Learning to Fly
I think Tom Petty summed up my twitter experience best, “Learning to fly, but I ain’t got wings; Coming down is the hardest thing.” Twitter, like many other social media 2.0 tools, is a ‘learn as you go and take your lumps’ tool. My initial perception of Twitter was that it was limiting with its measly 140 characters, and excessive with the amount of updates it took to stay on the social radar. Hmmm…I was wrong. I wanted Twitter to be like many of its social media network and blogging predecessors, though I now realize the thing that makes Twitter so fantastic is that it filled an untapped micro-blogging niche.
As Matthew Ingram put it, Twitter stripped away all the excess and distractions on many other social networks and left its user with the essential component of communication – words. 140 characters to be more specific. It is Ingram’s concept of the Tweet as the smallest atom of the social media macrocosm that I found particularly interesting.
The Tweet is the stepping stone for PR ‘tweeples,’ newbies and veterans alike. Twitter provides an the tools for strategically developing your digital footprint through sharing. Twitter begs just one question: What are you doing? It is the constant and informal nature of the Twitter update that seems to have created a viral information-sharing effect.
Are my tweets always enthralling bits of just-breaking news? Not even close, but when they are valuable they are retweeted multiple times, with the potential to be shared with thousands of tweeters. So, moral of the story, Twitter is superb, stupendous and amazing. It lets me see what is going on in the lives of those I know, those I want to know, and those that I simply admire from afar. It is the networking tool that requires little effort beyond 140 characters and a bit of know-how and a message worth sharing.