Twitter reflections and insights have been the air. Chris Brogan's post says, "Twitter has changed my life." I might also say that Chris's life changing experience on Twitter has had a ripple effect on two young Cambodian college students, Leng Sopharath and Champerom. Chris and 81 people (several who are mentioned below) helped send these two young people to college with Twitter.
Last night, Pistachio was on Jonny's Par-Tay show and shared some amazing insights about Twitter. This morning, I noticed pointers to two excellent posts about Twitter one from Kevin Gamble and the other from Chris Brogan.
Kevin wrote a reaction to this post on ZDnet "Twitter is Dangerous" where Michael Krigsman makes this point:
Twitter is rapidly becoming a serious threat to corporate information protection. The program’s great strength — many-to-many messaging — becomes its great weakness in this context.
Kevin's solution is to have the 700,000 user community revert back to the early adopter days, suggesting that people who had an account before Dec. 2006 should be allowed to stay.
Chris Brogan has an excellent post called "Twitter Revisited." He gives us the pros/cons of Twitter, pointing out when it isn't the right tool. He goes on to give us some great tips and additional resources.
Here are his tips:
- If you want to promote your blog or podcast, at least try to do it conversationally. Ask people what they think about global warming as it applies to methane release on farms, and share the link. Don’t just blurt out your podcast url.
- If you want to follow a specific space, consider finding the right people twittering about that space, and building a blended RSS feed in Yahoo Pipes, and adding that to your RSS reader, instead of using the Twitter interface itself. Why build a persona and add people if you’re just using Twitter to scrape data?
- If you want to build real friends in Twitter, pay attention to who uses lots of @ replies, and see how they interact with others. Some folks use Twitter like a bullhorn, and others use it like a walkie-talkie.
- If you want to use Twitter to meet new business colleagues, do what you’d do in other social media spaces: learn more about the person. Follow their links. Read their blogs. Get to know them. Don’t just pounce all over them. It’s easy to unfollow people in this space.
- Try this. Instead of answering “what are you doing?,” try answering “What has your attention?” I find the answer is often more useful to others.
- Do your best to promote other people on Twitter, instead of talking only about you and your things. If you find the good stuff, share the good stuff.
I am going to add on to Chris's list of tips:
- It's important to listen. But you have choices of how deeply you want to listen. You can submerge yourself and dip or something in between. There are lots of different applications and tools that you can you to facilitate your listening style, although as Jeremiah Owyang notes true useful business tools haven’t really emerged, but it’s only year one.
- Chris says it better in his last point above, don't use Twitter as a shameless self-promotion tool all the time. Sharing is important. I need to do a better job of this, I'm putting this on my New Year's resolution list.
I also want to flag a recent post by Marshall Kirkpatrick about Tweeterboard, a sort of Technorati-like influence tracker for Twitter. Marshall points over an analysis by Jeremiah Owyang and Monkchips. As Jeremiah points out, "Why is understanding who talks to me and vice versa important? Because you can see who influences me, and who I influence." We are seeing more tools to get at that metric of influence and here is an emerging one for twitter influence.
As Chris writes in his valuable piece, Twitter isn't for everyone. I might also say it isn't for all nonprofits. If we were to make a list called "The Six Signs Twitter Isn't For Your Nonprofit," what would be on that list? I'll throw one out:
- You think Twitter is a bull horn and is a great way to broadcast campaign messaging from a Twitter account that is branded with your logo.
Okay, I admit it. I love Twitter too much. Those of you who work in the nonprofit space, when would you counsel a client NOT to use it?