Twitter is Real Life

by Ken Mueller on March 22, 2011 · 5 comments

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Image via CrunchBase

I get more questions about Twitter than I do about any other subject. A lot of people have a hard time getting a handle on what it is, how it works, and very often their comments are underscored with a sense that it is too much work for very little payoff, and that it’s a poor substitute for “real” relationships.

Guess what: Twitter is real life, and the relationships you build there can be very real.

This past Friday the weather was so nice that I spent several hours working from my porch (a normal occurrence during the warmer months). I mentioned it on Twitter, and five different people showed up to work/chat/hang out. And only one of them was someone I had met prior to connecting with them on Twitter. During that time I had a business call to arrange a speaking engagement. The person on the other end was a friend from Twitter who I still haven’t met in person.

Then on Saturday I went downtown to Lancaster’s Central Market, ran some errands, went to church, and then went out at night to see a band play at a local venue. I did some quick math, and if I’m not mistaken, I spent time with about 25 different Twitter friends (or Tweeps, as they are known). Of that group, there were only two whom I had known prior to Twitter, and another two that I met in person for the first time that day. But I consider the large majority of them friends (of varying degrees).

Additionally, I received a good half-dozen solid business leads this past week, and agreed to several speaking engagements. Most of them came as the result of Twitter relationships.

And this doesn’t include the dozens of business and personal conversations I had via Twitter, including laying the groundwork for a major collaboration with someone nearly 300 miles away whom I’ve not yet met in person.

Oh, and Twitter also helped me stay up to date with the latest news from Japan and Libya, as well as the much less significant NCAA Basketball Tournament.

I also saw quite a few business transactions take place between various friends of mine. And I was able to help a friend get some business by connecting him with one of my clients, while another friend used Twitter to help raise money for a good cause.

So if someone tries to tell you that Twitter is a waste…or isn’t “real”…or doesn’t “work”…don’t believe them. Twitter is very real, as are the relationships that it allows you to develop, build, and maintain.

In closing, yesterday marked Twitter’s 5th birthday. In commemoration, Twitter created this wonderful video which gives you an idea of how Twitter is real life for some rather amazing and interesting people. Enjoy!

Happy 5th Birthday, Twitter. And thanks for keeping it real!

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  1. [...] think that Twitter is a waste of time, but haven’t actually tried it yet? Then read Twitter is Real Life to get the inside scoop about how relevant it can be. window.fbAsyncInit = function() { [...]

  2. [...] it offline. Make a concerted effort to meet as many social media friends as possible in the analog world. Set up coffee dates, pick up the phone, or use snail mail. Use [...]

  3. [...] 6) It either builds no relationships, or false relationships – If engagement suffers, so will the relationship building. And if any relationships are being built, it’s between your outsourced tweeter and your customers. It’s NOT between you and the customer. I walked into a store once and the owner was behind the counter. I followed them on Twitter and we had had some great conversations. I introduced myself and they had no clue who I was, despite me telling them I’d be in later that day for a specific item. They had even responded, “Can’t wait to meet you!” Hello? You talk to me yet just a few hours later you don’t remember me or what I need? A rather embarrassing thing for that business owner who had no clue what was being said on Twitter on their behalf. I mean, if you were invited to a networking event, you wouldn’t hire someone to go there and impersonate you, would you? We need to stop treating our online presence as if it is any different from how we would conduct business in person. This IS real life folks. [...]

  4. [...] beauty of Social Media is that it IS real life. We can connect and build relationships with real people. They become our community. But a lot of [...]

  5. [...] 6) It either builds no relationships, or false relationships – If engagement suffers, so will the relationship building. And if any relationships are being built, it’s between your outsourced tweeter and your customers. It’s NOT between you and the customer. I walked into a store once and the owner was behind the counter. I followed them on Twitter and we had had some great conversations. I introduced myself and they had no clue who I was, despite me telling them I’d be in later that day for a specific item. They had even responded, “Can’t wait to meet you!” Hello? You talk to me yet just a few hours later you don’t remember me or what I need? A rather embarrassing thing for that business owner who had no clue what was being said on Twitter on their behalf. I mean, if you were invited to a networking event, you wouldn’t hire someone to go there and impersonate you, would you? We need to stop treating our online presence as if it is any different from how we would conduct business in person. This IS real life folks. [...]

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