Archive for the ‘twitter’ Category

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Twitter Makes me Better…

May 31, 2009

I felt like I should write a post to explain how Twitter has changed me…

I am a better person because of Twitter…

Yes, I am…

Twitter has opened my eyes and my mind as to who people really are. Because of time constraints, I chose to use a program that follows anyone who follows me. That way I don’t upset anyone by not “following back” if I don’t get to them in enough time. If I see someone who offends me or annoys me in my stream, then I just unfollow them… (the beauty of Twitter is the unfollow button if you haven’t figured that out yet…)

Because of this, I have started or entered conversations with people I don’t really know. I have a great conversation with them and think… “hmm… let me go see where they are from” or something like that. Then I read their profile and, sometimes, I am totally shocked as to who they are. Someone I would have never talked to based on whatever pre-conceived ideas my life has ingrained in me…

Then I think… wow… they were really cool… I liked them a lot… I want to be their friend…

My point is simply this…

People are people… we all have our differences and we all have our prejudices… Twitter has chipped away at that barrier for me. I find myself smiling more when I interact with people in real life… I find myself less likely to get upset at the driver in front of me at the light when they don’t move the second it turns green… I find myself caring more about that stranger I am interacting with…

Melodramatic? Maybe… But I think of everyone of these people as someone I may talk to someday on Twitter and think… “They are just me with a little different background”… and it makes me like them…

It makes me better…

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Follow Friday Boycott…

May 28, 2009

 

I decided I am no longer participating in Follow Friday.

Anyone who follows me closely knows I value my Twitter Friends and love to talk to each and every one of them. I want to connect and talk to you. I don’t want to be just another Follower of yours or you of mine…

#FollowFriday has gotten stupid… yes I said it.. It was a *GREAT* idea to begin with and I have found a few good people from it. But if you will seriously tell me that you check out each and every  recommendation that comes across your screen on Friday’s then I would probably call you a liar… unless you only follow 10 or 20 people anyway… There are some who measure their Influence by the Follow Friday sites that have been developed and the rules for all those sites are so different that it takes a brain surgeon to figure them out.

Don’t get me wrong, I love to get recommendations from peeps I know!  But it really comes down to connections and fun to me… And, if you feel like I do, that Friday’s has become an actual stressful day for you because of making sure you are #FollowFriday ing everyone who #FollowFriday’s you and you are afraid you may upset someone if you forget them… Then it’s *WAY* too complicated!!

@RickBakas coined the hashtag #FastFollowFive. This is recommending 5 of your favorite followers at anytime, a Monday night, a Thursday afternoon… whenever you feel like it. Most of you know I use this tag often and I hope it’s much more manageable and that you find some good peeps from it…

I will thank you in advance for any #FollowFriday recommendations you give me. I will *NOT* be giving any back… Not because of my ego or pride but because I don’t think they mean anything anymore anyway. If I want to recommend you, I will in my own way and in a way that will mean more to *you* To me it’s the whole point of Twitter to begin with… You give some value to me, I will return the value to you in some way…

If you have followed me for any length of time, you know I love everyone who follows me so please don’t take offense…

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Bringing Twitter to Life…

May 15, 2009

 

In the last four days I have met 30+ Twitterers in real life.

The most notable to me since I spent the most time with them were Robin Walker, Kim Redd, Rick Bakas and Jaimie Bakas.

Robin, Kim & I chose to go out after a TweetUp here in Chicago Tuesday night to this little bar that was having Karoke. It was Robin’s idea and, to be honest, I wasn’t all that excited about it. But at the end of the night I had made two Real Life friends and had a blast. Robin is fun, loud and will talk to anyone. Kim is the type of person who you know you can count on as a friend (even though when she talks about people on Twitter she insists on saying the @… “So I was talking to AtRobinWalker”, lol)

Today, I met up with Rick & Jaimie Bakas. They were in Chicago to visit family and we met in Wrigleyville. They were supposed to see the Cubs play but the weather had a different idea and the game was rained out. Still, I enjoyed sitting with them for about three hours while we ate some famous Chicago Italian Beef Sandwiches and talked about everything from Twitter to Family to Wine preferences (if you know them *that* shouldn’t surprise you!).

Sometimes when Non-Twitterers ask me about what Twitter is, or why I Twitter, I get a little embarrassed trying to explain how it all works. I know they look at me like… “You Nerd… Get a Life” but there really are relationships built through Twitter. I know I count many of you as friends that I would never have made otherwise.

Now that I am starting to meet some of you in Real Life, I can see that these relationships aren’t just some figment of my virtual imagination. All four of the people I mentioned were exactly like I expected them to be from their online persona. And, I doubt I would have met any of them without Twitter.

Bringing Twitter to Life this week has been a blast for me and I hope I will eventually get to meet all of you!

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Potato… Potahto…

May 9, 2009

 

Any article that I see about Twitter I like to read. I am a Twitterholic afterall…

So I’m reading this article by Scott Fox whom I don’t know and only started following on Twitter as I wrote this post. It’s a pretty well-written article and there are many things I agree with.

One thing in particular though I don’t…

Scott’s  Third point is essentially that you can follow too many people. The “Quantity vs. Quality” argument.  He states, “To me following thousands of people publicly demonstrates that you don’t much value the tweets you receive.”

I couldn’t disagree more!

As of this writing, I follow over 6500 people. Do I know them all? Of course not. Have I even said Hello to them all? No way! But I followed them for some reason. It may have been simply because they followed me first.

But here is how I value their Tweets… To have the thought processes and web-surfing abilities and mind-sets and view-points of over 6500 people at my fingertips at any given moment is priceless to me! To have that far left column of my TweetDeck spitting out Tweet after Tweet from all these people means I don’t necessarily have to read every news website to get the scoop; I don’t have to pour through search engines to find great info; I don’t have to find the latest buzz on my own… They find it for me!

To me it’s kinda like having a Current Events Cliff’s Notes…

Please understand I am not saying Scott is wrong about the fact that there isn’t really a way to have a relationship with that many people on Twitter, he is right. Of the people I follow, I build relationships with those who are most like me or intrigue me or whatever, but the rest are invaluable to me for many reasons. But it seems such a waste to have all this info at your beck and call and not take advantage of it!

When I look at a person’s profile and see a very low following to follower ratio, that is actually a negative for me. To me, it means that they think what they have to say is more important than what their followers have to say.

However, I have said this before, that’s the beauty of Twitter… It’s whatever you want it to be…

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Tribune Story…

May 3, 2009

 

I noticed a new follower @kevinthepang but his updates were protected. Normally I don’t follow-back with people who protect their updates. Not sure why, I just don’t. But Kevin’s Bio made me laugh. It said “Award-Eligible writer for the Chicago Tribune” So I followed.

A few minutes later I get a DM from him. I thought it was going to be an Auto DM, you know, “Thanks for the follow. Click here to make millions doing nothing” but it wasn’t. He was asking me to call him to do an interview for the Tribune.

Apparently, on www.twitalyzer.com, I am the second “Most Influential” Twitterer in Chicago. Kevin tells me the number one guy is a rapper who was born here but really lives in Atlanta, so they wanted to do a short little story about me and my Twitterage…

I seriously laughed out loud!!

To think that me and my BS that I put out there on Twitter has me ranked that high, on any site, is funny to me. I see others who are here for a real purpose; to market, to promote their business, whatever… Then to see myself ranked above them makes me feel like I don’t really belong there.

Here’s what it does tell me though… I know how hard I try to talk to any person who talks to me. I know I always try to maintain a positive attitude on Twitter. I know I believe in the Golden Rule, especially on Twitter. So, perhaps, that’s why I have this silly ranking. Maybe people like to be treated with kindness whether they have 30,000 followers or 30 followers. Maybe people are like me and just trying to connect with others. Maybe people are, as a whole, good people.

Who knows…

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Twitter Experts…

April 21, 2009

 

It seems like every blog I write lately is about Twitter, but, then again, most of my spare time (and a tad bit of my un-spare time) is spent on Twitter. To prove that point, at the time of this writing I have posted 17,912 Tweets multiplied by say an average of 100 letters per Tweet, that’s pretty close to 1.8 million keystrokes… Ok… I shouldn’t have calculated that out… I don’t think I really wanted to know that…

Anyway…

We are starting a Twitter account for a work project and in the meeting they kept calling me the “Twitter Expert”. It made me feel uncomfortable. Not to upset anyone who has “Twitter Expert” in their bio but, honestly, I don’t think there really is such an animal.

People may be an expert in the way they have chosen to use Twitter but the addictiveness of Twitter is in the fact that each and every one of us can use Twitter anyway we want to. To some, Twitter is strictly business (like me). To others, it’s purely social. And to probably the majority it’s some combination of the two.

The beauty of Twitter is the simple fact that each of us has a choice in how we use it, who we follow, who we don’t follow. So if the beauty of Twitter is in the individual choices we make that custom-fits it to our lives, then how can one person tell another how to use it? At that point it’s more about opinion than anything else.

I have opinions on what I like someone I follow to do and share those quite frequently like “PLEASE stop changing your avatars!!” But if someone hates looking at the same picture on every one of their Tweets and chooses to change, who am I to say that’s wrong? I can choose to unfollow them or live with it.

So, I guess a better way to say it is that we are all Twitter Experts on our way to Twitter. But that’s just my opinion…

 

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Power of the People…

March 30, 2009

I learned the power of Twitter today.

I’m not saying that like I personally discovered it, I mean I felt it today for the first time.

A very good friend of mine was diagnosed in December of 2004 with breast cancer and 9 days later the tumor was removed. She underwent chemo and radiation until September of 2005. And, fortunately has been cancer-free ever since. She has done The Susan G. Komen Walk for 1 mile for 3 years and the 5K run last year and will again this year. I have always tried to help her raise money for these events.

A few simple Tweet’s asking for support for her raised over $1000 in less than 12 hours.

Awe… shock… warmth… You name it, I was overwhelmed with the generosity of the people I follow on Twitter. Made me believe that the spirit of the average human has not been affected by the times, we are still, at heart, just as good, just as noble as we have ever been.

And to see The Power of a network like Twitter in action was truly humbling! Makes me think that, in the end, we will all be fine.

We are, after all, people. And the Power of the People will always prevail