Sunlight Shining Through Cloud

Twitterpation Procrastination

Posted on: June 30, 2011

I think of myself as an early adopter.  I was quick to embrace the debit card.  There’s been a computer in my house since 1980.  If it weren’t for Skype, I might never “see” friends and family from whom I am many miles distant.

Technology doesn’t frighten me.  But, like anything else, I want to know that new devices and programs will move my life forward in some way.  LinkedIn was a no-brainer.  I began ‘Connect’-ing almost from the start.  But there were already four hundred million ‘Friends’ using Facebook before I became convinced that I needed to be among them.  Blog writing?  Who cares what I have to say?  As it turns out, lots.

There’s always something new.  “Cloud Computing is gonna be huge.”  I’ve heard this many times.  But I have yet to hear with clarity how Cloud Computing is different from the many ways I already conduct business on the internet, so I remain on the sidelines.  I’ve dipped my toes into BranchOut, a Facebook app, because I think it has potential.  There’ll be no diving into these shallow waters just yet.

Rupert Murdock’s lone failure, MySpace, was sold today for a paltry $35M.  Presumably its new owners will tempt me into their space. is new to me.  It’s a social media aggregator.  Do I need that?  And Facebook has new competition from Google+.  I’m all over the internet right now.  Do I need to be even more all over the internet?

An then there’s Twitter.  This is like texting, but less.  140 characters is all you get for the delivery of your message.  What did you eat for breakfast?  Inquiring minds want to know.  You’re enjoying the day at the beach?  I’m jealous.  You just picked broccoli from between your teeth?  Fascinating.

Twitter didn’t make sense to me.  Why would hundreds, thousands, even millions of ‘Follow’-ers care about your dumb boss?  Why would anyone need to know that your flight was late?  And we don’t even want to talk about (insert your own Anthony Weiner joke here).

The 2008 general election initiated a change in my perceptions.  Then-candidate Barack Obama used Twitter as a pillar in his media strategy.  His messages were personal; purposeful.  A rising star was he, and future constituents flocked to sign up to receive his “Tweets.”  This minimalist approach to campaigning was arguably among the assets that won him the election.  Now you can’t find a campaigner — or a sitting politician at any level — who’s PR office isn’t pushing out several Tweets a day in the name of the politico.

Twitter launched only five years ago and has since amassed over 200 million users who produce about that many Tweets each day.  Adults, not kids, are into it.  Companies regard it as an essential component of their marketing strategies.  Governments use it to get important information into your hands.  News entities are sending urgent headlines with it.  Organizations are using it to advocate for their causes.  Professional groups use it to seek solutions.  Revolutionaries use it to organize the overthrow of their crooked governments.  Ne’er-do-well’s use it to instigate “flash mobs.”

Twitter has found a number of both broad and targeted purposes, and I am finally convinced that I should take my place in it.  Already I’m confused, though.  There are Twits with my name in Brazil, the Netherlands, the U.K., and in Utah.  For lack of a more creative handle, then, I will call myself  @fredmarx52.

So, what shall I Tweet?

  • I will tweet messages that strengthen my personal “brand.”
  • I will tweet alerts to new blog posts.
  • I will tweet my joy at becoming a grandfather this October.
  • I may tweet what I served The Princess for breakfast in bed.

And who shall I Follow?  It’s early yet.

  • I will follow my son, Jeremy, the SQL expert.
  • I will follow my old friend, Mack.
  • I just heard that the Pope Tweets.  Maybe I’ll Follow him.
  • I will figure out who and how many others interest me as much.

At a social media seminar yesterday, I noted that Facebook has a number of ways in which a user can manage that beast so as to not be consumed by it.  Then I asked the seminar’s speaker, Angel Guerrero, what controls Twitter had to prevent the user from being overwhelmed.

“Turn it off,” he said.

2 Responses to "Twitterpation Procrastination"

I’m no technophobe, but I am also overwhelmed by the options. Please don’t make me tweet. I have nothing to say and don’t care to let peeps know that I can’t find my glasses or am opening the door for my cats to go out. And to all my 200 friends on Facebook, I apologize again for only going on once a month or so. It is just too much technology… too many to-do items caused by it.

Thanks for the mention. Great article and fun to read now that I have met you a couple of times. Enjoy the adventure Fred!

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