observed by Diane » photo journal for those who enjoy vignettes of an ordinary life

Eating my Words

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It was only weeks ago I talked here about what a waste of time many of the social networks seem to be. Twitter was the main brunt of my wrath since any blogs I had visited that also sported their Twitter feed seemed to be so full of mundane jabber. That sort of chatter, in my view anyway, is more appropriately shared in personal emails rather than broadcast to the world. Not once did I ever see anything of value. I simply don’t see wasting my time reading about how bored they are, what’s on TV, how messy their hair is, that they are going to bed now, and other mundane drivel. It is for all those reasons I couldn’t see any value whatsoever in using Twitter. Well, writing colleague Pat Steer and I had a conversation on the writing forum (at Dog Writers Association of America) we both belong to. She made a solid enough case for Twitter as a networking tool and directed me to this article so I decided I’d give it a try on a one-month trial basis. It didn’t take long for me to have to eat my original words!ย 

A lot depends on what a person chooses to post as their tweet (see, I’m even learning the lingo). Who you follow is just as important. Pat, of course, was one of my initial people to follow and as I read a few tweets by professionals or those in the areas of my interests (photography, dogs, environment, natural wellness, gardening, local news for instance) I began to see the real potential. It can be a place of sharing useful information, articles of interest, purposeful networking, local news & events, and even specials (photography specials perk my twitter ears). Used correctly, it can also be a valuable venue for self promotion whether you’re an artist, photographer, realtor, author, freelance writer, or anyone with a service or product to sell.

Some people out-of-the-blue sometimes add themselves as a “follower” (this is a twitter term) and when that occurs, I check their twitter home page. I can tell immediately if I wish to reciprocate — or perhaps block the person. If all I read from an individual and their twitter-friends is drivel, they get the heave-ho! Simple as that. If I read some worthwhile content on their home page then I’ll likely add them to my list.

I should also mention that it’s important to allow a person’s personality to come through so that others can get to know us. That means, of course, we’ll tweet about topics that aren’t necessarily ‘business-related’ or ‘craft-related’ or whatever. It’s a bit of a balancing act, like so many other things in life. I must admit that I’ve also seen the complete opposite end where some business people post absolutely nothing but sales they have or strictly business ‘stuff’ — that is every bit as much of a turn off! Who wants that, right!

I don’t have a lot of extra time for visiting and reading blogs though I definitely try to visit a few when I get pockets of time here and there. I’m finding that I now check Twitter once or twice a day for very brief periods: no more than 15 minutes and usually less time. In that time I can read several tweets by multiple people. If there is an article, blog entry, or other item of interest referenced I will often click on the link provided. It’s quick, handy, and always within my areas of interest.

If you wish to give Twitter a try as I have, here is a great little article providing 10 Twitter Tips to give you a leg-up towards success.

So, eating my words, Twitter has proven to be a quick and easy networking tool. As with so many things in life, it is what you make it. If you Twitter, I welcome you to follow me! Have you found Twitter to be a valuable networking tool, useful for self promotion (of your business, craft, personal interests, or >>>>), or a source of other worthwhile information?

{Other topics coming up this week: how to approach strangers (for photographers); wedding photograph DIY, and a few other tidbits here and there.}

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Diane is an on-location lifestyle photographer serving Grande Prairie and Edmonton, Alberta. Visit Diane Schuller Photography.

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Monique Nelson - June 10, 2009 - 12:28 pm

Diane,
I think everyone’s first impression of Twitter is food related…
“I went to this fast food place…” “I had this for breakfast…” “Just had another java…”

Fortunately, there is much more relevant information if you take the time to set yourself up with some quality people. I am very glad you decided to give it another chance, and I commend Pat Steer for encouraging you!

I’m glad you were able to find my Twitter Tips and that they were helpful. Thanks so much for sharing them with your readers!

I wish you the best of luck, and I look forward to seeing you on Twitter!

@MoniqueNelson

laura-dolcepics - June 10, 2009 - 1:22 pm

I’m glad you gave Twitter another shot. I too thought it was useless as I kept up friends on Facebook and saw no point to another site with status updates. That was until I discovered I could use it for a different purpose. I do, however, like to read about what people are up to and what they ate and what they are reading in and among their other tweets related to my field because I can get to know them better as a person and not only as a professional. The information/learning tweets are great but I also value the personal ones too.

I think when I share personal updates, my followers get to know me a little better and through these personal tidbits, we form relationships. And when we form relationships, we are more likely to respond to each others’ questions and help each other out. Just another take on it I guess. ๐Ÿ™‚ Granted, if all a person ever tweets about is what they’re watching on TV, then that’s another thing.

shelli - mama of letters - June 10, 2009 - 4:19 pm

I agree w/ you, Diane. And I’m not sure I’ve mastered Twitter yet, but I’m going to try to make it a more valuable tool for myself.

Here is another good article by Laura of Dolcepics on 6 reasons we should Twitter. Her article focuses on photographers.

http://www.dolcepics.com/articles/6-reasons-why-you-should-use-twitter/

Sometimes I wish I had more valuable things to tweet about than my home life!!! Going to work on that too….!

sherri - June 11, 2009 - 12:20 am

๐Ÿ™‚ I like the images too:-)

Roberta - June 11, 2009 - 11:28 am

Great images. Sushi…oh man, do I love sushi! Making my mouth water just looking at it.

I embraced Twitter for the beginning as the spontaneity of it really suits me. You can spend as little or as much time as you want there. It’s usefulness, as you stated, all depends on who your network is; and what you hope to gain from it. For me it’s just a quick way to keep up with news, a few friends and colleagues; and customers.

Toni - June 11, 2009 - 5:27 pm

Diane, you and Maya of Springtree Road might just convince me to give Twitter a try. I’ve been adamantly dragging my feet on it. Great “food” for thought!

Steve - June 12, 2009 - 10:30 am

Makes me hungry!