Twitter and Me – An Anniversary


Annual review – Permit me an indulgent post!
It’s over a year since I signed up on Twitter.  Some of you may remember what a hopeless and reluctant Twitter debutante I was in my early days.  I  just didn’t get it  – at all.  Imagine I put my tweets through  spell check !   My  struggling process is well documented in my post Cynic to Convert in 10 weeks. I was an almost  total disaster and suspect that  in some areas I’m not much improved.

Twitter  now has a place  in my career transition coaching programme for job seekers and in most cases actually encounters huge resistance. A look of total blankness crosses coachees  faces and  truthfully, very few really seriously engage.  The reasons they don’t see the potential are clear. They are where I was!

Working it out
 Initially, I observed from the sidelines and saw what other people  recommended and what they did. Then very slowly I found what worked for me.   Despite all the bumpf that is written I’m still not that strategic.  Many of the big playing , hard hitters tend not to engage and that’s what I enjoy. So  although they might have a gazillion followers  and a  systematic, automatic information feed,   that is very reminiscent  of those  ” too kool for skool”  high school cliques.  If you’re not interested ,  somewhat surprisingly that actually doesn’t interest me   …..except for CNN, the Economist and President Obama,  of course.

I eventually learned to let some of the more extreme positions and outrageous views slide by without even the slightest raising  of a pulse or eyebrow. Particularly in my field in 2009 during  the worst global  recession  in recent times,  it seemed that every man, woman and dog  had a view to share on how to write a CV or get a job. Some of it was excellent,  but  some was so far off the mark to be undistinguishable from Pythonesque fantasy. Now I no longer care. If they want to advise job seekers to write a 4 page CV…  in pink,   telling everyone what their career objectives are –  go right ahead,  My ” Bothered in Brussels ” days are over. 

Eventually, I began to get the hang of it, so that it is now part of the fabric of my daily life.  I read about people trying to detox.  Are they kidding ?  Really there is no 12 step programme that would interest me.

So what are the benefits for me? I’m not going to name names for fear of leaving someone out. You  all know who you are!  Well you should!

  •  Global connections : I have connected with people  globally whose paths  I would never have crossed   – ever , in the normal course of my daily life  – professional or personal. Their stories, skills, areas of expertise , energy and willingness to share have been humbling and informative.
  •  Community : These on-line connections  have become actual connections and in a strange way, perhaps as early adopters/adapters I find they understand  more about what I do ,  than my immediate circle  of  friends and family. I have a whole new range of mentors, sounding boards, muses,  professional contacts and people who are just fun to be around.
  • Embracing change: Early adapters don’t care about taking risks, they don’t need to understand everything they do or fully compute the consequences. They just do it. They write blogs, produce You Tube videos,  create radio shows,  host webinars. The energy is fantastic. Do people off Twitter do this? Of course , I’m sure they do – but I don’t know them.
  • Information:  I stand  by what I originally said  that it’s the sharing of distilled information that is hugely beneficial. I don’t want to be too effusive about the time they save me in case they send me a bill. How do I know they’re picking out the right stuff? I just do!   
  • Intellectual stimulation:  there is something very stimulating about being part of  group of people who feel comfortable  with what they don’t know and are not intimdiated by it. It is a black hole learning experience and  not only are we all in it – but we all enjoy it.  
  • It’s democratic: there are no barriers to entry and I might exchange  communication with world renown biz gurus, philosophers, philanthropists,  successful authors, olympic athletes, stay at home Mums, coaches, recruiters , surfer dudes,  antiopodean gardeners or teenage insomniacs –  plus any number of categories I haven’t mentioned.   
  • Content counts: what is good is recognised and shared. Credit is given where it’s due. Plagiarism is outlawed.
  • There is a code of conduct:  poor behaviour is unacceptable and dealt with pretty summarily.  
  • The speed: of the  passage of information is phenomenal. I am frequently asked how I know about something so quickly or early and it quite often via Twitter. It is a powerful  global communication tool not to be under estimated. News channels and their anchor people now refer regularly to their Twitter accounts.  
  • It is affirmative:  feedback is always constructive and positive contributions are generously endorsed.
  • Business  – of course. Everyone’s visibility is raised.

The future?

So where will it all lead to? I’m not sure if  it’s a coincidence that the massive increase in the popularity of Twitter ( which has now stabilised)  occurred during a major recession. Did people have more time? Did they feel the need to try something new?   Did they feel the need to reach out? The answer is I don’t know, but it will be interesting to see as economic activities level out whether  people will engage to the same extent and what the next 12 months hold! Will I still have to defend my Twitter presence at dinner parties in  2011?

Only one way to find out!  See you next year!

But what about you?

27 thoughts on “Twitter and Me – An Anniversary

  1. Mary Wilson

    Dorothy, I love this post. You have captured perfectly my own thoughts and feelings about Twitter’s benefits. I, too, have made connections and learned things that would have happened no other way. I have also encountered the resistance you describe. Twitter is an amazing community that has offered support and advice to me during one of the worst years of my life. I don’t want to detox either.

  2. Jackie Cameron

    Thanks for sharing your story Dorothy and congratulations on your anniversary.I am still asked why I use twitter – often after the person I am speaking to tells me that they think it is either a lot of nonsense or a drain on time. When I tell stories about how it has impacted on my business reach and relationships the conversation usually shifts 🙂
    And my personal learning has increased dramatically. Something new most days.
    But best of all for me is the chat…like this!

  3. Roberta Hill

    I have no idea what the future of Twitter holds but I know that I have learned a lot from many tweets and links. I have met new and wonderful people. Old friends have been reestablished. There are times when I could have spent the time more productively.

    Who cares how Twitter evolves or if it is replaced with a new trend. It is a wonderful journey so far and surpassed my initial expectations.

  4. Susan Mazza

    For me the best part of twitter has been not just tweeting with but getting chance to get to know people from around the world with whom I never would have had the opportunity to encounter, engage with and learn from.

    People like you Dorothy, who have enriched my life with your wisdom and friendship, make what twitter has been for me priceless and where it goes from here an adventure I look forward to.

    1. Dorothy Dalton

      Thanks Susan – there are just too many people who have crossed my path in the last year or so who have added value to my life both professional and personal to mention by name. But I feel sure you and I would never have gotten to know each other without Twitter- so great benefit! Will continue to enjoy the contact during the next year!

  5. Richard Johnson

    Hi Dorothy
    May I say that it has been a pleasure to make your acquaintance? I have learned a great deal from reading your Tweets (yet so much still to learn for me!) Your recommendations for people to follow are a great source of networking also.
    Keep the energy flowing.:-)
    Kindest regards and wishing you a successful year 2010 on Twitter

  6. Michelle

    Thank you so much for posting Dorothy! I still feel like there is so much I need to learn about Twitter World but one one thing I do know about it is this…it’s brought happiness into my daily life! I too get made fun of by my friends and family that just don’t get Twitter but that’s OK. I also started my own biz and they still don’t quite get that or me for that matter! But the friends I have made through Twitter do get me and show me support on a non-bias playing field. I don’t know what I would do w/out the tweets that get me through the day sometimes. So here’s to Twitter and what it brings to each one of us!

  7. Lolly Daskal

    Meeting you- Dorothy- on twitter has been the best of what Twitter has to offer. You are grace, smart, kindness, and brilliance that shines bright among the many I follow. You stand out. You have enriched my life. You have shared your wisdom, friendship and relentless support. and for that I am grateful.

    The next best thing to seeing you on Twitter -would be to meet you in person. This will happen one day. Because that is my intention. Until then.. I will continue to look forward to your stream every day. And I will continue to read and follow all that you have to share and say. Why? Because in my life you make a difference and in my life you matter.

    1. Dorothy Dalton

      Lolly thanks for lovely anniversary greeting! It has been my pleasure to cross your path and I feel sure that wouldn’t have happened without Twitter! Looking forward to meeting you and another year on-line!

  8. Kat Tansey

    Dorothy — love this post! As a lifelong early adapter and one who has spent many years helping organizations and people embrace change (implementing new technology, systems, corporate initiatives), I have a lot of empathy for those who struggle with “embracing change.”

    Watching people scratch their heads about twitter during this past year has been fascinating — and I love personal stories of how each of us were both fascinated and repulsed by this strange new world.

    Thanks for sharing your inner battles with this, if we were to step back and look at it, rather odd phenomena. Your comment about some “experts” advice about CV’s as being “undistinguishable from Pythonesque fantasy” made me laugh. The same phrase could be applied to Twitter — think Monty Python would have done a bang up job with this one:) Instead of imaginary rabbits, we have people as Tweeps…. And the Grail is what, the largest number of followers?

    Got to love it — this is the stuff that life is made of:)

    1. Dorothy Dalton

      Thanks Kat – yes Monty Python could have had great fun with Twitter! Someone will one day I’m sure do something on it. The world is interesting and it has certainly been made smaller for me anyway via this platform. Thanks for your comment.

  9. Monica Diaz

    Was just talking to a good friend that doesn’t “get it” yet and is still reading guides and planning how to use it…I tell her: jump in, the water’s fine! But I guess I will send her this post instead 😉 Who knows? It might do the trick!

    1. Dorothy Dalton

      Hi Monica – I have the same experience all the time possibly because people are surprised that I am an advocate ( not a high tech IT type) or perhaps because of their own concerns about trying something unfamiliar. As you say – nothing bad can happen provided certain common sense rules are applied. Exactly the same as in actual networking.

      Would you and I be interacting in this way without Twitter as link – I doubt it! But just happy that we are! Thank you! It’s a pleasure!

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