Do It Myself Blog – Glenda Watson Hyatt

Motivational Speaker

Twitter: Instant Messaging on Speed or a Budding Community?

Filed under: I'll Do It Myself: The Book,Social Media — by at 10:03 pm on Thursday, January 10, 2008

I became aware of Twitter, yet another social networking tool, early last year. At that time, I resisted the temptation to answer “What are you doing?” in 140 characters or less. I had decided it was the time in my life when it’s now or never to become financially sufficient. The last thing I needed was yet another distraction to exacerbate my technologically-induced ADHD when I really needed to focus my energy and attention. But, at one of Liz Strass’ indescribable Open Mic Nights last summer, my friend Susan Reynolds enticed me to drink the juice and I became a tweeter.

Initially, my opinion was confirmed: Twitter was instant messaging on speed. It was like being in a room full of people talking and overhearing bits of conversations. Some bits are useful, others are interesting, some are downright bizarre, and, occasionally, a bit is directed at you, drawing you further into that particular conversation momentarily. It was intriguing and addictive, but I didn’t see the value of all this tweeting. Several times I thought of leaving, but being one not to leave a party early, I hung around to see what would happen next.

Slowly, a few more tweeters began following me and I followed a few more, which is a good thing. When I would tweet about my latest blog post, a few fellow tweeters would pop over to read it and leave a comment. And tweeting from a BlogWorld session was kinda cool. I finally felt part of the in crowd. I began getting to know people beyond their avatars and handles.

Twitter limits tweets (messages) to 140 characters, which is such a great equalizer for me because I’m not expected to give lengthy responses; the system doesn’t allow it. So, I can pretty much keep up with my left thumb. And, it is in my medium: the typed word. Perfect for me!

In early December, Susan Reynolds discovered she had breast cancer, and openly shared in her tweets and new blog Boobs on Ice her journey from diagnosis to biopsy to surgery. She shared how a bag of frozen peas was more soothing on her battered chest than a brick-like ice pack.

Overnight green peas began appearing in tweeters’ avatars in support of Susan. It was then that I began noticing something – and I’m not sure if it was because Twitter was growing and reaching its potential more fully or if it was because I finally saw it: Twitter had morphed from IM on speed to a supportive community right before my eyes.
More and more tweeters creatively added peas to their avatars and words like please were spelled as PEAS. A Frozen Pea Fund was then launched to raise money for cancer research. As we don our peattire for the third Frozen Pea Friday, the fund has already reached more than $7,000 and continues to steadily grow.

Like with any community, the Twitter community’s strength is based on the contribution of each member. In return for the support that I received during my Blog for a Year campaign, I would like to support the community’s fundraising efforts. With each I’ll Do It Myself: Ebook Edition purchased between now and Friday, January 11th, at midnight (pacific time), I will donate $5 – the cost of two bags of frozen peas – to the Frozen Pea Fund for cancer research
Grab a good read and some good will be done. Thanks.

Twitter, I will be around for a while yet to participate in this vibrant, supportive community.

If you enjoyed this post, consider buying me a chai tea latte. Thanks kindly.

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Comment by Stephen

January 11, 2008 @ 11:08 am

Like most people, I didn’t see the point earlier on, but I’m totally addicted to Twitter now. 🙂

Comment by RennyBA

January 11, 2008 @ 2:19 pm

As a Network Evangelist, I’m a Twitter too and of course your one of my followers 🙂

Wishing you a great end to your week!

Comment by Kathy Jacobs

January 11, 2008 @ 2:24 pm

You inspired me today. Thought you might like to know. It was because of this post that I finally got down to writing a blog post that I have been meaning to do for 2 weeks.

Glad to know you on Twitter!

Comment by WhyMommy

January 11, 2008 @ 4:50 pm

I completely agree! I’ve just been sucked in this week and I already love it. Great post!

Comment by Todd Jordan

January 12, 2008 @ 5:38 pm

Great post. So glad you joined the Twitter community.

Comment by Debbie Cerda

January 14, 2008 @ 12:40 am

From @iAlbert via twitter – “My GF says twitter is like a bunch of A.D.D kids running in and of a room screaming random things.”

Comment by Doug McCaughan

January 14, 2008 @ 7:40 pm

Great post. Btw, I think you meant Friday January 18th.

I did not see the point to Twitter at first but now I see it far differently. Twitter is not to be ignored! It combines information, utility and entertainment into a quick 140 characters. I’m hooked.

Comment by Ruth Ellison

January 17, 2008 @ 5:25 pm

I’m hooked on twitter too! I love the feeling of connectedness I feel with other tweeters, despite our physical locations. This is especially useful especially when I’m sitting in the office all by myself.

Comment by Karen Putz/ DeafMom

March 22, 2008 @ 5:14 am

Glenda sucked me into Twitter– but I’m glad as I think it’s been a great networking tool.

Comment by Paul Rasmussen

February 3, 2009 @ 7:03 am

Twitter is an amazing tool, for allowing you to connect with others

Comment by Cleothildee

November 24, 2009 @ 4:24 am

i love to Twitter my day to day activities to my friends and followers. Twitter is much better than blogging because it is direct to the point and does not require you to type so many unnecessary words.


Comment by Kristine Shuee

December 6, 2009 @ 9:08 am

– i just love to Twitter everyday with my friends. Twitter is much better than blogging in my opinion and it is very addictive too.

Comment by John Brisbane

March 26, 2010 @ 6:38 pm

I can’t wait to see how Twitter turn their brand equity and traffic into money.

If I were them, I’d come up with some sort of Adsense-like program with revenue share to the Twitter page owner and sell small and tasteful banner ads on profile pages at a cost per impression and a cost per click.

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