I’ve been hearing a lot about Twitter these days. I should probably clarify –I’ve been reading a lot about it. My friends aren’t sending tweets yet; and my business contacts–some are just beginning to get their feet wet. The thing is, I’m intrigued by the way Twitter has taken off.
Marketing Sherpa describes Twitter in a recent article as a “social networking and micro-blogging service” which can be used for personal use as well as for marketing a company. Twitter is being used by “hundreds of thousands of people and companies, including several presidential candidates….”
Twitter text message have a 140-character-limit text box (about 25-30 words), and revolve around the question: “What are you doing?” Like other social media, some people are using it to communicate valuable messages and some– well let’s say are twittering to their heart’s content. Not only am I intrigued by Twitter’s rapid growth—I’m fascinated by the question which drives it.
As long as I can remember, people have asked, “What are you doing?” Parents, teachers, bosses, friends—my husband, my daughter. I’m sure people asked the same question of famous influential people like Christopher Columbus. Or say, Martin Luther King, Jr., Gandhi–to name a few.
To be honest, at times the question “What are you doing?” feels like an invasion. You’re sitting there in the privacy of your own home, the phone rings and someone says, “Hi, what are you doing?” Or what about those lazy days of summer, when you could be out swimming, walking, bike riding, weeding your garden and even working, and instead you’re lying on a hammock– someone comes along and asks, “What are you doing?”
Of course, tone of voice matters here. The question can sound judgmental, inquisitive, loving, concerned. I guess when you get right down to it, nothing against Twitter here, but I’m more interested in questions like, what matters to you? What are your values? Purpose in life? Business’ mission? Don’t get me wrong, I’m interested in what people are doing. But do I want or need a blow-by-blow description, 24/7?
Marketing Sherpa advises business users to, “Keep posts valuable…find out what interests other Twitterers… make it something your followers might benefit from knowing as well.”
The words which drove this post come from a real-life example from yesterday after I read an editorial in the Sunday Boston Globe by Ed Siegel (okay it wasn’t a tweet). My point being, it was a mere fifteen characters, two words beginning with the letter E– “Enjoy Everything”, which helped to turn my outlook for the day 180-degrees. I think it’s fair to say if I’m still thinking about them today, then they may have had a more lasting effect.
If you’re going to take the time and effort to twitter about what you’re doing, make your messages count— really count.
photo credit: jaysk