Tweet On Twitterverse!

Three months ago I joined Twitter, with three goals in mind:  1) learn how it’s used for business, 2) use it for personal branding and 3) improve skills.  I joined LinkedIn in 2006 and Facebook in 2009, but have spent the most time on them over the past year.  I’ve enjoyed it and wanted to experience other social media in action.

Most people (except those who work in media, social media, are famous or a well-known brand, actor, etc.) use social media like this:  LinkedIn is their online resume and current Rolodex that conveniently updates itself. Facebook is where they play and communicate with family and friends in a deep, photo filled, detailed, know a lot about me sort of way.  A lot of folks still aren’t on Twitter and I originally thought, “What’s all the fuss about?”  2,159 tweets later, I completely love it!

I’ve fallen in love with Twitter because it’s a news feed, you can follow anyone, e.g. business, star, sports legend, and people love to share their blog posts, articles, thoughts and opinions.  It’s concise; 140 characters.  Many use it strictly for brand communications / work and it’s clear that’s their intent.  You choose who you follow.  It’s very easy to follow a lot of people, including those you generally don’t have access to on Facebook or LinkedIn.

What makes it unique though is it is an amazing pulse on what’s going on *right now.*  Very late March 10 / early 11 EST saw a tweet, “Earthquake app on iPhone reports major earthquake just struck Japan.”  Immediately turned on CNN and watched the tsunami in real-time.  April 29th, watched William & Kate marry and participated in the Twitter conversation about it.  May 1st, signed on after 10 p.m. and read the President would soon address the nation.  The emotional response on Twitter to President Obama’s announcement that Osama Bin Laden was dead was incredible.  Each example is a Twitter ‘event,’ in that people shared their thoughts and feelings about it, as well as a news story.

After #binladenisdead there was an uproar over whether Twitter broke the story and the role it now plays in journalism.  My gut believes we will always need news to give us the facts; confirm the truth.  But journalists aren’t everywhere, so now the millions on Twitter are eyes and ears for the world.  A great example is the woman who took the photo of Endeavor’s launch above the clouds from her plane window on Monday.  It went viral in hours.  What is curious is how the woman became the story (although I do hope she gets a job from it); the story was still Endeavor’s last flight with some very special photos.

Twitter is an extremely valuable addition to media; another piece of the communications pie.  The beauty is it’s about your favorite on #Idol or #DWTS, your brand’s latest blog post, a picture of an event, a live feedback stream from a conference, the world’s reaction to major news or your favorite star’s song of the day.  You choose.  Some might ask, well how is this different from Facebook?  My response is that Twitter is more immediate and cleaner in some way.

So please tweet on Twitterverse!  Thanks for the past three months; it’s been enlightening, fun and I’ve seen Twitter’s power up close and personal.  It’s ultimately the power of connection; unifying people around events, or a simple Monday a.m. cup of coffee, regardless of place or time zone.

What is your favorite thing about Twitter?  Favorite story of connecting with others via Twitter?


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