Friday, May 29, 2009


It is virtually impossible to listen to a television program or read the paper without some reference being made about Twitter. As a user of Twitter, I have gone through many stages with my reaction to this social media. Notice I said social media –no longer are we calling Twitter, Facebook LinkedIn and various other forms of online communication social networking.

1. Stage One

• I had no idea how to jump in and say something. I watched people posting links on all kinds of subjects and couldn’t imagine where they got them.
• I worried that what I wasn’t “smart” enough to write something clever.
• I was mortified when I sent out a 140-stroke tweet (that is all the keystrokes you have available so you have to learn to remove the fluff) with a typo.

2. Stage Two

• I started going to the links that were in some of the tweets. Wow, interesting stuff.
• I was hooked on going to the links and found myself spending way too much time exploring the web. I ended up controlling my time by looking at in the morning while I have my morning coffee. Look again over the lunch hour and finally, in the evening right after dinner.

Word of caution here if you are in the West Coast. If you do not want to learn the outcome of a sports event, Dancing with the Stars, winner of Spelling Bee do not go on the in the evening. You’ll learn the winner from tweets you read.

3. Stage Three

• I realized that I had great links to share. I just started using the links from newsletters and blogs that I had been getting all along. I had signed up for the newsletter and blog updates because I had found them interesting.
• I realized that when I found a link that had been posted by someone it was great to RT (ReTweet – send it out again with the sender names attached)

4. Stage Four (Where I am now)

• Saw on the news that a reporter had gotten information on Portland, Oregon by asking on Twitter for favorite inexpensive restaurants in Portland before he came. He visited, used the Tweeps (word for people who use Twitter). A one-half page article ended up in the New York Times – “Frugal Portland”. Word is that those restaurants’ businesses are flourishing.
• I was heading to Long Beach, Washington. Mentioned it in a tweet and the next thing I know I am connecting with a woman there. While at the beach, we tweeted with each other and arranged to meet. A terrific conversation occurred and we are now in touch on a regular basis.
• Learned it “Doesn’t Hurt to Ask” ….Plan to use this approach when I visit new areas to find great places to eat or see…and, perhaps connect with a person.

I am long way from being in a position of being called an expert on social media, but in order to keep up with the world, it is necessary for me to understand these communication tools. I urge you to put your toe into the social media world…and just relax and see what you can learn.


Check the activities in your suburban newspapers. Great networking events can be found there. Bet you will start understanding networking can be fun if you go to them. Take your contact cards (formerly called business cards) with you.

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