peas across the twitterverse

Thanks to all who helped me cement my ideas for my upcoming course for artists. It’s really starting to take shape – but I don’t want to write about the specifics until I have a conversation or two with the specialists I’m trying to recruit to help me pull it all together. I am really excited about the rather nifty idea I have for branding and marketing the branding and marketing course, though! I can see it so clearly in my mind…

Soon. All will come to fruition.

In the meantime, there’s been a lot of discussion in Twitterland about how Twitter has changed people’s lives, can change people’s lives, can change how we work, and has changed how at least one woman (and her friends) help her heal.

And I just had to pipe up.

Here’s the thing. Twitter has had a huge impact on me. Part of it is because I live in a somewhat geographically remote area (on the other side of the Cape Cod Canal, which is much more than a physical barrier, my friends), and Twitter has managed to expand my horizons, connect me to like-minded people, and expose me to the greater world in ways that blogging never did. Even though those are all PRECISELY the reasons I started blogging in the first place, back in 2002. (This is not my first blog.)

Twitter made me buy an iPhone. What I mean is, once I started using Twitter, and started following a few very prolific people like Beth Kanter, Jeremiah Owyang, and Chris Brogan, I almost immediately outgrew both my cell phone plan AND my cell phone. Never before in my long career with rapidly changing technology have I outgrown a piece of technology so rapidly. One minute, my old phone suited my needs. The next, it was laughably inadequate.

So I bought an iPhone. And then the positive feedback loop really started kicking in.

I heard Beth when she called for feedback on a post that was of interest to me, and about which I thought I had something interesting to say. So I commented.

I knew when my friend Len was suddenly enthralled by the play of light on some leaves near the Charles River in Cambridge. I paused, and looked at the trees outside my own window.

I saw when Chris was caught in traffic during the snowstorm, and I called him to sympathise.

When someone I didn’t know was diagnosed with cancer, I felt it, deep in my totally uninsured, at-high-risk-for-cancer bones. And I showed my support in whatever way I could. (Peas were involved.) In so doing, I felt that maybe others would have done the same for me. And I was comforted.

Twitter has done what no other technology had done for me to date. It has really, truly, meaningfully personalized the internet for me.

Does Twitter have implications for those in the nonprofit sector like me? People who struggle every day to build community, work with people who like to take action, and personalize the political to effect meaningful change?

What do YOU think?


5 responses to “peas across the twitterverse

  1. I quite agree. Twitter has put quite a human face on the web, and I’m grateful for that. Hard to explain to people still struggling with using it or not, but I’m happy as hell to have found it, and glad that you’re part of the story. : )

  2. Hi Beth:

    Many nonprofits are struggling to figure out whether to you it or not, or even saying “Twitter, what’s that?” While I can submerge in the Twitter Community, walking around nonprofit space – it’s like a different culture or language. There is a real need for translators …

  3. Beth, I hear you. I try to BE one of those translators – in fact I had one of those “What’s Twitter” conversations with the leader of a local nonprofit this very morning. She has signed up, but I know that you need to hit a certain critical mass of following/followers before you really see what’s going on in a given conversation.

    I think a lot of the same questions arise with Twitter as we have discussed with other Social Media – and I keep remembering that quote you pulled from Jeremiah a while back – tools come and go, but strategy remains.

    What does a Twitter strategy look like?
    1. Get involved (as a person, not an brand)
    2. Contribute to the conversation
    3. See what happens

  4. Yes! Agreed …

    Get involved, listen – as a person
    Contribute to the conversation – be authentic, don’t come with expectations of repayment
    See what happens
    Don’t bite off more than you can chew
    Have the courage to ditch what doesn’t work and not sit alone feeling bad about it … part of the culture shift.

    I have those conversations daily .. and I’m trying to be a better translator. What do you think are the skill sets for translators?

  5. Pingback: Why I love Twitter (barcamp presentation) » The Awesome Web Company

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