Layout Image

Why It’s Worth Sticking with Twitter

Twitter is a most unmodern of phenomena. It doesn’t work instantly.

To ‘get’ Twitter you need to stick it with while: more than a few days, and quite possibly more than a few weeks.

You might even find yourself leaving it for a while in frustration and coming back to give it one last go (I know that’s how I did it).

To ‘get’ it you need to believe that users aren’t just saying it’s worth persisting as an ‘in’ thing - but because persistence really does pay off. And perhaps just a bit of Twitter tenacity.

I’m sure there are business benefits of being on Twitter and you’ll find plenty of articles on the web as to why, and how.  But for me the real benefit of sticking with Twitter is the people you get to know from spending time there.

You can see some of the people I’ve got to know in the mosaic below:

Mosaic of Twitter Friends

People I’ve got to know through their messages in 140 characters about things they’re working on, worried about, cooking for dinner, planning for their holidays. It might sound inane (yes, until you try it). But in the strangest and most unexpected of ways we start to get to know each other in these micro-blogged messages, 140 characters at a time.

We get to know how people think, and worry, and celebrate, and learn. We learn about senses of humour, and the way a mind works. We learn recipes, and things people enjoy eating, and what the weather is like on the other side of the world. We learn about things that are different, and things that bind us together, across the oceans.

We learn how to make the world smaller, and more human again.

And of course Twitter is not just micro-blogging, but interwoven conversations. Threads of words woven together. Which means getting to know people, over days, and weeks till they become more than just followers, or fans, but friends.

People you care about, and feel proud of, and worried about, and happy for. People who will irritate you, and amuse you, and make you cry. People who will watch out for you, and cheer when things go well, and find the words (yes, even in 140 characters) to help you pick up the pieces when things go awry.

That’s why it takes time to ‘get’.  You’re not just connecting with people you already know: you’re forging new relationships with people you don’t.  That takes time.  It takes patience.

It means making an investment: and then reaping the rewards.

—-

This is a contribution to a group writing project that is being run by my good blogging and Twitter friend @alina_popescu.  The topic is the ROI (return on investment) of investing in relationships through blogging.  I’m bending the rules by writing about microblogging :-)

You’ll find out more including how to take part and the prizes that are on offer at this launch post.

PS if you want to follow me on Twitter you’ll find me @joannapaterson

The Twitter mosaic is created by @walter. You can Get your twitter mosaic here.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]
Share on Twitter

Comments

  1. Recommended reading for writers - February 2009 | Write for Your Life says:

    [...] it. Only a short list, like I say. I’d also like to give an honourable mention to ‘Why it’s worth sticking with Twitter‘ from Confident Writing, which relates nicely to my post on how creative writers can use [...]

  2. WoBM Anniversary Group Writing Project Winners says:

    [...] The second place and prize, a collection of Depeche Mode - The Singles 86-98 in mp3 format, go to Joanna Young for her inspirational piece on microblogging and relationships, Why it’s worth sticking with Twitter. [...]

  3. Results from the Group Writing Project } Group Writing Projects says:

    [...] Joanna Young - Why it’s worth sticking with Twitter [...]

  4. Andrew says:

    Joanna,

    That’s amazing - you certainly have a great number of friends.

    It must be a very powerful platform.

    Andrews last blog post..Ryanair versus Jason Roe: How not to handle a blogging spat

  5. Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    says:

    Andrew, I do, and so many of them feel like just that: friends.

    Definitely worth trying some time…

  6. Jan Scott says:

    I had dumped Twitter as too many of my ‘followers’ were using it in what I considered a crass way, as a ‘bang you over the head’ marketing tool - endlessly banging on about all the benefits they could bring me. I opened a new account (@groovy_granny) and use it very careful - yes, to find out what Wossy et al are up to, but with the ultimate intention of making authentic connections. What you’ve said here, Joanna, really struck a chord for me. Thank you.

    Jan Scotts last blog post..a suitable gift for a boy

  7. Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    says:

    Jan, what I love about Twitter is the way you can keep customising your stream so it gives you what you want (which isn’t likely to be bang over the head marketing!). I have made some extraordinarily wonderful connections there, and I hope you do too. Please keep an eye out for those that I’m chatting to on twitter and feel free to connect up with them too - they are kind, funny, generous, interesting people. I’m sure you’d like them.

  8. creativevoyage says:

    yes ! just a few days ago I got interested in Altered books so searched for it on Twitter and got a great link to forward to a biz assoicate and also added a few more people to my follow list on an interesting topic. I’ve been doing twitter since Dec and have found far more interesting connections and conversations than even blogging. I’m really looking forward to meeting more tweeters in person in the next year.

  9. Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    says:

    Hi :-) I’m the same. I love blogging, but the flow of ideas and conversation on Twitter is something else. Finding people who are interested in similar ideas / values is also, as you say, a real buzz :-)

  10. Rules of the Playground « AmyPalko says:

    [...] Young over at Confident Writing wrote a post recently on why it’s worth sticking with Twitter which generated a huge amount of conversation.  One of the comments left was from Joely Black who [...]

  11. weekly (weekly) | The Web2Marketer says:

    [...] Why It’s Worth Sticking with Twitter | Confident Writing [...]

  12. How Twitter can help you improve, market and publish your creative writing » The Write Network says:

    [...] For those of you who have done a similar thing, try reading Joanna Young’s recent post on why it’s worth sticking with Twitter, over at Confident [...]

  13. uberVU - social comments says:

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by onedr: R @HennArtOnline @northernchick: Why it’s worth sticking with Twitter http://bit.ly/3iOatq via @joannayoung [GOOD TOPIC, THANKS HENIE.]…

  14. Jane C Woods says:

    Good post! I found myself trying to explain twitter to someone yesterday, much along the lines you describe. At first I found it inane and banal and then suddenly it clicked. And now I love it.

    I tend to view as a room full of virtual colleagues (great when you’re working away on your own). Some people I pass the time of day with, some give me good tips, (and hopefully I return the compliment), and some hav ebecome friends. I have even met up with some of my Twitter women in Edinburgh (I’m Bath based) and am giving a talk to Fife Women in Business on the strength of twitter contacts!
    Jane

  15. Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    says:

    Jane, it works on so many levels doesn’t it? But does take a while to ‘click’. It’s always good to find people who’ve stuck with it and are reaping the rewards in the way that you are.

  16. Jean at The Delightful Repast says:

    Joanna, I’m glad someone in my limited Twitter circle retweeted or something and somehow got your tweet on my whatever … Oh my, there I go. I never know how these things all connect up. I’m just a low-tech kind of gal just figuring it all out as I go along. Anyway, I enjoyed reading your posts about Twitter because, obviously, I don’t really understand it! And I’m a bit impatient, keep expecting to wake up in the morning and learn that one of my brilliant posts on my brilliant blog has “gone viral” (whatever that means-I just know that it is supposed to be a good thing). And nothing close to it is happening. Oh well. You have convinced me to stay with it. @delightfulrepas

  17. Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    says:

    Jean let’s just call it digital serendipity ;-) I’m glad you found the post useful… Twitter really is a long term investment… in conversations, relationships, friendships. Much more rewarding than having a post ‘go viral’… never happened to me yet… but a lot of amazing and rewarding things have happened as a result of conversations and foolish everyday 140 characters, shared.

  18. Michael LaRocca says:

    My Twitter experiences feel like opening the window, shouting 140 characters or less, closing the window, and wondering if anybody even noticed. Does that ever change?

  19. Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    says:

    Michael the trick to Twitter is to listen, not broadcast. Tune in to other people’s messages, listen out for something that makes a connection with you, and then respond positively to that conversation. You basically need to be a celebrity to grab someone’s attention just by broadcasting. Hope that helps…

  20. Recommended reading for writers - February 2009 « Write for Your Life says:

    [...] it. Only a short list, like I say. I’d also like to give an honourable mention to ‘Why it’s worth sticking with Twitter‘ from Confident Writing, which relates nicely to my post on how creative writers can use [...]

  21. How Twitter can help you improve, market and publish your creative writing « Write for Your Life says:

    [...] For those of you who have done a similar thing, try reading Joanna Young’s recent post on why it’s worth sticking with Twitter, over at Confident [...]