10 Things that surprised me about Twitter.
The Madness : Wednesday 30th April 2008 12.53pm
That was the day I joined Twitter. Joining Twitter and becoming ‘part of the community’ are two very very different things. I sent my first Tweet on 18th November 2008 at 18:16:06
I joined not really knowing why I was joining, and not knowing what the purpose was. One changed Gravatar and some 401 updates later I have realised that these are the top ten things that have surprised me.
1 – The number of Twitter related websites.
This seems to grow continually as people develop new ideas and ways to use the service. You can:
In fact this site lists 100 of these variations so check them out when you get a chance.
2 – Meeting all types of people.
I am surprised by the mix of people, from all backgrounds, locations, companies, positions within companies, unemployed, students, 14 year old tech geeks, interests, religious, political, social, famous, infamous, average joe (criminal & saintly?), Windows users, Linux lovers, Mac supporters, BumpTop testers… all mixed within this one constraint, 140 characters.
It thrills me that I can add people from my birth town, or my local town, or someone I respect for technology innovation, or have read their books. That completely inspires and awes me every second that I see new tweets posted.
3 – It’s refreshing to be me.
This may read a little strange. I have played online games for years, I would maybe even admit to a slight addiction at one point, (but you didn’t read that here). When you play those games you become a ‘persona’ a character. You never reveal your identity (not normally, some may but is it really who they say?), you talk with people and you are hidden , your safe…
On Twitter I am Christine Morris, Educator, Mother and Geek. I don’t have a cape showing my statistics or any top armour to hide behind and I say what I think, feel & believe.
People may unfollow me if they disagree, but that’s part of it, that’s part of life, you choose your friends.
4 – I’m not as thick skinned as I’d like to be.
I don’t like being unfollowed. I feel rejected, judged and that someone does not want me to be a part of their circle. I agonise about why they want to unfollow, what did I say, what did I do, did I offend blah blah blah… or equally, why they didn’t add me back! I know I should not really care, people are people, but it has surprised me that I care (ALOT).
5 – I find it difficult to unfollow.
Same theme as above. But I find it painful to delete someone because I worry they will be like me at No. 4 in this list. When I remove someone, I feel terrible. I need to get over this one!
6 – The quality of generous people and how individuality shines through.
I can think of numerous examples when people have recommended me links, where Blog writers offered advice and promotion, people make suggestions to improve things I’m working on.. the list really is endless, every day that I have spent on Twitter I have gone to links, made bookmarks and inspired my students with amazing things I have been shown.
Equally the individuality of people is wonderful to see. I thought with the 140 character limit that there would be very similar content, but the words people chose, the way it is written is all interesting.
7 – How much it bugs me when people constantly mention their numbers of followers, is that all they care about? Isn’t that against the spirit of it all?.. and seem to collect them like ants.
Quite a big one there. No comment.
8 – People I respect and look up to actually taking time to respond and encourage.
Great example of this is @Loic, he responds to questions and messages, and actually offers support. Equally @ChrisBrogan replies, and so many of the ‘big names’. And of course the always funny and chatty @StephenFry. They reply, offer help and links, and are generous with their time. I never thought that would be happening.
9 – How people use their favourites.
This may seem random but one night, I decided to look at peoples favourites. WOW! Some people have none, some have tonnes and some – only favourite their own Tweets – ?! I was surprised as that never occurred to me, I can see why, its good reference, but really the favourites section might be a good place also to look for information & research.
10 – The Community.
I can’t believe that the spirit of a living, breathing, partying community exists in this technical space. I like to wake up and see what’s been posted while I was asleep, I like to check what’s gone on before I go to sleep, I feel these people are there for guidance and I hope they see me in that capacity too.
That’s all folks! Have you got a similar 10 things that suprised you about Twitter? Did you have expectations about it when you joined? Did you know what you were joining, or did you go in to it blindly?
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