I spent part of the evening on Saturday trying to explain Twitter to a non-Twitter user at dinner. It’s like trying to explain different colours.
It’s useful, though, once in a while to try to explain something that you do regularly to someone who has no knowledge, as it really helps to make you understand how you do things.
What I learned from my conversation about Jonty:
- Serendipity is an important “feature” of Twitter for me; I don’t try to read everything posted by everyone I follow, as it’s a recipe for madness. I check periodically to see what’s happening, contribute myself every so often, and don’t worry when I’m not looking.
- That compares with my use of email these days where I also don’t try to read everything I receive (again, madness that way lies). However, there are undoubtedly people for whom I do keep an eye out (bosses, for example) and do read.
- Twitter also forms a useful source of news for me accessed via Flipboard.
- I find out most of my news these days first hand via social media – although the news of Thatcher’s death was the exception, but only because I happened to see it on a TV running Sky News in our London office reception area.
- I do business by Twitter; it’s a really interesting medium for making connections because it doesn’t rely on mutual knowledge from the “real” world in the way that Facebook and LinkedIn do (in at least the way I use them). Only this morning I picked up a speaking engagement via Twitter (morning Matt in Bournemouth, by the way).
- Twitter has different “modes” in the way I use it; notably, providing back channel for conversation at events (and extending events in real time outside of the conference hall).
- I also use it as a publicising channel to notify folk about blog posts and so on.
- And as a messaging platform 1-2-1, a personalised Tweet or DM will get greater attention from me than an email.
- It took me a good year to really get my head around how to use Twitter.
What Jonty learned from the conversation about Twitter with me:
- He’s still not going to use it.