Talking About Twitter
It's impossible to deny the presence of Twitter these days. Whether you're in an office talking to a co-worker, reading the newspaper, or watching television, everyone is talking Twitter. I've always said, "It's easier to change the people than to change the people," so I was intrigued when I came across Time's most recent cover story, "How Twitter Will Change the Way We Live."
While I don't think we can transform our behaviors or the core of what makes us who we are, from my perspective Twitter does three things very successfully:
- Twitter increases our ability to keep in touch with more individuals. Regardless of your engagement level (frequency of tweets, # of followers, etc.), Twitter lets you connect and stay connected. I'd say that for the most part, Twitter feels a lot like a documented handshake. The majority of connections are only at a surface level, however that initial point of contact leaves potential for valuable follow up conversations.
- Twitter bridges the personal with the professional. Every single time I look at my Twitter stream, I'm always amazed at the diversity of content. Some people choose to post relevant industry links while others are talking about their families or a popular television show. Some may find this information nonsense, but for me, business has always been about personal conversations. I forgot where I read this analogy, but Twitter is today's virtual golf course. It brings people together in a way that is authentic and therefore more likely to lead to positive professional outcomes.
- Twitter lets information travel at a rapid rate. If we can think back to gossip during high school, Twitter works in a very similar way. One whisper leads to another and before you know it, everyone's talking about a particular topic. What's incredibly powerful about twitter is it's ability to transmit relevant and meaningful information through brevity.
Do I think Twitter will change the world? Absolutely not. People and ideas are the drivers of change, not the technology that brings them together. However, given that Twitter allows more people to come together, and more ideas to be shared faster, and more organically than ever before, it is definitely something worth paying attention to.