While I might not be the most frequent or consistent Tweeter, I am 100 percent behind using this unique social network. And yes I tweet – most days – under @SteveHaweeli. Like most things in life that are misunderstood, Twitter suffers from Herbert Spencer’s brilliant observation of “contempt prior to investigation.” Any informal conversation with The Man in The Street will yield such comments as, “I don’t wanna know what you had for breakfast,” or “I don’t want to see people’s conversations that have nothing to do with me.” The fact of the matter is: you don’t have to.
Here’s what Twitter is to me:
The world’s global bulletin board.
A method to get news or information out fast to my followers.
An additional marketing tool.
A community of more than 200 million registered users.
Consider that all major news organizations have Twitter feeds. Consider that Twitter had a role in the news of Osama Bin Laden’s death, and the social revolutions in Egypt and other Middle Eastern nations. Consider that the passion of Christ was once tweeted on Good Friday by Trinity Church in lower Manhattan. If you’re a sports fan and away from a TV, you can follow your team by following “hash-tagged” accounts (#). So all you fans of the #Yanks, #Mets, #Jets, #Giants, #Isles, #Rangers, and #Knicks can get instant updates if you’re away from a radio or TV.
The key is finding your voice. Who are you on Twitter and to whom are you tweeting? Once you figure that out, you’re half-way home. The rest of the trip involves deciding who you follow. Don’t worry too much who follows you at first (and if you don’t like them, you can block them). Once you determine who you follow, you have determined what your feed (or stream) will look like – in other words, what you’ll be reading. If you choose to follow news organizations, your feed will be very serious. Trust me: CNN won’t be telling you what they had for breakfast!
Twitter accounts are easy to set up. Once you do, most people spend a lot of time observing. One’s first tweet is usually something like, “OK – I’m on Twitter.” And that’s OK. Just remember that everybody once had a first tweet.