Monday, September 17, 2012

The Tao of Twitter

I have been hugely busy (all my own doing so cannot complain).  It seems for most things there is good and bad.

The weather has been gorgeous.  Hayfever has also been bad. 

The garden is flourishing.  Harvesting beans, beets, carrots, tomatoes, basil and leeks.  Weeds also are flourishing.  I cannot believe how fast they grow.

Not sure how the orange got in the picture.  I did not grow that.  The herb is fennel seed.


I read an easy to read short book called "The Tao of Twitter - Changing Your Life and Business 140 Characters at a Time" by Mark W. Schaefer (author of Return on Influence).

The thesis of the book is that Twitter is a great way to make new connections, network and solve problems.

I liked that Schaefer speaks of the need for good content.  One downside I have seen with Twitter (even more than Blogs) is the number of meaningless Tweets.  It is tough to get followers and I unfollow if the the person Tweets irrelevant things so the lesson is clear - tweet good things.

He gives an example of a tech support issue he has.  He tweets and problem is solved in short order.  I can see how that would work.

I do use Twitter for "point in time" searches.  For example, last week when Godaddy had the huge outage (originally thought to be the work of hackers but later released that it was internal issues),  many of our sites were down and Twitter was the fastest way to check.  The problem with Google is searches do not yield the most recent result but Twitter does.

I also use Twitter as a news filter.  I follow interesting people that I respect and they often Tweet things like "Good article on ...".  This makes my news consumption broader than it might have been.

The title might be a bit strong - "Changing your Life".  Perhaps if you have no life, it would change it.

Twitter is blogging - just succinct blogging.  You would think a time management guy like me would be more into that than blogging.  The problem is 140 characters is just not enough to really say anything.  And everyone knows that so they do not just tweet once, they tweet dozens of time so in the end, likely more than a blog entry. 

As with many things, Twitter can be a time sink.  The value needs to be balanced with the time. 

The Tao of Twitter did provoke thought and I am more likely to get value from Twitter as a result of reading it.


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