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Blogging / Social Media

Ummm, What Was the Purpose of Twitter Again?

The Twitterverse is huge. Of course, it isn’t Facebook, and praise God for that. Now, I understand the purpose of facebook, it’s to play Farmville. But what is the purpose of Twitter?

Twitter is a unique being. I can’t say exactly why I love it so much, but I’ve been hooked since day two. Unfortunately, on day one I stared at a blank screen, not knowing what to do. Then I followed my first twitterer, tweep or whatever you call us and I was hooked.

Over the past two years I’ve taken long breaks from Twitter due to computer problems. I don’t use twitter from a smart phone, I do it all from a desktop or when I’m out with my laptop. I have about 300 followers and I follow almost as many. Some might say, “Oh, he doesn’t know much about Twitter. After all, look at the size of his … list of followers. Yeah, it’s small.

Twitter isn’t all about having the most followers. And that’s good. Because if it was, I’d be one great big Twitter failure. I think like many twitterers do, that Twitter is about adding value to others. Some may scoff at that notion. But in a way, Twitter imitates life and life should always be about adding value.

Over my past two years on Twitter I’ve been blessed to do the following:

• Encouraged many people who have shared in tweets their sadness or frustration

• Helped a lady in Amsterdam find her lost passport

• Guided a few people toward job leads

• Along with many others, helped disseminate information that fueled an “almost” revolution in Iran

• Put forth an effort, along with many others (especially @Ziabatsu) to stop a woman from committing suicide in Indonesia.

• Offered good content via tweeted links and re-tweeted links

• Made some friends along the way


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The accomplishments above on Twitter are minor in nature. However, I think those things are what Twitter is about or how it should be used. It’s fun to take part in some of the hilarious or stupid #hashtags, but for me, I want to offer some help when the opportunity arises, some interesting content when I can, and levity anytime it is worthwhile.

How about you? Do you add value to the lives of your followers? Even if all you do is tell dumb jokes on Twitter, you’re adding value to some sad follower of yours. Do what you do best and the value to others will come. Whether that is in real life or in the Twitterverse.

Please leave your comment below because I’d really like to know what you think. Also, please share this post with others or like it on facebook. Any of those things would really provide me with some value.    : )

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Discussion

14 Responses to “Ummm, What Was the Purpose of Twitter Again?”

  1. Brian,
    what can i say? You are absolutely right with every word you say. These are exactly my views and visions of Twitter. Nice to see i’m not the only one who gives a s… about the numbers. :-)

    Posted by Ollie | April 17, 2011, 9:49 am
    • Hi Ollie,

      Yep. Numbers aren’t important. I wouldn’t mind 1000-5000 followers, but conversing with others is the most important thing to me on Twitter.

      Posted by Brian | April 17, 2011, 2:33 pm
  2. I don’t know that I add any value to twitter, but I feel it’s like talking to myself but with the added benefit that someone else might be listening and might respond.

    I probably am more a digester of tweets rather than a producer of anything.

    Posted by Jenna, Michigan | April 18, 2011, 8:12 am
    • Hi Jenna,

      Digest away. Also, adding value could come on either end of a twitter thought. you may see someone who’s having a bad day and do what I do, I send them a post with this video in it. I’ve had lots of people say thank you and admit it made them feel better.

      You may even mention something in a tweet and a very observant person may say, “This person could use some info or link I have.” They’ll then send it to you and you’ll receive the value.

      I think these are the things we can do everyday that just makes life better. Of couse, I also tweet sometimes where I’ve eaten and even that can add value to the restaurant owner. Free publicity, right?

      A friend once said, “You have to count your daily victories, even the small ones.” I say the same about “adding value.” A person, some person, can find value in just about everything.

      Thanks for your comment Jenna.

      Posted by Brian | April 18, 2011, 8:26 am
  3. Hmmm. I guess I’m still learning what Twitter is really about for me. I’ve had my account for almost a year but only started using it regularly this past January, when I launched my blog.

    Twitter’s a great place for connecting with people — and two of my connections are interviewing me about my writing, my newly published novel, and my blogging. Those interviews — and the resulting promotion — wouldn’t have happened without Twitter! So that’s what it does for me.

    As to what I do for my Tweetlings (as I like to call them ; ) — I focus mostly on providing and RTing content for my fellow writers and other Creatives. I went through a period of denying my own creativity, and I know I have followers who are in that place right now. If I can tweet something that helps someone out of that darkness, I feel like I’ve accomplished something and used the medium in the best way I can. : )

    Posted by Courtney Cantrell | April 18, 2011, 3:15 pm
    • Wow Courtney, that’s cool! I love to know the twitter history of my readers. I also like that new term, tweetlings. As for the value you add, I think it’s priceless to be able to help creative people come out of their shells and share their art with others.

      Posted by Brian | April 18, 2011, 3:43 pm
  4. I love this! One of the best posts on Twitter use I’ve ever seen!! Thanks so much for the insight…and the ENCOURAGEMENT to keep up in a medium that I love too!

    Posted by Carrie Wilkerson | April 19, 2011, 2:15 pm
    • Thanks Carrie. I really do love twitter. Been reading lately about how it’s overrated, or in money trouble. Makes me want to help Biz Stone get more people using this wonderful medium. Thanks again for your comment.

      Posted by Brian | April 19, 2011, 2:16 pm
  5. Hey Brian, great words. I also do not have a lot of followers, and I like it that way. I get worried that someday I’ll have too many, and it’ll become too difficult to have real interactions with people there anymore. At that point, Twitter will lose a lot of its value to me.

    The other thing I do use Twitter for is education, both mine and others. I look for things I didn’t know, and I share what I think others might want to know. I’ve read a LOT of good articles and blog posts I found through Twitter (like this one!), and for me there is no value you can place on all that content.

    Thanks again.
    Pat

    Posted by patmrhoads | April 21, 2011, 3:12 am
    • Thanks Pat for your comment. I think Twitter is a great way to learn new things. It’s all about following the right people who have a great deal of education to share. Sometimes it may not even be who you follow who has the education, but they might know who has it, and then they share it via tweets. Great points.

      Posted by Brian | June 15, 2011, 10:01 pm
  6. I still dont get it. Why do i care what people are doing every single minute?

    Posted by Sirk7778 | January 14, 2012, 11:47 pm
  7. Thank you for clarifying some of the uses of Twitter. I’ve gotten hooked on FB and do have a Twitter account, but don’t get it on it very much. Am exploring ways to connect blogging, FB posts, and tweets, so you have definitely added value to my search. Thanks.

    Posted by Ecubed945 | January 16, 2012, 8:05 pm
  8. I think you either get it or you don’t.  You’re the sort of person who will find it useful, or you’re not.

    I’m not the kind of person who wants to discuss my interests with random strangers.  So, I don’t “get” Twitter.  if that’s the sort of thing you like, you probably get it

    Posted by Cave-man | February 21, 2012, 4:02 am

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