9 things I learned about Twitter, in 1 day

Here are some random observations about Twitter based on my first 24 hours of activity:

1.  Don’t sign up for Twitter the weekend after Oprah joins.  When I tried to upload a profile photo, I was greeted with the image of a whale being lifted out of the water by birds with string – a la Cinderella.  Somehow that struck me as funny.  The message told me that Twitter was bogged down with traffic.  I think the Oprah rush is over and it’s safe now.

2.  The stated value proposition of Twitter isn’t all that appealing to me, but I think it could be important to me professionally and to the non-profits I support, so here I am.  What’s the value proposition?  According to the video you can watch on the Twitter website, “Most of our day to day lives are hidden from people that care… What about people that [uh, should be who] want to know about the little things that happen in your life?”  So, Twitter is for sharing the day-to-day moments of your life like “I’m typing now.”

3.  According to the quick scan of my Outlook contacts that I let Twitter perform, 14 people I know Twitter.  I decided to follow six of them.

4.  One of the people I decided to follow used to be a college intern for me.  She’s a junior staffer at a PR agency and she’s very active on Twitter.  Looks to me like she does a combo of “daily life” tweets as well as many that help spread the word about events that the agency is no doubt promoting.  Great idea for all relative newbies of PR agencies, and maybe a few of us oldies, too.

5.  Found out you can identify local Twitterers through http://localtweeps.com.  I’m gonna do that.

6.  I decided to follow four social media pros by checking out the tweet streams of bloggers.  What was interesting about that was I checked out probably 10 “suspects” but concluded about six of them weren’t all that interesting to follow.  I also looked at how many people were following them, on the theory that that many Twitterers can’t be wrong.  Lucy Bernholz has 907 followers on Twitter.  Beth Kanter has something like 13,000 followers.  John Kenyon (the one who Tweets by jakenyon) has 227 followers.  Allyson Kapin has 490 followers.

7.  My harvest of tweets from the 10 people I’m following yielded 12 Tweets today from Lucy Bernholz, 5 from Beth Kanter, 2 from the former intern and 1 from a Allyson Kapin.

8.  I replied to two tweets and sent one of my own.  One was to Beth Kanter who asked, “What’s on your non-profit wish list?”  The other was a tip to Lucy Bernholz about the U of Missouri study I linked to yesterday on this blog.  You gotta give to get.

9.  As I scanned potential people I might follow (not just the ones I chose), here’s the type of content I spied, just to give you a taste of the Twitter brew:  witty remarks, updates on trip preparation, enjoyment of nature’s beauty, commentary about local changes e.g. sports, tips about blog posts worth reading, whereabouts (e.g. I’m heading out to meet so and so), tips about local events and promotions.  Some of that’s interesting, and some of it’s not.  So we’ll see how well Twitter ends up fulfilling the value proposition I want.

Are you twittering?  Tweet me at   @philanthrophile

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