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Twitter reflections – a year later

April 13, 2011

It was about a year ago that I started seriously using Twitter.  At first it made me feel dumb and as I’m hanging out with HR folks at the BCHRMA conference, tweeting it up, I am hearing people who were in the same place that I was at first.  How does it work?  Isn’t it just a bunch of fluff? What’s the point?

It is hard for people to “get it”, and the most common question I heard today was “how do you find the time for it?”.  Indeed.

Well, after a year of solid Twitter use, here’s what I’ve noticed:

  • To get professional value from Twitter, you have to follow people who tweet good stuff, it ain’t about friends, which is something that you have to get over.  It is the opposite of Facebook, but people lump them together as “social networking”.  For me, if Facebook is the social, then Twitter is the networking.
  • Following a #hashtag will help you have a purpose to tweet (one other thing that people struggle with – “what do I say?”).  You join an existing conversation that can be synchronous, asynchronous or virtual + real life. If you find the lingo challenging, observe at first.
  • When you follow people who tweet good stuff and/or have a “place” where you feel at home, you can relax a bit.  You can dip into your tweetstream and you’ll almost always find something good.  You don’t have to worry about missing something, you just let serendipity take over.
  • Get a Twitter client – I don’t think I really started to love Twitter before Tweetdeck – I found it really enhanced my overall experience to filter and manage.  It’s all about columns!
  • Favorite things that you think look good and schedule time to review your favorites.  I don’t think I really figured out Favorites until 6 months in (duh), but love it and diigo also gathers up the favorites and saves them for you, which is a good time saver.

Will be spending the next two days at the conference helping HR folks understand the power of Twitter and helping to amp up the Twitter presence of those in the people business in BC.  If you are at the conference and we haven’t met, track me down.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 14, 2011 6:12 pm

    Hey Holly,

    I totally agree with your findings about Twitter…it is all about networking. Things I found through Twitter: long lost relatives in Brazil, fantastic articles from thought leaders, tips for the best restaurants and events in Vancouver, and a network of professionals who are willing to lend their opinion to me for free…so long as I give mine.

    Oh, and I found Charlie Sheen…but I don’t follow him…just not that interested!

  2. hollymacdonald permalink*
    April 14, 2011 10:05 pm

    Hi Simon – Brazilian relatives – does that mean you are set up for world cup in 2014?

    I do find it interesting that those who get it, really GET it.

    To underscore your point that the tool can really provide value, I recently saw reference to emergency preparedness training via Yammer (via Twitter, natch) which I thought was such a great concept. It ain’t all about tiger blood and winning, is it?

    Thanks for backing me up!

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