Sunday, November 16, 2008

Random Thoughts on Twitter

A few weeks ago I wrote a blog about how it's hard at times to get involved in social media when none of your "real life" friends are into it. Aside from facebook, most of my friends don't belong to other social mediums. I'm pretty sure, out of all the people I follow and who follow me on Twitter, only three of them are friends in real life. And one of them never uses Twitter, she just has an account.

I just wanted to say that not all of my experiences in discovering and learning and interacting in social mediums have been hard efforts. Specifically, Twitter.

When I first joined Twitter, which was late in the game already, I did an email search for my friends and only came up with two people. So what was I going to do?

I started using Twitter's search section and looking for people in Toronto and things I'm interested in, like; PR, marketing, social media, etc. I quickly built up a list of just under 100 people The problem was..., they were complete strangers. I didn't know where to start either, so I just started posting stupid shit that popped into my head. A few people would write the random comment back @ me, but mostly I would just read what other people were talking about. 

After a little while I started to get a feel for some of the people I was following, and would write something to them if I felt strongly about something they had said. The more comfortable I was becoming with this new online world, the easier it became for me to be myself and not just be some online guy. I was me, just online.

I was thinking about that the other day, and it reminded me of something I get told a lot in my PR classes: allow yourself to be fully visible and people will appreciate it. Sure, when my teachers say it they're mainly talking about companies and organizations, but it seems to work everywhere. People always tell you when you're going to meet new people "just be yourself." Apparently it also works online.

Once I started just being myself I've made a lot of friends via Twitter. I'm not just talking about how I've picked up more followers, but more that they're actual friend-type characters. People who know about things going on in my life. People whose lives I know about. People who just say "what up". But I consider them friends. I've learned about all sorts of new things from people on Twitter, and I'm also not afraid to ask people questions about anything. In fact, I've even been looking to get some experience in the PR and social media field and advertising it on Twitter. Some people who could, have been very helpful, and I've even had people who weren't on my list contact me about it.

So now I've totally lost where I was completely going with this post, but I feel better about saying what I did. So if anyone is reading this, I guess my message is if you can be a real person on social mediums people will see the genuineness (I'm pretty sure that's a real word) and you can make some real friends. Some of them may even come in handy to know one day.

Also, since Twitter's search has been down forever now, here's a good site for finding some people on Twitter with similar interests. Just Tweet It allows you to search for tweeters with similar interests, as well as post your Twitter profile under your interests for other people to find you. Check out Just Tweet It here.


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