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.
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.