So my friend Carmen Hudson (we worked together at Amazon.com; she’s now with Yahoo) told me I had to try twitter. I said my initial exposure to it was not good – random comments from people “waiting in line to get a latte” and 140 character ponderings about politics or fashion from people who clearly had too much time on their hands.
Well, admittedly, you do get some of that. But what I’ve found – after a month really using twitter – is that I like it. Here’s a few reasons why…
- It’s an easy way to stay connected to people you know. Lots-o-people I know are on it. I was surprised, frankly, at how many experienced, senior level folks I know use it. You probably know a lot of people on it, too.
- The messages are short, and often funny. It takes little time to write and read “tweets”, and at least 1/3 amuse me, 1/3 educate me, and 1/3 are just little status updates (telling me where someone is, or what they’re doing at work or home).
- Assuming the people you know have similar interests, you can benefit from community filtering of news or events. A recruiting leader I know writes a 5-10 word intro to an interesting article he read, and then links to it in his twitter update. I know he’s “vetted” the article for me, as he’s no dummy, and wouldn’t pass it along if it wasn’t interesting.
- You can share timely, important updates with your network. For example, a recruiter friend of mine just went through a 40 person layoff last week. I put a note out on twitter saying I had a contact there if anyone was interested in these folks, and immediately got 3 other recruiters interested. Another friend publishes his “hot job” of the week on there, instantly exposing it to 100s of people who follow him.
- You can connect your updates to feed into sites like facebook, so that you update your status in one place, not two or three.
- You learn things about people you thought you already knew. I’ve learned what I do – and don’t – have in common with people I know. Politics, hobbies, favorite restaurants, travel destinations, vendors they like, conferences they like, news sources they read, etc.
I’m going to stick with it. Have you given it a go?