Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Twitter, Offline

Though many friends and acquaintances are on LinkedIn or FaceBook, Twitter is still a novelty to most in my circle. I’ve often heard Twitter “non-adopters” make dismissive remarks. My husband went so far as to suggest that I was addicted to the application, and he sometimes seems to imagine he’s in some sort of competition with my followers. I didn't take it too personally; I know I have probably failed to adequately communicate just how deeply I’ve benefited from living in the “Twitterverse.” For example, I am in daily contact with hundreds of bright, talented, high-energy people who are the forefront of their industries or professions. It’s extremely egalitarian; I can follow and be followed by everyone from intern to CEO, and we all have much to offer each other. Twitter is a living, breathing, dynamic laboratory for learning and exploring; synergy, sharing and collaboration abound, and creative ideas begat more creativity.

Needless to say, many people would probably not describe their own life experience or their own workplace as glowingly as I described the Twitterverse. Which got me wondering how we could adapt twitter principles to quote, unquote real life; how can we "tweet offline," so to speak?

Questions to consider about taking the Twitterverse offline:

RT (Re-Tweeting or forwarding others posts): Away from social media, how often do you pass on other’s great ideas, blogs, articles and contributions? Doing so is an integral part of the twitter culture.

Tweeting (Posting): Are you talking to yourself in a monologue, or are you engaging in two way conversation, building connections and relationships? Does what you say add value to others’ lives? If not, on Twitter, you’ll eventually be un-followed. Offline, people just tune you out or fail to take you seriously.

Follow Friday (Recommending other people to your following, typically done on Fridays): How often do you recommend others to increase their sphere of influence, realizing that it detracts nothing from your own stature and in fact adds to it?

Trending Topics: Do you staying current with emerging trends in your field?

Followers: Are you actively seeking out new people to add to your circle of contacts? Are you networking? Can you see every interaction (lunch counter, elevator, train station, etc.) as an opportunity to reach out to others? Are you able to learn from everyone you meet, not just those who are at or above your perceived social standing?

Twitter & Me. For me, joining Twitter has been a shot in the arm of creativity. I’ve met fantastic minds and I’m loving swimming in a sea of knowledge, new ideas, with unlimited opportunity for self-expression. And I’ve been more intentional about increasing my network away from my computer, tweeting offline. I hope your own experience has been similarly positive.

And to my husband: honey, I’ll be more than glad to follow you online or off!


Ben Eubanks said...

Great post, Krista! I think it's a neat idea to see how we should be using these concepts of SM in our non-SM activities.

Andrew Brazoban said...

Awesome words. I like how you use something that draws us away from interacting with people in person (Twitter/Social sites) to use as an example to get us to interact with people person to person.

Krista Ogburn Francis said...

Thanks Ben and Andrew. Twitter has enriched my life in so many ways....from learning a new social media to navigating the applications that go with it, to being exposed to a constand buzz of new ideas and awesome people! It's been a lot of fun.