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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Blogger Unknown said...

I've been twittering for about 6 or 7 months now, and I'm noticing a similar tone to a lot of conversations among those new to it, who are looking to [do something like] generate leads, as if it's a numbers game, and that with enough followers, there's bound to be a sale. While that may very well work for people hawking "get rich overnight on the web using social media secrets," you and I share a philosophy that being knowledgeable, helpful and sincere is the best way to acquire influence on Twitter.

I still think Twitter's even better for connecting with people, in a meaningful way, than writing a blog that only your mom will read. It's all about valuable conversation, but not "chat." It's about finding and overhearing interesting people who, if you have something interesting in return, will entertain your reply, or answer your question, or lead you forward.

It's not a spam factory, or another place to fill with "marketing." But used well, it's a place to build a reputation...in the great marketplace of ideas.

4:58 PM  
Blogger David Tinney said...

Well said Bruce. Many newbies are using Twitter in an inappropiate manner. What they do is like walking into a cocktail party and saying, "Hi, my name is John. Do you wanna buy my product?"

No one in their right mind will respond in a positive way to that type of come-on.

I appreciate your thoughtfulness and the time you took to comment here. Thank you!

8:55 AM  
Blogger Elder Que said...

Hello, I ran across one of the pages on your site where you discussed smoking woods. Do you still sell the shredded wood? If so, I'd be interested in purchasing some. If not, how do you go about shredding it. I'm interested in trying it out.

5:44 PM  
Blogger David Tinney said...

Elder Que,

No, I no longer sell the shredded wood. Its easy to do though. Rather than cut across the grain of the wood with your chainsaw, you cut with the grain and it shreds rather than chips.

FYI. I swept up a pile of hickory chips after cutting come logs and the chips (sawdust if you will) worked about as good as the shreds.

Good luck and thank you for posting.

12:28 PM  

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