I love it when I cannot attend conferences on my favourite subjects and still get 25% goodness through Facebook and Twitter stream. 25% is for accessing the information and data that was shared at the conferences. The other 75% lies in the networking and soaking up the atmosphere. So yes, attending conferences in person is still way more worth it.
Why do you blog so much? Oh gosh! You are always on Facebook? Don’t you have anything better to do than be on Twitter all day? You tweet so much? Do you live your life on Facebook or what? Why do some Facebook users’s have to share so much detail about their life? and it goes on….
These are some of the questions you might have heard or asked someone at some stage or at least wondered about. I definitely get asked some of these questions [or at least get the looks as if someone is begging for a response or irritated with my activities on Facebook or Twitter].
This blog post is an attempt to answer the question as to why I use Facebook and Twitter and why I use the way I do. I will keep this post as a work in progress post and may update the content or add to it at a future date if I can add anything or more value.
I jump on technology and web services bandwagon even if I have slight interest. Key things for me are:
I am curios and want to find out more
I want to learn more about the technology and how it is going to impact/improve my life and want to get in early
I want to learn about the business model and the motivation behind the web service and the future possibilities
I remember trying to sign up for Facebook when it was only allowing University email holders and this week I finished 5 years as a Twitter member.
To me Facebook is more personal and the core element of the service to is the connection with my local and overseas friends and make them part of my life and be a part of their life. Twitter on the other hand is a firehose of information, knowledge and entertainment that I can dive in anytime I want or need to.
So here are the reasons why I use Facebook and Twitter service and I spent the time I do:
On both Facebook and Twitter, I can be myself. I don’t have to pretend what I am not and express my views without worrying too much if people will like it or not. If they don’t they are free to express their views, ignore me or worse unfollow me.
I am a people’s person and like to be connected. Bonding more with existing connections and creating new links. Without Facebook I won’t have found all the old school and college connections that I have found or at least there was no easy way for me to make them part of my life in the way they are today.
Using these tools I get a chance to connect with my existing friends in the way traditional get-togethers do not allow for. Facebook allows me to witness the aspects and qualities of my friends which is not very apparent through face to face meetings. I get the opportunity to see the more emotional and human aspect of them. Using Twitter and Facebook I get an opportunity to tap into personalities that would be difficult to connect with otherwise. Read this as connecting to writers, superstars, artists, CEOs and founders of the companies. How else do you propose to easily tap into the likes of Big B, Tom Peters and Rajesh Shetty and engage with them?
Getting to know my friends and contacts
Because of Facebook and Twitter I know much about what my friends are and the choices they stand for. Now I have to assume less.
So my friends and contacts are supportive. I can get motivation and support when I need it the most. Guess what, this is most of the time genuine support from the people who like me. When I get more likes and retweets to my posts, pictures I get motivation to post more often and I have done that consistently.
I get to learn a lot of other people.
I have committed to life long learning. In this fast paced race where time is less and subjects are more, I can tap into the vast knowledge pool from Twitter and learn and learn quick from the people and ideas and resources shared on the service. Apart from my time, most of the learnings I receive are free. Where else can you expect to learn from the experts for free?
In my bid to constantly learn from other people and their experiences, one thing that Facebook and Twitter has helped me big time is to learn more about myself. Through self observation and observing my own interactions over time, I am learning more about myself.
Identify and possibly eliminate weakness
At times through observations and self observations, it is easy to identify and possibly eliminate a weakness when seen in a a person other than you. Facebook and Twitter both have helped me in this. Again I can become my own critique and improve on myself.
Correct my own assumptions and perceptions
I am a strong believer that by myself I will have a limited understanding of matters of this world and will have a limited perception of the events that interests me and the things that I am interested in. Through interacting with people at a national and international level on both the platforms it has helped me correct my own assumptions onto matters and for better changed/improved my perceptions of a lot of things. An recent example of this would be I corrected some of my own basic assumptions about the interest rates and economy in Australia.
Getting answers to the questions when I need answers
Google is good for searching but Facebook and Twitter assist me in getting personalised answers. The people on these services know me and when I ask a question, they will give me a personalised answer. I ask from spiritual to shopping related questions and a lot of nonsense questions and the answers I get it from the people who know me.
Getting priority access
Ah, did I tell how much I like to live no the cutting edge! I need access to a service, beta software etc, all I need to do is shout out on Twitter and a good person on it will respond to my request. Recently I wanted to trial out Bitcasa sooner than getting my turn on Bitcasa’s waiting list, I requested for it and I received the invite. At the same time, if I got something that people want, I can provide them access as well.
Exploration of ideas and subjects
Through reading and interacting on Facebook and Twitter, I have read and learnt a lot and as a result this has allowed me to identify ideas and opportunities [what I do with them is for another post]. Sometimes there are couple of times in a day when I have my eureka moments.
One of the common things I hear about Facebook and Twitter is the networking factor. My experience tells me that it is not about the network creation but interactions. Do generate awesome interactions and provide value to myself and the person interacting. When one does a lot of these, networks are formed anyway!
What are your thoughts? What are your reasons for using Facebook and Twitter? Or the reasons for not using Facebook or Twitter?
That last sentence from the interview is well said. Everybody should think for themselves as to what they want from the tool (Twitter) and how to get the most out of it. After all everybody’s needs are different too.
I was never a huge fan of growing massive followings at Twitter and I am still not convinced of it’s need for myself. I want to have a Twitter stream that is adding value to me and I want to reciprocate the same value to people in my stream.
I have around 1000+ people that I am following and around the same number that is following me. My aim is to add value to my Twitter stream and reduce noise from it as much as possible while still maintaining people in my stream from various fronts [I am open to new things and ideas].
Starting today I am going to at least unfollow at least 5 people whose tweets are not adding value to my Twitter stream and at least add 5 people who will add more value being in my stream.
Overtime I can see myself removing more people than the people I will be adding, but more of it in next few weeks.
How are you reducing noise in your Twitter stream?
I like to retweet [RT] if I think it’s really going to add value, is funny/useful or reinforce it’s value. I try to do this sparingly. But next time before you retweet find out how many people might be seeing that post second time or more than that on http://shouldirt.com and then see if the double up is worth it.
So I I decide to RT one of @guykawasaki’s post I am going to double up post for nearly 45% of my followers who also follow @guykawasaki.