Make Twitter your New Year’s resolution.

Don’t worry about the giving up the smokes, the booze or shaking the extra 5 kilograms you have gained from eating all the White Christmas on Boxing Day – (who really likes that stuff anyway?).  I implore you all to make a new year’s resolution of value and spend a bit of time getting to know Twitter.  For all you naysayers – give it a go you will be surprised at the bounty it will provide.

As you will see by by Twbirthday certificate, I am coming up to six in Twitter years. Yes! It has been around for that long (in fact the first Tweet was posted by Jack Doresy, Twitter founder, on March 21, 2006). Coming in at the first 18% of all current Twitter users I was a reasonably ‘earlyish adopter’ as far as creating a profile, but it took me a long time to begin to use it on a regular basis.

Over the past 12 months my usage has increased exponentially and as a consequence my network on the Twitterverse, leading to some happy events including creating a new family of non relatives by discovering the (mini) cult that is – Crawshaw (no relation!).

This, while nice, is not however the pervasive reasons for my ongoing use of Twitter.

The reasons are as follows:

  • The ability to connect to really smart people who have really interesting things to say about the things that are interesting and important to me.  I can interact with them if I want to and I don’t have to pretend to be their ‘friend’ or have a professional connection with them.  I am able to share ideas with people who are interested in the same things as me – globally.  I have been inestimably enriched by the insights and discussions I have had.
  • The format of Twitter (micro blogging) means that I can have an overview of a lot of different information sources quickly and efficiently and the means to explore them at leisure.
  • I rarely seek news now.  Twitter has reported the news faster than any service in the last year and the connections that I follow on Twitter provide the filter I need.
  • From time to time I also enjoy following my favorite bridge (there’s even fun to be had on Twitter!)

In an organisational context, the same rules apply to using Twitter as other channels and with a little education it opens the doors of opportunity. However it is approaching Christmas, so more on that next year when the holidays are over.

If you are interested in dipping your toe in while savouring a Corona on the seaside holiday, Mashable’s Twitter guide is a great place to start.

My top tip – everyone who drops Twitter after a week of use does so because they focus on being listened to rather than listening.  Spend your time searching those commentators you love but never have time to buy/read that journal, do a search on a cause, a hobby or a challenge that has done your head in at work this year.

Explore those pearls of wisdom from the Twitterverse and connect. If you prefer, you can even check out what the locals are saying. Merry Christmas!

image credit : Dan Slee