Monday, March 26, 2012

You’re Only Three to Me, Twitter.

Apologies for not being around at your birth, AND for being a few days late for your birthday, but hey, I couldn't be. 

Never worked for Odeo, so, wasn’t around during the “Twittr” days. And wait just a minute! Technically, Twitter hasn't been public for six years (yet). And nope, wasn't there when you went public in July 2006 nor was I there when Twitter “spun off” in April 2007; I’m not a techie!

No Twitter...

... I discovered you in January 2009. Not working at the time and bored off my gourd, I cautiously set up my Twitter account. I was painfully shy, using a photo of a snippet of my favorite coat as my profile pic, using my first name and last name initial, and my tweets were set to private. 

Slowly, I inched forward.

And blundered. Made some mistakes early on such as not using @ when replying. Was scolded by a follower for that and called “mate” by another; that’s what happens when you’re a female with the nickname Gerry.

When Easter rolled around, I thought it would be cute to post a tune by Echo and The Bunnymen. My choice of song apparently wasn’t so adorable to my followers; via an app I discovered that twenty-four people had unfollowed me shortly after that post. Embarrassing? Sure, but it taught me to think harder about how I was presenting myself in a public place.

Being the sort of soul who doesn’t give up easily, I kept at it. Early on, I met some wonderful people who I’m still in contact with today and those relationships have spread to contact via other social networks and/or via phone. There’s a few that despite their living some distance away that I’ve met “in real life” and others I’ve attempted to meet up with but the timing was off. At any rate, it’s a pleasure to meet them all, in-person or virtually.

Three plus years ago it was easy to meet people on Twitter. Now, with the growth of babbling and spam that’s out there, it requires some effort to see through the clutter.
And, the lack of visual with this social network never appealed to me and I still dislike that aspect of it.  

Plus, I’ve never been happy about the fact that tweets are public; just google yourself. They may not be on the first page, but a bunch of tweets will be listed from a few days before. For that reason, I take a lot of conversations private; why let the whole world in on some details about me that I wouldn’t ordinarily spew out in idle conversation?

Those exploratory first few months taught me a lot. During that time I also took a series of classes via internet to learn how to help small businesses with social media and discovered how my marketing background smoothly fit in. Lucky me! While having fun on Twitter I was transitioning my business with expanded services at the same time. 

Those of you who haven’t earned your wings on Twitter yet and want to grow your business: Don’t give up. Work with a professional who can get you where you want to go and advise you on how to incorporate your presence on various social networks in a more strategic way.

If you’re on Twitter for networking, a class is worth your while to get the basics down (something I call the “Rule of 2000” will annoy you when it creeps up, for example).  And, look for meet-ups in your area where you can eventually meet some of your followers.

So Twitter, what’s in store for you and me in the future? For now, our relationship is pretty solid and I plan on spending more time with you. If you inform me about change beforehand and prep me a bit, I’ll respect you. And do continue to be a platform where lasting relationships begin. Thank you, so far.

We’re still surfin’ and the bird IS the word. For a special musical “tweet”, click here.


Shannon Grissom said...

Glad you are here and there Gerry !

Gerry Wendel said...

Thanks Shannon! Sometimes we have to laugh at ourselves; my humble beginnings on Twitter allowed me to do just that. Twitter provides a lot of comic relief for'll see some of that in a future post.