Culture Movements

Why Twitter Works For Me

I confess I began Twittering one month ago as a skeptic. My felt need for more info about more people doing more stuff was pretty low. But, as I mentioned here, I decided to give it a try for 30 days. I’m glad I did. Here are five reasons why:

1. I learn a lot, very quickly, from good tweeters. Several @johnpiper tweets have provoked questions that resonated all day long. My brother-in-law @garunn posts very insightful links. There is more actual value per tweet than I find in most emails or in Facebook. Good tweeters engage others using @angelamaiers’ 70-20-10 rule.

2. It’s manageable. The ease of this surprised me. I can turn off the faucet of information whenever I want. Also, I use TweetDeck which makes it super easy to scan, filter, save and reply to tweets. I like that I can update my Facebook status without being at the computer. Oddly enough, life feels a bit more integrated. @stephnannen recently posted her fellow skeptic’s insights on her excellent blog. If you’re drowning in tweets, see 10 Tips For Managing Twitter As Your Usage Increases.

3. It’s customizable. You can choose to receive text updates from everyone, no one, or just two people (as I’ve chosen to do).

4. It inspires good writing. Seriously. To communicate something of value in only 140 characters is a mix of art and science. Clear writing is a sign of clear thinking.

5. Friends help me solve problems. Case in point: After 12 years with the Palm OS (currently on a Treo) I’ve been trying to decide on moving to a new smartphone platform. But which one would best suit my needs? I researched the blogs, watched the ads, and Googled the reviews. It’s a big investment in my time, energy and money to make a move. I estimate I spent 10-15 hours on this decision over the past few weeks.

Enter Twitter.

Yesterday I sent the following tweet from my phone (which automatically posted to FB) at 10:10 a.m.:

pondering switching from Treo to Pre or iphone. Since i live in outlook, my device *must* sync tasks & notes. what device drives you & why?

By 11:10 a.m. I had received more than a dozen substantial, informative responses (both in Facebook and in Tweetdeck). The best info came from @travistodd who is 10,000 miles away in Asia.

By dinner time I had enough relevant info based on personal user experiences of trusted friends to make an informed decision with confidence. (I’m going with the iPhone.)

These days it takes a Tribe.

By Ken

Dr. Ken Cochrum (DMin, Bethel University) is Vice President of Global Digital Strategies at Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ) in Orlando, Florida. An avid cyclist and aspiring guitarist, he also holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering from The University of Texas and a Masters of Arts in Biblical Studies from Dallas Theological Seminary. He recently co-founded, a movement passionate about connecting people to Jesus using digital strategies. He previously served as vice president of Cru’s student-led movements worldwide. He and his wife Ann spent 13 years in East Asia where they raised their two children. Ken blogs regularly at

5 replies on “Why Twitter Works For Me”

Hey dad – going with the iPhone? What happened to the Pre being the “iPhone killer”? 😛 I like your insights on Twitter though.

ken it’s really helped people catch the vision for it when talking about the relationships we have in terms of 4 levels, 1 being those closest and 4 being those farthest.

twitter is excellent for levels 1 & 3, but not so great for 2 & 4. It’s fun to talk with those on my team or close friends, as well as build relationships with those i’m just starting to get to know.

this partly answers the ‘who in my life am i supposed to use this thing with’ question.

I am so glad to hear that Twitter is working for you. Many don’t give this powerful medium a chance. Engaging with purpose and intention is the key! Things will only get better as the connections continue to grow. Twitter is my number one source for inspiration, resources, and learning!

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