Usually, there’s only one thing I’m doing at 5am in the morning, but on April 18th 2007 I was sending my first ever tweet.
MediaSnackers was the second company I founded and ran for a bunch of time. It existed to skill people up on new media (it was called that before it become social) and emerging technologies (like mobile phones and the internet). It got me speaking and delivering our training courses on five continents plus building out a team and an array of service offerings. During this time I introduced and trained thousands of people to use Twitter and on April 3rd, 2011 I tweeted for the first time via @justadandak.
Over the last 15 years I have tweeted approximately 45,000 times (total from both accounts). That’s 3,000 times a year. 250 times a month. 8 times a day.
I’ve always championed Twitter as a communal space to connect to a wider conversation. And beyond that tweets place a big-fat-juicy-virtual-pin into moments and places. They amplify experiences and tap into our humanness to story-share. Whether you’re live-tweeting a conference and connecting to others on the hashtag or increase your following by adding value into the world on weird / wonderful topics.
Nowadays though it’s a little more subdued as a connecting platform and even though I continue to tweet, the engagement has gone through the floor, probably due to the proliferation of other channels and also the divisive nature these channels are being used for.
That being said, I still think it’s pick of the bunch and my three biggest insights for folks who continue to use it are:
- use lists: I have a couple although always jump into the main one which cuts through all the clutter and gets me to the good stuff. There’s another massive reason I use lists but it’s top secret and I never share it publicly, although hit me up via the contact page and I will tell you why;
- advanced search: I often search Twitter when looking for a solution to a problem or a product / service question I have. Think of Google as a way of searching the ‘lived’ web which is indexed by algorithms, Twitter is a way of searching the ‘live’ web, shared by humans, right now;
- unfollow people: stop following accounts who have a negative effect on your well-being. As a user, you have total control over the stream of content which reaches you (unlike BookFace & *InLinked).
*the latter being unusable as an engagement medium in the past year or so due to the algorithmic biases only allowing the stuff it wants to show you, with no option to just see from those who you are connected to—see this recent example of me scrolling in real time and note how some posts appear more than once plus there are no posts from those in my network, only likes or supports or loves etc of content from those outside my network (oh and I did ask and here’s their non-response proving there’s no way to see posts JUST from those in your network):
Back to the Twittersphere, things have definitely changed: from the early days of ‘follow Friday’ where you would celebrate a bunch of people in your network you wanted to champion to others right through to connecting via event hashtags and having fantastic ‘back-channel’ discussions on what’s going on.
And now Mr Musk could usurp all of this in the coming months and years although I doubt it. And even if he does, there will be another platform I’m sure which will come along and offer the same service.
So for now, archive your tweets and keep busting some tweetmail moves: