Twitter has slapped me pretty hard in the face recently with its communities, hash tags and generally awesome people and it’s made me wonder what took me so long to get on it.
I actually joined last March when I was beginning my trip around Asia but, like @PiersMorgan says, ‘wondered what the point of it all was’ (not realising JUST how many people were out there). That was until I started to get incredibly bored with Facebook and decided to dip my toe into the Twitter pool. Well, I’m now thoroughly soaked with its 140 character goodness and here’s why….
– There is a wealth of knowledge out there
Whether you want to know a good restaurant on your travels or how to fix that niggling problem on your blog, there’s a person out there for you. And if there isn’t, they know damn well how to get the information for you. That’s pretty cool.
– #Hashtags are amazing
They’re a great way to keep a community conversation going if there are more people involved than you’re following such as #TTOT (travel talk on Twitter). I may follow approx. 10 people that get involved with it each Tuesday but search for the #TTOT hashtag and I can look at everyone involved and ‘meet’ new people.
– Communities are strong and helpful
Finding a community based on your needs whether it be parenthood or travel is a total blessing and goes back to my first point – throw a question into it and you’ll get a wealth of honest opinions, facts and help; something you’re not always going to have in the ‘real world’.
– Companies have a personal touch
Companies that were usually seen a ‘untouchable’ or ‘not friendly’ now speak to you on a personal level. They offer to help if you’ve had a bad experience with their product/service or they just laugh at a joke you made; they no longer seem inhuman – there is now a regular(ish) person at the other end of your 140 characters and that makes interaction with them easy and fun.
– It’s a great networking tool
Whether you’re a business, writer or just on Twitter for the hell of it, it’s a great way of meeting new people and maybe turning those people into friends and part of your life (especially if cheesecake is included)
– It’s not Facebook
Whether it’s an answer to a question or just putting a ‘hi’ into the Twitter world, you get replies and instantly connect with people with no pressure a la Facebook. You can talk to them once or never again, you can follow and then unfollow (without them ever really noticing) or you can become firm friends. Your role in Twitter can be as flexible as you want it to be.
And here’s why I don’t like it…
You write something in your tweet to someone and before you know it you have 5 more followers, none of which are interested in what you have to say, they just searched for a word and you mentioned it so ‘tag, you’re it’. Also, as much as I love reading other peoples articles, with everyone re-tweeting them, it can sometimes get a bit much for the ole timeline to take.
– It can make me so jealous I want to poke my eyes out
It’s great being in the travel community but when I’m stuck at my desk waiting for my next adventure to begin (135 days left thank you very much) I don’t want to read about someone else going on their round the world adventure. Ok, so I do but you get my point. On those down days when the weather is crap, you’ve got a cold and you’re hating your town just a little too much, it’s hard to read about someone else doing exactly what you want but can’t (at that precise moment) do.
And remember …if you have 50 people following you with everything to say or 5000 people with nothing to say to you, which is the most valuable? I’ll give you a hint…numbers don’t mean anything.
How about you – what do you love and hate about the old Twitterverse?