I believe it allows us to connect, and “meet” with people, and form relationships and sometimes even virtual friendships.
It allows us to support one of our community, when they are fragile… whether they are reeling from another sleepless night… a sick child who is inconsolable… or trying to get through the treatments to battle a life-threatening illness.
In that same way, each of us has Twitter families, that include our real families, but also extends to people outside our lives.
I can chat with Sergei in Romania, to find out if his leg is better… find out what he thinks about my latest song… or I can send a Hi Howdy to my Sister up in Prince George, to find out how she is. It is a real time connection with people from… anywhere !
During a Canucks Game, the Twitter stream is filled with “Go #Canucks Go… RT if you’re with me” !!!
During the recent Canada /US World Junior Hockey Tournament Final Game… those of us watching the Game, grew silent, as Canada fell two goals behind… then jubilant as the Game was tied, with mere moments to go… and commisserating with one another, as Canada lost in overtime.
Twitter can make experiences richer, by making the experience a shared on.
Often, I see tweets… “Has anyone had to...” and sometimes someone can help them, or make a suggestion.
Often you will see a follow up tweet… “Never mind” …because the act of having to put their question into 140 characters, has clarified the issue, and they have effected their own solution.
As you may have guessed, I am a fan of Twitter, and will often refer someone who is new to Twitter, to the Mashable website, for the Twitter 101 article. I also try to suggest that folks who are songwriters, fill in their Bio information so that other Songwriters, may (regionally) be able to get together and support one another, like @BCSongwriters tries to do here in the Lower Mainland.
I believe that Twitter is an effective and beneficial tool for connecting with friendly people, or with people holding similar interests.
MY Twitter, is currently comprised of 711 folks I follow, and 854 that follow me. I don’t have a lot of time for Tweeps who just push. I’m not a big fan of Tweeps who send thousands of quotes, but don’t interact. I like to believe I have a discerning eye for Tweeps who are going to become spammers, or just want a large following to brag to their friends.
In my Twitter, there is ALWAYS room for discussion and disagreement. The form thrives in the forum, and the debate.
Late at night, the dark side of Twitter sometimes emerges, with the tweets becoming a deeper blue, from the daytime Turquoise. Not my thing… but that is the joy of MY Twitter. I am not obliged or compelled to participate in a conversation that doesn’t “speak” to me.
However, rudeness and ill will have no place on MY Twitter, and will not be tolerated. It is called Social Media, and to my mind, the Number One Rule of Society is, and always will be, “Treat Others As You Would Like To Be Treated“
I have, apart from Spammers, never blocked anyone, until a few days ago.
The individual in question insulted me, before engaging me in debate… and repeatedly ridiculed my points without providing any counterpoints. In the end, I realized he was wasting my time, so I sent a brief “We shall agree to disagree” tweet, and blocked him.
Yesterday, using a different user name, I was assailed by the same individual. (Apparently he only has the one picture ? Brilliant !)
I have heard from a few other Tweeps that they, too, have recently had similar experiences… some have had someone RT (ReTweeting) tweets, but subverting the contents.
Being that I am civically minded, and tend to express my opinions… these incidents have, just for a moment, given me pause.
Not because I am being attacked and targetted, for expressing my opinions, in a Democratic Country… but because, in the same way that we can rally around Team Canada without being present in Saskatchewan in the rink, Twitter also offers an opportunity for those with ill will to gather, and sometimes apparently, to transgress the border, into MY Twitter.
In the meantime, I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it, but I love Twitter !!!
Would love to hear your thoughts…
With all due respect to the fine work @Mashable does, on an on-going basis, to keep everyone “on the path” of using Twitter in a socially acceptable manner… (I would absolutely suggest reading his “Twitter 101” article, for newer Twitter users)
… I would like to offer my own list of “Rules” which I use to guide my Twitter journey.
I realize some of you use Bots to send Tweets, find followers, acknowledge followers, or do other sundry tasks… but I have a 2 part request:
– If you stopped using Twitter in August… and haven’t Tweeted since late July ? Maybe turn off the Follow Bot ???
– Tailor your Bio to reflect the actual, not project the possible. I’m a big fan of “Fake it until you Make it” but if your User Name or Bio says you are a Twitter Marketing Expert, and the Tweets you’ve posted, still include your “Twitter is stupid… I don’t get it” Tweet… I would say that it marginally diminishes your Brand.
I also have a series of ever lengthening rules, which when I review your Twitter Page, may dictate that I’m not going to Follow you (or Follow you back) if:
a) You Tweet about getting whiter teeth
b) You obviously use trending topics and hash tags (other than #Canucks) to get “hits”
c) You Tweet about how I can make big $$$ on Twitter, like you
d) You are a Restaurant 3000 miles away from my home
e) Your User Name has the letters BRITNEY with interspersed punctuation.
(If you don’t understand what this rule means, you are either VERY lucky, or don’t review your followers)
f) You are a New York Rangers fan. (And yes, I intentionally chose “F” for this rule)
g) You are following 6000 people, and have 12 followers
h) You are following 16000 people, and have only posted 3 Tweets
i) Your whole focus seems to be anger or frustration, over a cascading series of progessive Tweets, on various days. (The OBVIOUS exception here is if that anger is directed at the New York Rangers… then Welcome Friend !!!)
j) If you have (for example) Tweeted that you want someone to publish the songs you have written… but have no location, website or ANY information in your Bio that would enable someone else to know if they could or should possibly help you
I’m sure there are more… but this was written in the middle of the night, when sleep was an escape that seemed not to be an option, and I was looking at people who had followed me, who I STILL haven’t followed back… and these folks apparently, just don’t “get it” !!!
The other subject that personally is up for debate, is the Direct Message reply… (as opposed to a General Tweet or an @Message) Some people have expressed an almost fanatical dislike for the DM reply, to the point where they will unfollow someone who DM’s them. I don’t mind a DM, if it is a private matter, but get irritated when I get a DM that could easily be public, and sent by @Message. The reason for me, is that I’m often on Twitter using my Blackberry, and NEVER check my DM’s on mobile. It is also contrary to the very nature of Social Media, to hold private conversations about subjects that are public. (The Canucks played well last night, I tried a new Scotch, like your Blog, etc)
Whew… I certainly feel better ! (Not that ANY infringers are likely to stumble across my Blog, but…)
If you see any “Rules” I’ve missed, please don’t hesitate to let me know, and I will edit/amend as necessary !
If you are reading this, and not following me, providing you “meet the criteria” posted above, please follow me on Twitter… my user name is BobSongs !
“Thank you for Following me… I look forward to reading your Tweets !!!”