I’ve been “into” twitter since September so that makes me somewhat of a veteran in today’s world of online media.
twitter, unlike other forms of social media has been embraced by those of us who are 25-54 with particular emphasis on the latter part of that demographic. It is the first social media that was not originally used by young people and then spread to a more mature audience. That demographic news, along with some questions from a buddy who’s a twitter newbie, got me thinking…twitter is in many ways, like the Junior Prom. (With his permission I’m using his questions in italics, along with my responses.)
How do you feel about the lock/unlock process of protecting updates ?
I never use them and here’s why. Locking your updates is the equivalent of standing against the wall at the Junior Prom. You remember, that awful insecure feeling while everyone else is out there on the dance floor having fun or at least pretending to have fun? But you’re here stuck by the punchbowl and you can’t summon the courage to go out and say “Hi” to all those new kids who just walked in from the rival school.
Initially I thought – Nah, if I’m puttin it out there with twitter, it is nothing to hide… Then I started gettin followers, some obviously to deliver advertisements, or sniffing for leads – and it made me wonder how wise (or unwise) it might be to leave no restrictions… So I switched the lock on.
Frankly I almost never follow people with locks. It’s an automatic turnoff to me. Sorry, no dance with you Mister. I want someone who’s willing to take some risks here…after all I’m in PR and Marketing!! To avoid the spam thing I look at each person’s profile before I decide to follow them back. I can honestly say I’ve only encountered one true, certified nutcase (I blocked him altogether) and I just don’t follow the people who look like super advertisers.
Now that I see it though, I notice the icon (lock) by my name, and don’t see it on nearly everyone else. Does this brand me as a Noob, or might is be useful initially, as I have rejected several that were obvious advertising robots.
To me the twitter folks who hit you with the instant automated direct message are just like the kids who got drunk at the prom. They’re outside puking and making idiots out of themselves while the homecoming king and queen are over in the corner making out. That’s because they (the king and queen) have a relationship that started with a few shy glances and grew. That’s what twitter is all about. Forming relationships with folks, one step at a time. Provide each other with helpful information and just let the karma grow. Do not get up in people’s faces and shout about how great you are.(That is what spam DM’s are to me.)
I’ve looked over the ‘help’ section on the web page, and it mostly covers the basics.
The key to starting on twitter is following people who have similar interests to you. Eventually you will get up your courage and branch out to others as well. You can start by following some of the major twitter gurus too and watch what they do.
In the end, just like at the prom, twitter is ultimately a popularity contest. The people that are helpful and provide useful information and links to interesting articles end up winning more followers. The spammers, well, they’re still outside, trying to freshen up.