Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Real Value of Twitter

This morning, I received a message from a follower on Twitter asking me to visit her blog and offer my opinion, Shelley Said. Her blog post is titled, Anti Social Media, with the last statement:

Because it seems like most people that I know who are trying to teach me "how to use twitter effectively" use the phrase "building relationship" as double speak for "developing leads"

Here's my response:

Good post with thought a provoking question. My answer stems from my own Twitter experience.

I’ve been on Twitter for 6 months. The first 4 months, I was probably like the masses, shy and afraid to post a tweet. When I did, it was usually meaningless chit-chat.

One day, something dramatically changed. Someone tweeted a question that I knew the answer to. I tweeted back with that answer and a link supporting it.

I received back a very nice comment, complimenting me for the generosity of my knowledge. (Believe me, it wasn’t that big a thing, imo.)

It was then I ‘got it’. Twitter and other social media venues are about making friends, just like we do in the real world.

You help someone because you want to, not for any other reason. Because it’s the right and friendly thing to do.

I know there are others who are simply using Twitter to build their following so they can market to them. So be it. They’re missing the true value of Twitter.

To date, I’ve met a throng of people on Twitter. Probably a dozen or so I would call new friends. These new friends are scattered all over the world, from SE Asia through North America to Europe.

Without Twitter, I would’ve never met them. My life is being enriched by them and I’m doing the best I can to enrich their lives. Without expecting anything in return, except friendship.

To me, building true relationships rests on the foundation of friendship.

You can use Twitter for whatever reason you like and however you choose. But this is how I view Twitter and why I use it.

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