Oct 12, 2011

Tweeter Than Wine

I am a supporter and advocate of technology, especially when it makes my life simple, but I am also typically a late adopter.  I still use my iPhone 3G, which replaced a Motorola Razor I used for a number of years.  I typically hold onto Mac computer until the hard drive falls out ... then I refurbish it.  So, it is no surprise that it took me some time to warm up to twitter.

At first, I was somewhat turned off by the idea of a service that seemed to be focused on providing users updates on celebrity hair appointments and lunch dates, or Shakespeare in 144 characters.  Really, who has that much time and, for that matter, inclination?  I certainly didn't, and as I stocked my Facebook account up with friends from overseas and high school pals, I was more interested in catching up on their lives and families.

Then, this past year, I became involved with Flipoutz, a company who had an appearance on ABC's Shark Tank in April.  I was told to tune into the "shark's" twitter feeds and start "twittering" to show my support.  So, I created my twitter account (@petergasca) and settled in on my couch for the show, cautiously optimistic.  It turned out to be quite fun, listening to (or reading, as is the case) the thoughts and feedback, often scorching and humorous, of the show's celebrity investors.  I even had a brief one-to-one conversation ... or twittersation? ... with one of them.  It was so exciting ... I digress.

While fun and all, I still didn't see any application aside from consuming what little spare time I had to be enthralled with the lives of people I had no real inclination to meet.  As I became more familiar with twitter, however, I soon discovered its many uses.  It was great to follow the feeds of my favorite and influential public figures, as well as respected industry leaders.  I found the "List" function, and now follow all of the latest headlines from the numerous media sources I check daily.  I get to link my blog with my website with my twitter with my linkedin account ... and so on.  It's quite fascinating.

Then came the business applications.  We discovered how useful twitter could be with sharing news about our companies.  More important, I have also discovered how essential it is to maintain a followed twitter account.  Tools like Radian6, Meltwater Press and Vocus are making the mining of a seemingly infinite amount of online information easy and applicable.  Even personal "dashboards", such as Hootsuite make it easy for me to see all of my personal activity in on spot.  Regardless of how you slice it, twitter is here to stay, and while it has done little to curve my A.D.D. or my inclination to procrastination, it has made getting, managing and applying information much easier.

Being a late adopter has proven useful in the past.  I was late in adopting Seinfeld in the 90's and Family Guy this decade, but in each case, it wasn't difficult to catch up.  With technology, however, late adoption could mean missing out entirely on a trend.  At least now, with my twitter account, I can find out what those trends are the minute they happen!

Thank you to Kim Vandenbroucke of Brainy Chick Inc, whose article in Global Toy News was influential in helping me come to grips with my twitter addiction ... or twitterdiction?  It's nice to know that I am not the only one out there ... as if that were ever really true.