When Twitter came on the social media scene in early 2006, I was skeptical. I think there were many skeptics; I couldn’t be the only one. As I remember, I struggled with the fact that there were so many sites like it, all doing the same thing using the same base format with a different user interface.
For me, it represented a colossal waste of my time, with no verified rate of return at a point in my life when I didn’t have much time to waste.
I chose not to become a member. I focused my effort on Facebook as a personal social site, and LinkedIn as a professional social site. I have had much success with both; and, overall, there is not much overlap between my contacts on each. I keep them mostly separate.
Recently, I attended a trade conference here in Austin called ProductCamp (@PCAustin; productcampaustin.org). I will let you get more information from the site; but, in short it is a conference that is produced in several locations around the country. The topic is product management and marketing and the content is centered on the goal of educating and networking in product management and marketing. If you have a chance to attend one, you will not be disappointed (and it’s free!).
One of the presenters at the conference was Marc Miller of Career Pivot (@CareerPivot). The title of Marc’s presentation was “Why a Social Job Search?”. He presented suggestions and advice on trending job search strategy from the perspective of recruiters and other hiring professionals. Part of that strategy involved pointers on how to maintain a presence on LinkedIn and how to use SEO to increase your chances of landing in a recruiters search results. Great stuff!
The most interesting part for me was his suggestion to add Twitter to the list of social media to use. Better yet, how to use results from LinkedIn searches to connect with companies and recruiters on Twitter, and how to maintain and strengthen those connections.
As I was mulling it over and reviewing the notes from Marc’s presentation, thinking about how to apply his strategy to my situation, I started dating a guy who was in marketing and a big social media user. Talk about a God thing!
I hear you, God.
I am not dating that guy anymore, but I now have an active Twitter account that I am working on growing.
Shortly after I activated my Twitter account, I had the need to research an idea that a few friends of mine and I had during a beach party on Labor Day weekend. I did what I usually do and went immediately to Google. It was slow-going and not producing exactly the information I was looking for.
Then I had a brief flash of inspiration: Twitter.
Within an hour, I had accumulated a list of roughly 15 websites and roughly 20 Twitter sites that had viable information to use as a base for developing the idea that my friends and I had. Not to mention that through that exercise I grew my Twitter presence.
In hindsight, I am sorry that it took me so long to realize the value of Twitter. But, I am happy to be a member of the community now and look forward to the advantages it will provide to both my personal and professional digital presence, not to mention the leverage it will provide in my frequent researching forays. Google, look out, you have a strong competitor!
Here are some resources I used in creating this post, as well as in researching my idea:
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