Sometimes you read a question that your mind wants to answer (okay, wants to blog about). Chris Brogan’s question at the end of a post on his Twitter presence: how do YOU use Twitter? made me want to answer. To explore the question, and try and answer.
Maybe it was prompted by another conversation earlier in the week, on Facebook. Brad Shorr had asked: If you had to use only Facebook or only Twitter for business, which would you choose, and why?
My answer, for business, if I *had* to choose only one, was Facebook.
Whereas Twitter I need just for me.
I think that’s because Twitter, for me, is a place. A place where I can go and spend time, converse, connect, and engage. It feels real to me, sometimes tangible.
And when I thought a bit more about how I use it, or rather, what my presence is like when I’m there, I found myself thinking it was really my online neighbourhood. And that it’s the principles and practice of neighbourliness that I’m trying to demonstrate and encourage through the time I spend there.
Here’s some of what I do
My Twitter Presence
I do try and talk back to anyone who talks to me (unless falling into the bit too weird category)
I don’t automatically follow back. There’s too much gunk out there. Plus, I want to be able to keep some kind of eye on my twitter stream. It might seem selfish, but this is the only way I can stay plugged into the stream.
I do reserve the right to unfollow if you tweet too much, too positive, too negative, too weird (my rules, my stream, I decide.)
I do follow >400 people and no, I don’t manage to keep up with them all
I don’t just tweet about work, business or writing.
I do enjoy exploring ideas around art, creativity, beauty, possibility, change.
(It looks a bit like this:)
I do share links to good things I’ve read, and not just things I’ve written.
I do use Twitter to play.
I do enjoy tweeting fast and furious, and probably too fast for others to keep up. (I’m sorry, but it’s how my mind works.)
I do absorb ideas, words, thoughts from my twitter stream until my mind gets scattered. Sometimes too much and too fragmented, but sometimes just the trick for finding patterns and creating new kaleidoscopes.
I do spend time on Twitter for my own well-being: encouragement, motivation, support.
I don’t tweet when I’m feeling blue, it’s too hard to find a way in, plus everyone else can seem too cheery and sorted.
I do try and notice if others are feeling quiet, or out of sorts, and offer a word of encouragement and support.
I don’t DM anything I couldn’t live with being published by mistake.
I don’t do drive by tweeting (‘hi guys, just popping in to say hi, bye!’)
I don’t spend time on Twitter unless I’ve enough time to spend there. It takes a while to get into the flow of conversation, and I can’t really see the point of being there just to pop in and out. (It’s not a wall. It’s not like Facebook, an update, and responses. It’s not a wall. It’s a stream.)
I do try to be kind on Twitter, and to spread kindness there. I think it’s infectious (I hope so.)
Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love ~ Lao Tzu
I do try to make people feel welcome, and included. It’s why I talk about the weather on Twitter.
I do use Twitter selfishly.
I get a huge amount from the time I spend there. I like hanging out with artists, thinkers, writers, possibilitarians. It adds colour to my working day, to my online neighbourhood.
I do use Twitter based entirely on my own rules. I do what works for me.
It’s probably not the ‘right’ way to ‘use’ Twitter (and I was reassured to find out from Chris Brogan that I, and he, and you, are no doubt doing it wrong.)
But it works for me, and I’ll keep on adjusting my practice to ensure I can say that’s so.
To continue the conversation: how do YOU use Twitter?
Photo credit: just another street in Buenos Aires by Stuck in Customs on Flickr