I have to confess that I absolutely love Twitter. It's an incredible platform for communicating with a world of people far wider than any other online communications medium I can think of outside of perhaps Facebook. But Twitter is simpler and more streamlined.
I must admit when I first heard of Twitter, I was skeptical. Why would I want to limit my words to 140 characters. As a writer, I feel the need to (ahem) stretch out a bit. A blog like this lets me do that, but there is a certain beauty in the 140 character limit because it forces you to strip your thoughts to their most basic elements. It's actually a great writing exercise and one I would recommend for J School classes, but that's only part of the overall attraction.
The sweet spot lies in the ability to connect with a range of people across a range of jobs. Of course, at this point in the evolution of Twitter, there are a lot of like-minded people who are attracted to technology, online marketing and related fields. But Twitter gives you access to people you could never ever contact otherwise, who would never answer your emails. Yet here you have a medium where people exchange information with one another in a way that flattens the natural social strata. And it's amazing.
Twitter uses a follow you/follow me concept. You can follow people you know, you find interesting, you're curious about and so forth. You are in complete control of who you follow and who follows you. If you don't want a company following you, for instance, you can simply block them and they are gone forever. If a person you thought might be interesting turns out to be mundane, you can unfollow them. It's that simple.
If you haven't tried Twitter yet, I encourage you to do so. It's simple. It's fun and it's empowering. I just love it.
Follow me on Twitter.
Graphic courtesy of Randa Clay Design.