Last Wednesday it was pouring with rain and I was travelling to work. I don’t usually do this (even if you think I do do this) I posted a couple of old school Twitter status updates.
and then this one reflecting on the fact I didn’t catch a bus…
So I have to say I did smile when later that day I read Kerry Pinny’s post on why she thinks she is rubbish at Twitter and she said
I follow a number of people who tweet regularly sometimes about the most mundane topics like drinking coffee or the weather.
Her post did make me think and reflect on how I and others use Twitter.
Going over my tweets from those early heady days of the Twitter when I started back in 2007 my use was very much “rubbish” and lightweight. There were no hashtags and I appeared to tweet lots about coffee. I know why I did that back then there was very little idea on how the Twitter could be used. So in order to make the most of it I disciplined myself to try and tweet at least once or twice a day. I did that with other service such as uploading photographs to Flickr and recording Audioboos. Usually I would be working, have a break, make some coffee, sit back down and think to myself I must use that Twitter. What am I doing , oh yes having a coffee.
Back in 2009 there were many more people using Twitter. What was happening was that lots of people were publishing blog posts on how to use Twitter in a professional context and there was a right and wrong way to use Twitter so I wrote this blog post: Ten things people say about using Twitter, but really they shouldn’t.
One of the things that does annoy me about Twitter is the way in which people like to dictate to you how it should be used and how you should use it.
I still stand by most of what I wrote back then. Don’t tell people how they should use Twitter, let them know how you use Twitter and why.
As time went by I found Twitter useful in conferences, remember Twitter walls for those who didn’t do Twitter? As I started to deliver workshops and keynotes I found Twitter really useful for making and maintaining contacts and networks.
Twitter became an important source of news and links.
I now use Twitter for lots of reasons. I don’t just use it for my professional life I also use it for other stuff, sometimes serious, occasionally funny and usually tedious and rubbish stuff.
Yes I post links to my stuff, other people’s stuff and stuff in the news. Yes I post about conferences and contribute to tweetchats, I even ran one once.
I also post photos of my coffee and my lunch. I post photos of trains and boats.
I post mundane comments about the weather and the fact that I haven’t locked front door.
An important part of Twitter for me are the conversations.
I remember once someone saying they didn’t use the Twitter because it was just people posting what they had for their breakfast. I never saw that, so decided that every Sunday or so I would post what j had for my breakfast with the hashtag #thisiswhattwitterwascreatedfor and why not.
What I found interesting about that hashtag and tweets was how many people engaged with it, and why not?
I am for all and intents and purposes rubbish at this Twitter and the 4500 people who follow me must also be rubbish at Twitter. The 50 odd people who start to follow me each month must also be rubbish at Twitter.
The main conclusion I came to was we are all rubbish on Twitter.
If you find Twitter useful for something then use it. If you find the tweets of others useful then follow them.
Useful can mean interesting, fun, silly, inspiring, informative, whatever you want it to be.
Go do Twitter and be rubbish at it.