The Twitter Story

Chris Brogan made a very good point about why we don’t have to touch every conversation on the web, be it in forums, mailing lists, SNS, blogs, or Twitter. Indeed, we don’t have the time of the world to do so.

As such, instead of telling you why Twitter is cool, I will just share with you my thoughts on why it is cool for me. It may not be cool for you though, and you can safely exclude yourself from the Twitter conversation if you don’t want to :-)

How I got started

Twitter had been around for a while before I started using it, so basically it appeared everywhere on the news. However, I only took to Twitter when I saw Tai Tran using it. Well, PR is good, but word-of-mouth is much better.

Though when I asked him why he was tweeting, Tai said it was because most of his friends were on Twitter. Right, but I didn’t have any friend on Twitter except for him. How should I go about it?

I just followed him, and some of his friends I might possibly know but was not sure. I guess 1 or 2 people in my Gmail contact list was using it too.

But still, I was not conviced. At that time, Chris Brogan wrote a great post to share the 20 eBooks about Social Media.

I picked up one: Geeks guide to promoting yourself with Twitter

Yeah, I just started my blog to promote myself and my E-learner Platform 2.0. Now there was another tool to promote myself, my project, and my blog! What a great coincidence! Lucky for me, the book is only about 40 pages and very easy to read.

So I began following people by following the advice in the book, and eventually people began to follow me and I followed them back. As of today I have 136 followers and 134 friends who follow me. Not so many but it all looks good :-)

Sometimes reading a book can save you a lot of time pondering over things, but at other times it can turn you into a bookworm!

What I like about Twitter

I don’t know how you feel about it but for me Twitter is a small community of my own. Most of the people there are either those I already knew, are getting to know, and possibly will know in the future. So it’s well-connected and it is extremely focused. In this case, the community is rather geeky so most of the conversation we exchange with each other is all about technology.

Besides promoting myself as it was originally planned, it’s also about building relationships with like-minded people, sharing with and learning from each other, and sometimes trading casual conversations or setting up get-togethers like we often do. Come to think of it, it’s like an online mini-barcamp :D Another substantial benefit is that it’s MUCH easier to make friends like-minded people.

Plus, getting to talk to your followers in real life can greatly improve your online relationship. You can get even more followers after attending tech events where many are Tweeters.

What I possibly won’t do about Twitter

I’ve realized for quite some time that the things we think are good for us may not be good for others. We come from different backgrounds, grow up with different perspectives of life and thus what we advise others to do are very subjective.

As a result, I will not recommend people to use Twitter unless they ask for it. It’s similar to the fact that we stopped advising people to use Linux/Open Source software just because it is great, even if it is truly the way to go :-)

This is hard, since tech enthusiasts have a tendency to recommend everything they deem cool to everyone they know. But I’ll try my best.

To conclude, Twitter is good for me, for those who are using it everyday, but it may not be good for others who are still wondering why the heck people keep telling them to use Twitter.

Now it’s your turn to share your experience with Twitter ;)

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One Response to The Twitter Story

  1. TaiTran says:

    I started using Twitter when I learned that I could use it as a micro-blogging solution, apart from sheerly updating my statuses which had been catered for well-enough by Facebook.

    The exact date was June 14, 2008.

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