That is the title, I am sticking to it, but I do not really like it. The title should be “Who I have discovered because of Twitter”. A slight bit of ‘who I am’ might be in order, to make my point. I tend to take a more pragmatic, with a dash of logic, approach to most things. Even my kids are acutely aware of this point… Recently, my oldest (18) noted to the youngest (9), during a father daughter ‘conversation’: “Watch out Emma, dad just went logical on you, you have no chance”.
Twitter is anything but logical or pragmatic, defining exactly what it is depends upon who you are and what you do. Many have noted that personal acceptance of Twitter (as useful) may take a while, and may be a little steep (and you may not get there). Considering the value I place on my time (work life balance and all that), I look back and I am a little surprised I made it through…
Since Venessa Miemis started the trend topic, I figured I would quote her, to start (a Tweet): “imagine twitter as the collective ideas & knowledge of everyone on planet. trick is to build ur network so u can access it” So, with that as my backdrop, I prefer to talk about ‘Who’, not ‘What’, there is a chance that ‘How’ will enter the conversation as well. The members of the network have had a greater impact on how I use the application. It is possible that an interesting outcome might be what I have discovered, but that is for you to decide.
The list (of who) is not huge, but the broad spectrum (background, location, interests) of cool people is impressive. The type and level of engagement runs from people I already knew, but I learned a whole lot of new stuff about them, to people I had never met, and I doubt I would have! I have been fortunate enough to turn 140 characters into dinners, drinks, social breakfasts, blogs, comments, business, questions, answers, collaboration. It sounds a bit like community, as @ekolsky notes in his post
Twitter is a community. Shocking, I know. There are no forums or ideas or structure (well, you could try hashtags — it worked very well for the #SCRM Accidental Community), but it is a community. I wrote about this a couple of times. The main difference, and the great part about it, is that each person gets to build and mold their own community
From a geographic perspective, I have met dozens of people who live in my own backyard (Burlington, VT) to regions far an wide. I have been lucky enough to begin collaboration projects with great minds from Virginia to California, and London to Bangalore (noting Amsterdam and Paris fit in there somehow). Which by the way, leads me to my favorite Twitter description, Mark Tamis @MarkTamis – A “Parisian Dutchman with Enterprise 2.0 and BPM background. Management Facilitator. Excited by potential of Social CRM as an organisational change agent!”
To further help the point hit home, I was hit by a little bit of writers block, and noted to Esteban last evening (through Skype, the next ‘what have you discovered’ post) “I promised myself I was no longer going to write about Twitter”. I went on further and said, “I am unhappy with what I have written. I may or may not post on the topic – I am going to stick to Social CRM” – Yep, an excuse. Unable to get a good nights sleep, I awoke to find that both Esteban and Wim Rampen (@wimrampen) – one of the great minds who I have been lucky enough to become friends and learn a great deal from – wrote his post (excellent Wim) earlier than me there are points which warrant repeating here, no need to reinvent the wheel.
..it has been Social Networking in the fourth dimension. It has brought me new friends, connections, thoughts, insights and ideas in a pace I could not have thought possible as little as one year ago.
You could say that I cheated a bit and borrowed from some like minded folks who, by virtue of living 5 or 6 timezones earlier allowed me the luxury of taking a peek at what they wrote first. Uh er, wait, Esteban live 3 timezones behind me, oh well, he does not sleep anyway. Based on some other types of interactions, I may put a motion on the table to rename the “Accidental Community” to the “Sleepless Community”. But, I digress… The key point is that Twitter has allowed me to expand my horizons, learn, collaborate and engage. Is that a ‘What’ or a ‘Who’ I guess I am not really sure.
I feel a bit guilty in not sharing more specifics on the many many folks who have influenced my thinking as of late. I suppose the list is longer than I thought, a good thing.
Have a Twitter story to share? Please do so on our own blog or in the comments . Don’t forget to tweet the link and tag it #MonTwit