Having been on Twitter for a year, I thought I should mark the occasion with a short post on my experiences. It’s been a interesting year, where I have gone from pure newb with poor 140 character skills to mentoring individuals and companies on their use of the platform.
What I have discovered though, is that you only get out what you put in. In truth, you need to spend time talking, listening, engaging, encouraging and being encouraged. Only by doing so will you start to see any kind of return on your Twitter investment. I see plenty of people who use it as a broadcast medium and never seem to engage in any form of conversation.
Some use it as a passive news stream, allowing them to keep on top of a myriad of news sources. Others seem to spend most of their time moaning about their pitiful lives (my advice here is to get off Twitter and do something positive). However you use it, it’s up to you and frankly, I don’t care. If you bore me, offend me or spam me, I can chose to unfollow you. And that is fine too.
Back at the start of this year I moved from having my Tweets protected to the more transparent “Unprotected” account status. This for me has been a liberating move and I have realised it makes me a lot more accountable for my output. It also opens up my information and tweets to the world and allows greater access to both me and my content.
In my nearly 2800 tweets in the last year, I am pretty sure I haven’t sworn – something I have consciously tried to keep to. That is not to say I don’t swear offline, it does happen but where the written word is involved, there is a chance to be more measured and consider your use of language. Personally, I find it odd to see people swearing so much online – especially when you only have 140 characters. Surely it is an impulsive thing with the spoken word but to type out an array of expletives in a tweet just seems a little lazy. Just saying.
So what have been my Twitter Highlights in the last 12 Months?
- Making a lot of great new connections and meeting plenty of them face to face. Tweet Ups and Twestivals are great and you should get along to one if you can.
- Launching a successful account for Grafton Recruitment (@GraftonRec) which went on to be key to 2 award wins for my work with the Grafton site. The photo of me in the Tweetie outfit helped too!
- Seeing Belfast pulling together to produce the incredible Belfast4Haiti campaign.
- Helping several individuals and companies to get started and win with Twitter.
- Strengthening my own personal brand and promoting my blog and photography.
- Reuniting with old friends including @JaimeSteele
- The socialisation of TV and how Twitter has opened up a whole new level of interaction with broadcast media.
Within the year I have seen news stories break, engagements happen, friends hired and fired, births announced, weddings celebrated, deaths mourned and incredible amounts of knowledge and expertise shared.
Twitter is an incredible platform, real-time and more importantly, real life.
For a brief synopsis of my last 12 months, see this summary of my most used words: