Why I love Twitter
Twitter is a funny type of social network. It’s not like Facebook or Myspace where you would generally connect with people you know. It’s much more about connecting with the people you would like to know and for many is as much a resource as television or newspapers.
For me, Myspace “died” when it became a numbers game. Now, this may not be everyone’s experience and I am in no way trying to talk on behalf of every Myspace user, but what I found in my own experience was that people did just add and accept anyone to their list in order to appear more popular. Here in Scotland (and I’m sure elsewhere), there were people who claimed to be “Myspace Celebrities.” That in itself sounds a little…well, sad, doesn’t it? That to me was when Myspace went downhill – long before everyone began migrating to the almighty Facebook.
Facebook continues to grow and grow and shows little sign of slowing down or stopping. When I first joined Facebook, I’ll admit it, I was a little addicted. Now? Not so much. Unlike Myspace, people do tend to limit Facebook to people they know which I think is what keeps the experience relevant. However, it’s not really going to create or assist any progress in the way that Twitter does.
Twitter, as I said earlier, is far more about connecting with the people you would like to know. Whether those people are celebrities, respected individuals within a certain field, writers, musicians – the titles are for the most part, irrelevant. I believe this is Twitter’s biggest strength. It removes the barriers between people who would perhaps be “untouchable” otherwise and creates a unique experience for users which has not been seen on this scale previously.
If we look at Twitter in terms of music; go back 10 years. You would send a letter to your favourite artist and hope for a reply. Now, you just send an @ reply to them and you’re far more likely to receive a reply. Progress! Of course, the quality or likelihood of the reply is going to vary greatly between artist to artist but even so, it’s a massive step forward.
Now I’m going to go back to the reasons why I love Twitter.
I graduated two years ago at what was a pretty terrible time for finding a job. I realised this but just got on with things. Had I known how powerful Twitter could be then, I probably wouldn’t have wasted so much time in jobs I hated, feeling like I wasn’t going to get anywhere. It wasn’t all bad though – I did land an internship at IETM Glasgow in that time which involved quite a bit of Twitter usage, but for a more promotional purpose than anything else. Once my internship had finished, I was back to square one, employment-wise. With no luck, I decided I would pick up my web and graphic design again as it had been a long time since I had done any and I did always enjoy it. Around that same time, I decided I was going to start using Twitter more regularly. There was no particular reason for it. It wasn’t connected to my web or graphic design work in any way – although if it had been, again I would have probably been moving along a little quicker, earlier!
By chance, I spotted that Terra Naomi had posted saying she was looking for an intern in LA to help her out with social media promotion and possibly web design. Being a huge fan of her, I messaged her, knowing it would be a long shot as she’s based thousands of miles away. Luckily, she had a look through my profile and decided that I could help her out after all.
This would not have been possible without Twitter’s barrier-breaking approach to an artist-audience relationship. Thank you, Twitter!
The chance to work with Terra (@terranaomi on Twitter) was something I was not going to take lightly and I fully immersed myself into the opportunity. As a result, I’ve gained some great experience, got to know her on a much more personal level (and she’s absolutely amazing, by the way) and created a website and some lasting results that she has also been very happy with. Win-win, I would say? Again; thank you, Twitter!
Most recently, I spotted another internship via Twitter. This time, with a London-based company called The Eleven (@theeleven). I emailed them with a copy of my CV. They interviewed me via Skype and I was offered the internship a few days after our interview. Again, this would not have been possible without Twitter. And I do believe the work that I did for Terra possibly played a big part in being offered the position.
Now I know there are a lot of people who dismiss Twitter with statements such as “it’s just people posting about what they’re having for dinner” or “who cares what you’re doing every of every day?”
My answer to that would be exactly what I’ve written above. Of course there are going to be those who do post about the mediocrities of their day. I do it from time to time, but I believe that Twitter can be, and often is so much more than that.
I’ve achieved so much in 140 characters or less. I’ve crafted some great relationships, both professional and personal. As a result, I feel I am actually making more progress now than I ever have before.
Twitter. I salute you. Thank you.