Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Reasons to Twitter

I came across this post on Kem Meyer’s blog (which by the way is a great blog )

Kem reposted comments by Michael Hyatt, CEO of Thomas Nelson, Inc. Hyatt answered questions my family and frinds ask a lot abot Twitter. So I thought I’d repost Kem’s repost of Hyatt’s post: 12 Reasons You Should Start Twittering.

It will enable you to experience social networking first-hand. One of my pet peeves is people who pontificate on new technologies but have never actually used them. This is particularly annoying—but common—among CEOs.

It will make you a better writer. Twitter only allows you to post 140 characters at a time. As a result, you are forced to be concise. In my opinion, this is one of the hallmarks of good writing. Short messages. Short paragraphs. Short sentences.

It will help you stay connected to people you care about. This is one of the few technologies I’ve found that actually contributes to community-building. In today’s busy world, it’s difficult to keep up with others.

It will help you see a new side of your friends. In an odd sort of way, Twitter “humanizes” people and provides a context for better understanding them. If you follow me on Twitter, for example, you’ll quickly see that I get excited, bored, frustrated, and confused—sometimes all in the same day. You’ll also learn what is important to me and what drives me crazy.

It will introduce you to new friends. I have now met several new people via Twitter. These have contributed to my life in small but significant ways.

It is faster than text-messaging. In a sense Twitter is a universal text messaging system. You can broadcast to people who subscribe to your Twitter feed or send a direct message to just one.

It will make you think about your life. You start to see your life through the lens of the people following you. Interestingly, it has made me more intentional and thoughtful about my life.

It will help you keep up with what people are talking about. Via Twitter, I have learned about hot books, cool software, breaking news, and even great restaurants. Because the information is coming from real people who care enough to Twitter about it, I have found it more valuable and authentic.

It can create traffic for your blog or Website. I have noticed a 30% uptick in my blog traffic in the last 30 days. It may be related to the fact that I have been in the news more or have been writing on more controversial posts. However, I also think it is related to the fact that I am Twittering every time I post a new blog entry. This seems to have a viral effect.

It requires a very small investment. Twitter itself is a free service. In terms of my time, I probably invest less than 10 minutes a day. Since “tweets” (i.e., posts) are limited to 140 charters or less, you can scan them in a second or two. Writing them usually takes less than 30 seconds.

It can help build your personal “brand.” When people hear your name, what comes to mind? What is your reputation? What is the “brand promise”? Brands are built incrementally, one interaction at a time. Twitter gives you one more way to build your brand, one tweet at a time.

Twitter is just plain entertaining. Following your family and friends is kind of like watching reality TV. The difference is that you know the people and actually care about them. In this sense, it is even more fun, because you know more about the people from other contexts.

I love Kem’s final comment:

You see, Twitter is one practical illustration of how we've moved past the industrial age through the information age to the interconnected age. But, naysayers are still calling it silly and dumb. Hello. Anything can be silly and dumb--depending on how it's used.



    There is the flaw of too-quick dismissal. But also of too-quick adoption. No?

    Social networking websites are causing alarming changes in the brains of young users, an eminent scientist has warned.

    Sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Bebo are said to shorten attention spans, encourage instant gratification and make young people more self-centred.

    The claims from neuroscientist Susan Greenfield will make disturbing reading for the millions whose social lives depend on logging on to their favourite websites each day.

  2. More Twitter buzzkill. For we adults, such tools are not likely to distort either or reading habits or perceptive mechanism. But that is like saying that taking up smoking at our age is unlikely to cause cancer, given how long cancer takes to develop. But we also want to set a good example for the kids.

    Social networks such as Twitter may blunt people's sense of morality, claim brain scientists.

    New evidence shows the digital torrent of information from networking sites could have long-term damaging effects on the emotional development of young people's brains.

    A study suggests rapid-fire news updates and instant social interaction are too fast for the 'moral compass' of the brain to process.

    The danger is that heavy Twitters and Facebook users could become 'indifferent to human suffering' because they never get time to reflect and fully experience emotions about other people's feelings.