To tweet or not to tweet: Is it even a question?

To tweet or not to tweet?

Is it still even a question?

Like everyone else, I only reluctantly joined the twitterverse initially. Nearly universally, people hearing about Twitter for the first time think it’s a dumb idea, one that has zero business use, and only marginal personal use. I think this reaction happens nearly for nearly everyone because you can’t see or understand Twitter until you get inside it.

Recently, the business case for twitter was poo-poo’ed by a real estate blogger, and it drew a strong reaction from realtors that successfully use twitter in their business. One of the commenters in favor of twitter stated that twitter users are in the top 2 percentile of intelligence. While clearly this is an overstatement, not based on facts, it IS possible to have a twitter experience of only very smart people. What sets social media apart from the broadcast model that preceded it is that EVERYONE gets to control who is or is not in their very own network. If you want to only follow brilliant people, then you are free to do so.

Because I’ve been in the twitterverse for so long (more than two years), it’s hard for me to remember that many people haven’t been exposed to it, nor have the time to develop a quality group of people to tweet with. Twitter advocate and consultant Laura Fitton (@Pistachio) continues to make arguments for twitter for businesses. I applaud that she is bridging the gap. But for many people, they will simply have to experience Twitter, or at least see it in action, to understand its usefulness.

I was recently witness to a new use of Twitter that leaves me chuckling and shaking my head…. and that is as extension of one’s own brain. Shari Storm, VP of Marketing at Verity CU in Seattle, and author of Motherhood is the New MBA, recently tweeted that she had written a note to herself, “Evaluate MOH”, and couldn’t remember what it meant. Lo and behold, several of her twitter followers chimed in with possible meanings of MOH. Many replies were funny, and the correct answer, Messages On Hold, was mentioned by several people.

Think about that for a second… Shari wrote a note to herself, designed for her eyes only, forgot what it meant, and then asked friends and strangers for help deciphering it. And they did! What better case for Twitter could be made than as extension of one’s own brain?

By the way, what got me hooked on Twitter, back in 2007, after the typical false start phase that everyone goes through, was a tweet sent by Brent Dixon relaying something that Shari said in a presentation that was occurring 1000 miles away from me at the time. Brent tweeted that Shari said “of new members joining Verity CU, three times more cite their blog as the reason than direct mail.” It was an important bit of information that I would have never known had it not been for Brent, Shari, and twitter. And I was hooked.

If you are interested in hearing Shari talk about her book, Motherhood is the New MBA, you can hear her interviewed, 30 minutes into this 60 minute TQ Radio show, recorded Monday Nov 16, 2009.

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12 Responses to “To tweet or not to tweet: Is it even a question?”

  1. Stacy Dugan Says:

    I have had some amazing and slow conversations with more than a few friends and colleagues on the benefits of Twitter. The great thing in my mind, you can use it the way you see fit. The uses are many and you can get from it what you want. I started as an observer following NPR and other news sites tweets. It served as a news feed. I was slowly drawn into the conversation and have not only met some amazing folks as a result, but have learned a lot about credit unions and been able to share my perspective and knowledge with people I never would have come in contact with without twitter. Twitter has even served as the catalyst to start planning BarCampBank Chicago with two colleagues, all of us located in different states.

  2. Stacy Dugan Says:

    Slow in the sense that over many conversations and through many questions they have begun to see that Twitter is something they may find value in using. Just to clarify.

  3. Andy LaFlamme Says:

    The thing with twitter is that you get what you look for. The same can be said for any social venue, digital or physical. If you seek out the right people, and ask the right questions you can find incredible value.

    For example, I was looking for some information on IDA accounts, tweeted about it, and five minutes later had more information about them than I could have possibly hoped for.

    Its all about your own personal approach to the service.

  4. lesley lambert Says:

    Well, since I am very open about my love of twitter, it comes as no surprise that I enjoyed this post. I, for one, am glad you stuck with it so we could meet!

    I do find it so interesting how people continue to change the use of twitter. Through the creativity of the users & their sphere, Twitter is evolving daily.

  5. Christopher Morris Says:

    Also, let’s not forget – where else but Twitter do you see people from every aspect of the industry conversing with each other every day?

  6. Ron Shevlin Says:

    @Christopher Morris: Um, Everything CU?

  7. Morriss Partee Says:

    @Ron I believe Christopher is referring to the fact that both his own CUNA Councils, as well as EverythingCU, are closed to outside vendors. So it’s nice that we have Twitter and other public venues that are a mix of CU employees and those that serve them.

  8. Brent Dixon Says:

    Even though Twitter sometimes makes the inside of my head feel noisy like a beehive, I still love it.

    Twitter, why can’t I quit you?

  9. Sara Dyer Says:

    Well, I was won over on Twitter because of meat.

    Seriously, I enjoy learning more about CU-land, meeting people that I might not get the chance to otherwise and deepening relationships that probably would have ended after the project did. I can’t believe what I’ve learned and been able to pass on because of Twitter.

  10. Christopher Morris Says:

    @Ron – What Morriss said.

  11. Tim McAlpine Says:

    Twitter is the number one way that I’ve been able to stay in touch with and connect with so many like-minded people. Love it.

  12. Michael Prevost Says:

    I love twitter, and I tweet probably way more than I should. I’ve followed you on twitter. I use twitter more than ever nowadays and my blog feels abandoned!

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