Thursday, April 02, 2009

If You Tweet, They Will Follow

Meet Twitter - my newest obsession in the social networking landscape.

It all started back in January when I got on Facebook. Now I'll admit, Facebook started out as a way to reconnect with long lost friends - people I had gone to nursery school with, people I had spent the summer with, even people who I had gone to high school with. Early days were sent messaging friends with updates on where I was (a farm in rural NC) and how I got here (long, long story).

But then my involvement with Facebook began to grow. For starters, there was the "status update" feature. On the original Facebook (and for you non-FB users it has recently been changed) there was a place to type no more than 165 characters (I think) that answered the question: What are you doing right now? The answer would then be published as John Jack Smith is....fill in the blank.

FB users are probably rolling their eyes at me right now...but to clue you non-FB users in - here are some of my original "status updates" (as I remember them - scrolling back that far through all of my FB activity would take eons...)

Sarah is wondering what is the difference between English Breakfast and Irish Breakfast?

Sarah hates going out the pasture in the morning and having to crack through frozen water troughs.

Sarah is wondering if John Thain and Dennis Koslowski used the same decorator?

Sarah is cranky.

Sarah is running.

Sarah is running late.

So you get the point. Status updates are random at best and to me, at least, were (and still are) a way to share those random thoughts that pop into your head as they actually pop into your head. There's no limit on how often you can post updates or how many a updates you can post a day...

...that is...

unless someone you know and love tells you otherwise.

Ok, so perhaps I was a little "status update happy" during my early FB days. It was new and I was sort of on a FB high (kind of like a shoppers high in the sheer mania of it all) and every time something occurred to me, I would share it.

But after feeling slightly judged on FB (which is crazy - because in truth there is such a wide range of status updaters on FB that there is no normal), I turned to Twitter. After all, wasn't Twitter essentially the FB status update stripped down? Remove all the other crap about FB (and I love all that other crap for the record), isolate the brief (in Twitter's case 140 characters) what's on your mind/what are you doing premise and allow you to send out these brief messages all day, every day to anyone who would listen?

Ah. Who is listening? There's the trick with Twitter. So I signed up for Twitter but didn't do anything with it because...while on FB you have friends, on Twitter you have followers. And while I knew how to make friends on FB, I had no idea how to amass followers on Twitter. It's a much more anonymous network. And if I Tweeted on Twitter without followers - what would it mean? Sort of like - if a tree falls in the forest but no one is around, does it make a sound?

But then one day I was meeting with a very respectable attorney in Charlotte and he told me he was on Twitter. For work of course (he studies social networking from a legal perspective - among other things) but still...he was on Twitter. I told him my fears about Tweeting without followers.

If you Tweet, they will follow.

That was what he told me.

And so I started Tweeting.

I currently have 19 followers. I know most of them, but not all of them. I don't know how many of them actually follow "me" (one of my followers follows 1,986 Tweeters - I can't imagine he reads every Tweet) but I have been Tweeting on a regular basis since around 11pm on Friday night. I love it. Frankly, I am obsessed.

So, for an even further glimpse into the strange and sometimes genius workings of my mind, check out my Twitter profile and sign up to follow me. You can also click on the link from the ITAC home page.

I go by the name rougeneck, and my brief bio describes me as "Goat mama who loves NASCAR & country music but still wears Dolce & Gabanna."

And if that ain't country, I'll kiss your...


AliCat said...

"And if I Tweeted on Twitter without followers - what would it mean?"

That's deep.