interest.
In regards to your final thought, I find many of my Tuesday Tours links on Twitter. I see it as a valuable resource for finding good content across the web.
Remembered this post from a while ago and tracked it down (guess I could have commented on a more recent post, but...). YES!!! I am learning the same thing about twitter. I actually like it for different reasons. I think twitter plays a much more important role in marketing and facebook is better for personal relationships. Twitter has been a HUGE help for getting the word for Jay's blog out there.
I agree. I use Twitter more for business and Facebook more for personal. And now there's Google+! I wonder about the future of all of these social networks, don't you? One thing is certain: it's a fun + interesting time to be alive.
I have just recently started using Twitter (@tiffanyblogs), but I still have my sea legs, for sure. I haven't quite found my groove with it!
Now you KNOW I use Twitter. :-) I'm a Twitter-aholic. No apologies about it either! :-)
I love twitter too! But don't tweet too often. Definitely better than facebook.
I actually just opened a twitter account two days before you posted this! So far it's alright... maybe once I have more followers I will like it more, haha. I'm @audabeth
Love Nicole's quote... I was actually just thinking about her saying that yesterday... when I wanted to throw my son into the snow ;)
I have always been a mocker of the tweeting. I thought it was silly to text little pointless things to a bunch of strangers throughout the day. But, I appreciate your list. You make some swell points here. And, you have nearly convinced me to sign up. I am an awful texter, though. And, I don't even have a text plan on my phone. I always thought twitter was for the fancy phone/texter folks. Is that true? Or is it for the old fashioned laptop users, too?
I have a twitter account, but I'm bad about not checking it and not really updating it either. One day I plan to get better about it.
I was going to set up a twitter account one day and it was the day they were hacked! I haven't gotten around to it again but I really need to do it! Thanks for the reminder.
I have a twitter account, but I have yet to really be super active on it. I follow you and a few other people...I got asked to be a volunteer for Mythbusters because I follow them (the timing didn't work, otherwise I would have LOVED to volunteer for them!). I can see how so many great opportunities can come from be an active twitter user. I just have to get my tweet on!
I have to admit I'm like you were at first. I really don't get twitter. Your explanation and arguments here are the best I've read in defense of it, though. Maybe one day I'll jump in, but I'm still not quite ready yet. Mostly, I just don't want another reason to be in front of the computer. But, we'll see . . .
On another note, I like the picture of you and your daughter on this post. Your expression is really cute. :-)
I got twitter a few months back to enter a few contests & I now use it occasionally. I often log on and check on what other people are tweeting though - I like the insight into others thoughts, especially family & friends that live far away.
I just recently started on Twitter and I am enjoying it. A little confused at times, but I am slowly learning.
Follow me @jewelsntreasure
I got my job with Real Moms Guide thru Twitter! I felt the same way at the beginning. I'd been on there MONTHS before I even knew people were @ing me! But once I figured it out, oh there is no turning back. I also like it much better than facebook.
Do you happen to have a Tumblr Stephanie? A couple of months ago my work asked me to start one, and share photos and stuff, but I kind of feel like it's like twitter but more pointless? Or maybe it's just because way fewer people are on tumblr than twitter? I don't know, I like the tumblr concept in theory, but in practice it seems like I'm just wasting my time.
I really like twitter (@Jinxyisms). I have formed a few really really good friendships through twitter and now I get to keep in touch with them through twitter.
I have a twitter account, and I follow you. Still, I'm totally confused by the whole thing and so I rarely log on. I guess when I think back I was confused by facebook for a while too, but eventually figure it out...
Twitter is a great way to stay in touch when you don't have anything pressing to say, too.
I do have a twitter account (@stickyprints) and I am slowly getting better at working with it!
Love Twitter! Use it for personal and business. It's truly been a blessing for me. Facebook has also been great so I use them both equally.
I'm @angienewton on both.
I love me some good Twitter. I'm totally a believer. I've made some fantastic friends and contacts through 140 characters!
(oh! Follow me! I'm @designhermomma Let's be friends!)
(I know, I'm already friends with you, Steph - and love talking with ya)
I like it during big events too...it was fun to follow the #Oscar tweets during the Oscars last night, and see hundreds of instantaneous opinions about what was happening.
How lucky are you to live close enough to Darcie and Becca to have breakfast and lunch?! How lucky are they as well. ;0)
I'm on twitter, but must admit that I'm more of the person you were at first. I don't go on and tweet very much so I'm sure that's why I'm not that into it. You have however, given it a different perspective for me. I might just start tweeting more.
Thanks too for the comment love. It's been a rough road, but we are taking it one day at a time.
It's an easy way to get an even better glimpse into someone's life. I love blogging, but blogging happens once per day (or less) and is still limiting in what you can learn about someone.
Because twitter allows you to update with so few characters, you typically find people tweeting several times per day about what they're doing, instead of once per day... like with blogging.
And how neat that you've met up with so many people! I didn't know that. You regular little social butterfly you :) How neat.