Tweet-bate ’08

Nope, this post has nothing to do with the elections – THANK GOODNESS!

But it is related to a tool that each Democratic candidates is using extensively in their campaigns – and that’s Twitter.

A few days ago, I posted a question to my Plaxo Pulse contacts, asking what they thought about Twitter, and if they were using it, what kind of results were they getting.

Personally, I’ve used Twitter extensively since giving it a second look about 8 weeks ago. I use it daily for a total of about 30 minutes.

During these sessions I’ve been able to stay in contact with my Tweeple and share resources with them. I’ve met four Joint Venture partners. Found a few “bloggers for hire” candidates for one of my clients.

Just as important, I’m continually building a closer relationship with the Tweeple I’m in contact with. There are times when we get into direct conversations with each other about non-business matters, such as things to do in Australia, what takes place on an African Safari, where we’re going on vacation, movies we’ve seen, discussing our pets… you know, the same kind of conversations you may have at the proverbial water cooler at work. 😉

What follows is a large portion of the conversation that took place between several Plaxo members detabting the value of Twitter, how they’re using it and what kind of results they’re seeing.

I hope you find this to be valuable to you and maybe, it’ll open up some possibilities for you in your use of Twitter.

By the way – here’s my Twitter URL: http://www.twitter.com/jlturn

Join in on my daily updates.

Cheers!

~Jim

********** Start of Tweet-bate ’08 **********************

Yes I have started to use twitter recently and I have to say that professional people that visit http://www.marzar.com from my twitter profile http://www.twitter.com/johnhorsley tend to sign up to the site so I am sticking with it as a form of promotion.
I have just got http://www.twitter.com/marzar the guys at twitter were great and gave me an account that was registered used once and then had not been used for a year.
The plan is to announce releases and updates to the Marzar platform through this channel to keep members up to date with the latest developments to the platform and to the business.

John Horsley

Jim, I’ve been using Twitter for more than a year, and have to say that it is one of the best networking tools in “social media”. Whether it’s getting answers to questions, or communicating with a team, Twitter is a scalable tool that has worked well for me. Especially in the last couple months.
Rick Mahn
http://twitter.com/rickmahn

I have found immense personal and professional value in Twitter. I have developed a broad and diverse network which I interact with daily. There are not many tools that allow you to have active conversations with several hundred people in a day. In getting to know people (their anniversaries, birthdays, their meal preferences) I find that I’m able to not only connect but bond. I have also been fortunate to be able to connect people via Twitter and open up business opportunities for them.

Karen Swim
http://twitter.com/karenswim

So far, I haven’t used Twitter for business. When my book is published, Twitter will be one of the tools I use for publicizing it. I’m leaning from you, Jim!

Diana Lindstrom

Hey Jim
I haven’t had much luck yet in driving people to my site from Twitter, but I think there’s a lot to be said about the number of “targeted” people you have following you. I also have put a lot of effort into exploring new Twitter Strategies and haven’t used Twhirl Hardly at all because of some hardware issues..I think once I have more presence in Twitter and Begin using Twitter Feed, Tweeter, and Twhirl more strategically that I will have better results…Any Feedback on the best way to attract more followers or key words/copywriting that have worked to drive people to you blog/site??

Warren Daly
http://www.twiter.com/WarrenDaly

I periodically will share links to my blog but do not make a daily practice. I am more apt to share the links from other blogs or sites and will retweet links that I have received. Some people share all new post links and I don’t find it intrusive but just haven’t adopted that strategy for myself. Any thoughts on that?

Karen Swim

Hi folks, personally Twitter is mostly a relationship building tool for me. I have grown my network because of Twitter, but it’s the relationships that have developed in the expanded network that is of greatest value. I share links to interesting finds on the ‘net and of new posts on my blog. But I won’t use Twitter as part of traffic generation scheme – the trust relationships I have on Twitter are too valuable for that purpose.

Rick Mahn

http://twitter.com/rickmahn

Jim,
I guess I’ll have to take a look at the site, truthfully between Plaxo – LinkedIn and Marzar, I just didn’t see the need for another established networking platform.
But with the information provided by all of the correspondent’s, and its value added proposition to each I would gather it’s well worth a second look.
Thanks and my best regards, Vernon C./Vpc1

I thought twitter sounded inane. Then someone talked me into trying it.
Now I use it to connect and build relationships, get ideas for the Responsible Marketing Blog (http://responsiblemarketing.com) and share my blog posts.
It’s nothing like LinkedIn, Plaxo or Facebook. It’s a microblogging tool.
Give it a few weeks. At first you kind of sit there and say, “now what?”
When you upload your address book, you’ll probably find a handful of people you already know that are twittering. Ask them to introduce you to their contacts. That helps get things rolling.

Happy marketing.
Patrick Byers
Connect with me:

http://twitter.com/patrickbyers
http://responsiblemarketing.com/connect

Personally I’m trying to “turn down the noise” in my life and, for me, I suspect Twitter would just add another stream of distracting chatter. I think the MAJOR challenge of the 21st century is going to be finding peace and calm in the midst of the hurricane of e-mails, blogs, photo streams, twitters (whatever you call them). Quantity has never meant quality and we are now in a world where generating masses of (alleged) information has almost become too easy?

David Dingley

David,
I disagree. This hurricane of content is only a good thing as the general population can communicate across oceans within seconds. Quantity yields quality when properly organized, which is part of Twitter’s goal.
http://twitter.com/spazcer

Don’t get me wrong, the internet and its predecessors are, on the whole, a good thing for precisely the reason you state. But that does NOT mean that ALL the communication it carries, or even a small % of it, has much merit. I’ve looked at a number of “twitter streams” or whatever is the appropriate term. If they represent either “quality” or “organized” I’m the Queen of Sheba. They seem, to me, about the nearest thing we have yet produced to the hypothetical attempt to produce Shakespeare by providing a large number of monkeys with typewriters (OK, PCs in today’s terms).

However, I agree with David Drucker’s observation about how tools that enable a “group mind” can be very powerful when used by an audience who have a lot in common. But not a new idea…. I can think of implementations of SW that did that 30+ years ago.

David Dingley

Jim – why would I want to try it at all? What is the merit to anyone in seeing a stream of my (or anyone’s) thoughts, comments and actions? I’ve looked at your link and John Horsley’s and, really not meaning to offend either of you, but I cannot image who wants to know any of that!

As I said, as a tool for a likeminded group to discuss something, it undoubtedly works – just as forums, bulletin boards, e-mail and lots of other things did and do. Since IM can store conversations and hold messages sent when offline – that also works OK for this sort of thing.

That one can now take part from a mobile phone is cute and amusing, perhaps even useful to some (but this is true of e-mail, browsing and IM too), but not in itself relevant to the underlying question – why on earth does one want to DO this?
It seems to me to be part of a trend for people to “put themselves out there”, exhibiting more and more of their personal existence very publicly. It is understandable that those enthusiastic about this find it hard to understand that others may see this behavior as odd or unnecessary.

Happy for you to quote me – and to add that my views on blogs are very similar! No Twitter link available – for obvious reasons!

David Dingley

David,

The amount of merit someone’s twitter account carries is directly related to how you plan on using it. What you see as worthless information, someone else might find useful informative or insightful.
The only thing i can agree on with you is that the internet is loaded with spam, however, if you know how to filter it to maximize YOUR experience, then the spam doesn’t even matter.
If you haven’t already, look into RSS and some of the RSS aggregators out there (Like google reader). These tools help organize feeds throughout the internet. Also, one persons twitter account isn’t going to have much merit to it. It’s the multiple accounts working together that creates something powerful and useful.
If it still isn’t making sense, send me a message and ill do an adobe connect so you can see exactly how it separates itself from other methods of communication by showing you how i interact with my account.

Jon Bishop

Jon, I already use RSS and, having done so, have pruned back significantly on the things I follow. My struggle is not with the tools. Tools are neutral, neither good nor bad, and just depend on how they are used (a scalpel can save life or kill). Nor is my problem with the merit and relevance of SOME of the content, however delivered. My problem is with the idea that because “content” can be created easily by anyone AND that because lots of people do it THEREFORE the overall result must have value. I don’t believe that follows at all. Ease of creation and propagation has no effect on the quality of thinking or writing that generated the content. Back to the monkeys and Shakespeare!

David Dingley

Nonetheless, Twitter is a hard tool to understand without trying it. I’m positive you would make friends on there with interesting things to say. People do exist that put a lot of thought into their “quality of thinking or writing”. If you ‘followed’ only these people on Twitter, then your twitter friend stream would be 100% value.

Jon Bishop

Hi Jim, happy to be quoted and thanks for asking in advance. David, I respect your opinion. Twitter is not for everyone, just as there is no tool that can claim to be right for everyone. We’ve always had “noise” and we as individuals have to apply the filters appropriate to our lives and preferences. We all have to find that balance that suits us.

Karen Swim

To quote…. “Twitter is a service for friends, family, and co–workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?”
To which my response is “who cares?” and “why does this matter?” For me a tool that knowingly sets out to contribute to the “noise” in life is inherently a bad thing. That is can be used in other ways is a redeeming feature, but not enough to actually make it valuable.
Twitter – “Why? Because even basic updates are meaningful (!!!!!) to family members, friends, or colleagues—especially when they’re timely.
* Eating soup? Research shows that moms want to know. << so feed their fretting !!!
* Running late to a meeting? Your co–workers might find that useful. << the device for fixing this is called THE PHONE
* Partying? Your friends may want to join you. <<< see previous point
To quote again…”Twitter puts you in control and becomes a modern antidote to information overload.” !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! More like the “modern tool for creating information overload”
(It does say in my LinkeIn profile that my enthusiasm for technology is tempered with skepticism! ;-))

David Dingley

When the phone was invented and I was running late or having a party would you have said to send out a letter? Twitter is only improving upon already effective communication methods. Rather than calling all of my friends about the party I can ‘Tweet’ it and all is done. When I’m having a problem programming something I can just Tweet the problem and get an instant response rather than wait for one of my IT friends to free up their schedules or post on a forum and have to wait. Its instant gratification.
All of those analogies you used suggested you would be ‘following’ someone who is posting that type of content. I would suggest following people posting quality content instead.
(It doesn’t say it in mine, but challenging the skeptics is the first step to really believing in what you do ))

Jon Bishop

David and Jon, great lively discussion! David, I have to agree with Jon that Twitter like anything (email, phone, etc) is entirely controlled by the user. I can use my phone only to make business calls or I can chatter away about meaningless topics. I have found Twitter useful for forming relationships with professionals in and outside of my industry, gaining inside information about topics that are of interest or important to me, found fast answers to professional and technical questions, connected other professionals and friendship. For the record, I have no friends or family members on Twitter. In the past two weeks I have made 7 business connections which would not have happened without Twitter. Twitter may describe their tool as “what are you doing now,” but users have driven the evolution of it. I’m not suggesting that you join but just wanted to point out that it may not be what you envision.

Karen Swim

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