twitter-bird

Back in April of 2013 I wrote this article about explaining my use of Twitter to a friend at dinner. I just sent a link to it to someone, and realised that actually my use has evolved somewhat – here’s how:

2013: 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.

2014: this is as true today as it was back last April. The only thing that has changed is that since leaving corporate life last summer, my volume of email has dropped dramatically. That’s because I don’t have a bunch of business systems churning out automated guff, or seven tiers of management hierarchy above me. The automatic filtering tools in GMail also serve me very well.

2013: 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.

2014: I was thinking only this morning – I just don’t use Flipboard any more. Another app falls by the wayside.

Interestingly, in terms of breaking news, The Guardian’s App on my phone (with it’s breaking news notifications) is my primary source. Old media returns to dominance?

2013: 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).

2014: As it was, and some. Twitter also provides me with feedback on ideas, distraction and banter in what has for much of the past year been a one-person operation.

2013: 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).

2014: still the case, although connectivity in conference halls still remains an issue on occasion (either with saturated WiFi or the Tesla Cage-like construction of so many of them).

2013: I also use it as a publicising channel to notify folk about blog posts and so on.

2014: is also still the case. The biggest source of traffic for my blog is Twitter..

2013: And as a messaging platform 1-2-1, a personalised Tweet or DM will get greater attention from me than an email.

2014: for all the talk of WhatsApp and Viber and everything else, DMs in Twitter are a useful tool and often a way I keep in touch with people. It must be a sign of me getting old and inflexible that I’m not adopting the bright new things…

2013: It took me a good year to really get my head around how to use Twitter.

2014: … and 16 months later it seems that I’m still learning and adapting.

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