Having heard and read so much about Twittter, I’ve just recently become a Twitterer myself (StephaneGrenier) to see what all the hoopla was about. And I have to admit, I was pleasantly surprised. I’ve already gotten a lot of value out of it, and I’ve just joined a bit over a week ago!
There are lots of benefits to Twitter, but it mostly depends on who you are. That is, the Twitter experience is going to be very different for different people. For most people, the obvious benefit is self-promotion (just like for blogs). However that’s just a very small part of it, just like blogging.
Rohit Bhargava wrote a very good post titled: The 5 Stages of Twitter Acceptance. Where are YOU at? And I have to agree, it’s very accurate. Well with the exception of stage 1, I wouldn’t necessarily call it denial, but more along the lines of not really having time to check it out since you can’t clearly see the value. And stage 2 being where you still don’t fully get it but you’re willing to commit to taking the time.
Having just joined a week ago, I’ve jumped from stage 1 to stage 2. The good thing is that I skipped stage 3 entirely. I’m now working my way between stages 4 and 5, but I don’t know that I’ll ever completely get to stage 5. Sometimes it’s nice just to post the odd distraction. Like last night when I was tired from coding for the better part of the day, I decided to post a couple of entertaining links. Things I found interesting but that didn’t really offer any value other than entertainment. I don’t believe you can be all business all the time, sometimes you have to have a lighter side (and what I have entertaining is not always useful). Which is why I might never make it completely to stage 5.
That being said, although I’m probably not the normal Twitterer, I believe the 5 stages of Twitter Rohit describes to be very good and accurate. I’ve found, in the little time I’ve been Twittering, that a lot of people get caught up in stage 3 of self-promotion. I even had to stop following some people because almost all of their tweets where stage 3 tweets (that or they were tweets of links to their latest blog posts). I’m following you on Twitter for a reason, and it’s not just for self-promotional tweets (a certain level is acceptable, but not the majority). The good news is not everyone does this, but unfortunately enough do. The other thing I’ve found difficult is trying to follow more than a few dozen people, I find there’s just too much noise. But that’s another post for another day (I’m still learning).
The good news is that there are a lot of people at stage 4 and 5. And that’s great! It’s because of this that I’m really enjoying my Twitter experience. My only regret is not having started sooner.
Which leads me back to my original question, which stage of Twitter are YOU at?