The Prospect of Being Social
Today, I went to a Tweet-up over lunch. I had sushi with four guys I had never met before, but had been following for months on Twitter. It’s a little weird. You read all about these random moments in people’s lives, but what does it really mean? That’s why I’ve been trying to meet folks. If I’m going to be social with someone, I want to add a little old-fashioned face-to-face contact. And it was a really nice lunch. I’ve been following Tim Wiseman (@TimWiseman in Twitterland) for a long time - now if I see him with his wife in the grocery store randomly, I can at least say hello.
I was described last month as a “Twitter Queen” and I don’t know if that’s good or bad. I’ve been on for over a year now, just posted my 3,700 update and have 3 times the followers as my senior class in high school. I manage 3 accounts (@monkeygrrl, @WKSU and @FolkAlley) and try to maintain each with its own unique voice and goal sets. Monkeygrrl is my true working account. I find out news, learn more about PR and social networking through pub radio contacts, connect with friends and share moments in my life. It’s easy to become hooked, because there’s always something new to read and discover - all in a sweet little 140 character package.
With WKSU, I send out news updates, primarily from the newsroom. Twitter is another tool in our toolbox that we use to build stronger bonds with our audience. The FolkAlley account has been a lot of fun. Every day, I find news and stories about the artists we play and link them - no muss, no fuss, it’s instant news that also appears on Folk Alley’s front page and that account has seen real traction.
In recent months it seems like everyone is suddenly talking about Twitter. The accounts are free, so anyone can sign up at will and last month, the number of users doubled (helped along I’m sure by first-name celebrities like Ellen, Oprah and Martha). Many of my friends that are new to Twitter tell me they don’t get it. They think it’s a collection of random people talking about what they’re eating. But to me, it’s like having access to hundreds of ongoing conversations, many of them involving people that are very clever and funny and insightful and smart - and looking for ways to make these conversations work in ways that your average cocktail could never do.
Knowledge is power and Twitter is about knowledge. It’s also about being nimble and quick on your feet and being able to condense big ideas into a small space (that makes me think better). As we look to the future, being flexible and forward thinking is going to be a necessary skill. So I will stay on Twitter, as long as it will have me. And, I will still go out and meet my Twitter buddies, because continuing the conversation off-line reminds me that we are all human and there are certain things that computers still can’t replicate.