Viva la Revolution!
Granted, Twitter is noisy, overwhelming, confusing, and difficult to step into. It’s also incredibly vital, and potentially bottomless. I’m still experiencing regular epiphanies about business, collaboration, art and humanness. Half the fun is that I’m doing it together with others. It’s the biggest team effort I’ve ever seen.
Without further ado, here are the six:
1. …is fast
Twitter communities had spread the US Airways Hudson River story an hour before most of the news channels (Wall Street Journal sent out an alert within 25 minutes—good for them), and smart reporters knew to tap Twitter for sources, finding witnesses and the first photo (shot by an iPhone from a rescue ferry).
Some call it Citizen Journalism. I call it Communication Freedom.
2. …is uncensorable
Something that fast is virtually uncensorable. Unless I am one day caught with my hand in some political cookie jar, I’m going to continue to like it that way. This is a good time to re-watch Johnny Mnemonic (just fast-forward past the goofy Keanu Reeves monologue).
Another perspective: Sure, Big Media is slanted. So are you. Now all our slants have equal voice.
3. …is a “now” medium
There is no “catch up” or “make up” or “keep up”. In the twenty-first century and in Twitter, there is only now. You’ve got to sleep sometime, and you’re going to miss stuff. Read back a little, but as Mack Collier reminded me when I panicked over following 70 Twitterers (to date, he’s following 1,833), “I never try to go back and read missed tweets, there’s just no way to catch up.”
This is a good thing, because it keeps your attention focused forward (this is also probably a good place to recommend TweetDeck again).
4. …is super malleable
Like the rest of the web, Twitter is what you make it. It’s not done being born, and probably (hopefully) never will be.
People ask, “What do you do with Twitter?” Now that I’m a whole month old, I’d day: Start by listening. Complete your profile, then find people you want to listen to, and follow them. What you do next is up to you.
5. …invites new ways of thinking
If you think like you’ve always thought, the benefits of a this untethered tool will be limited. If you try out new perspectives, the benefits will most certainly expand. Find inspiration from your regular sources, try my recommended Five Favorite Follows on Twitter (another five coming soon). I also highly recommend hanging out with a child or teen for a bit.
6. …invites new ways of relating
I’m not really sure what this means yet. I just know I’m listening differently, sharing thoughts differently—sometimes with people I never expected to engage. I’m not a particularly public person, so I’m having to come to terms with the harrowing transparency of this and other social media tools. Still, I love finding people who post inspired, sparkly thoughts, and I love when they expand on one of mine. I guess you could say it’s about learning to participate in an ever-larger conversation.
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