Twitter First Posts

I’ve been introducing a lot of people to Twitter lately. The conversation when I introduce it to someone has a very familiar pattern:

Me:
Do you use twitter?
Them:
No, but I’ve thought about it. But I don’t think I would get much out of it.
Me:
I had the same thoughts when I started, but I’ve gotten a few business leads, connections to the community, and speaking engagements through Twitter. So I get tremendous value out of it, and it’s fun.

This reminded me of the way that Scott Kveton talked about Twitter during his intro at Ignite Portland. He said:

By the way, when I tell you about this, you are going to think this is the dumbest thing you’ve ever heard of–because everyone who Twitters thought it was stupid too.

That’s absolutely true. Many of the most prolific people on Twitter had the same thoughts as people who look at Twitter now and think it won’t work for them. I thought it might be interesting to go back in time and see if they tweeted about their impressions.

This sparked a series of re-tweeting people’s early tweets. Some of my favorites:

@marshallknow if I can just figure this service out quickly :)

@davewinereat ideas flying around

@betsywhimfiguring out how to use this thing

1st tweet from @jowyang: “Surfing the web” 2nd tweet: “sitting at home

@ravenzacharyIs this more than a fad?

@kvetonI’m sitting here trying to figure out why I’m using this … haha … :-)

There are a lot of funny early tweets to look at. But the main reason I wanted to expose this was to say to people who are new that you’re not alone in wondering whether or not Twitter will be worth it to you. The most experienced Twitter users started out with the same questions, wondering if they had anything worthwhile to say, and if anyone would bother to follow them.

So give Twitter a shot and be sure to stick with it for awhile until you find your voice. Sometimes things that are valuable aren’t apparent until you give them a try.

5 thoughts on “Twitter First Posts

  1. Gary Walter

    You are so right man! I’ve been trying to figure out why some of my normally bleeding edge friends haven’t adopted Twitter. But recently I signed up on FaceBook – I know, late and lame, but all my Twitter friends were there – anyway, I see how people post updates there and it got me to thinking that maybe that’s what people think Twitter is: Just a place to post to the ether where you are and what you’re thinking.

    My best analogy for Twitter is that it’s like walking through a large reception hall catching bits and pieces of conversation. If I want to stop and join a conversation, I can – but for the most part, I just keep my ear open and learn.

    For me, an acute early adopter – not so much for the rush, but because it feeds my creative spirit – I have learned and continue to learn about all kinds of new tools and applications to streamline my life. The crowdsourcing reveals to me the best way to do things.

    Since joining Twitter I’ve made these adjustments to my tech-life:
    * Switched from Blogger to WordPress (yeah baby!)
    * Switched from MS Outlook to Thunderbird/Lightening
    * Found numerous tools to promote my blog and enabled them – including Friday’s Beer and Blog sessions downtown.
    * Found new vegan/vegie restaurants in Portland.
    * Learned that Stumptown trumps Starbucks and McM’s is no longer the place to go.
    * Met a couple dozen very cool and creative people who are pushing the curve into the 22nd century (yes, already).
    * Learned about Ignite Portland and had one really fun night at the Bagdad!
    * Become a regular reader (and participant) of Portland on Fire.
    * Become a regular reader of SiliconFlorist.com and Readwriteweb.com.
    * Switched from Picasa to Flickr
    * Met the author of this post – yes, you @grigs – and learned about your cool company!
    * Found a couple of opportunities in which to ply my trade – and the list goes on and on…

  2. Josh Mitchell

    This is such a timely post. I was just explaining to a coworker why Twitter was worth trying. I finally gave up on trying to describe it because I realized the description sounded a bit dull. I told her. You really have to use it to understand. Since using Twitter, I’ve met new friends, connected to old friends who aren’t around physically, given and received technology advice from a group really smart followers, and generally learned to love the process of editing a tweet to be under the 140 character limit imposed by the system.
    And it all started with one simple tweet:
    “Just testing Twitter. 11:28 AM September 10, 2007 from web”
    @mobilehippie

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  4. Betsy

    So glad to see you own up to your earlier skepticism – I remember how you looked at me as if I had three heads when I rhapsodized about Twitter last spring!

    I describe it as TiVo for my contextual universe. I can dive in to watch live action, can back up to figure out what I missed, or wait until later & catch up via RSS if I’m nowhere near the stream or have work to do. And it lets *me* control how deeply I choose to dive in at any given time.

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