This September I will complete 7 years on Twitter. As of now I follow 558 people and 14,949 people follow me. This blog's account has 523 followers. Of course, if you are familiar with Twitter you would know that "following" is a relative concept.
Over the years how I use Twitter has changed.
Earlier Twitter was a small network, with the early adopters from the blogging world. People I had followed via blogs from 2004-2007. There were three main groups, the Talent and HR bloggers, the Tech and Startup bloggers, and there was the Desi bloggers.
And then Twitter exploded with celebrities. Politicians, movie stars came to the network and the growth in membership started thanks to the extraordinary press Twitter got. A rub-off effect happened on the early adopters. Some of us thanks to being their early got a fair bit of people who started to follow us.
However a lot of people who join Twitter don't really understand how to use it, and a majority of them don't return to Twitter. It's not an easy platform to understand.Unlike say a Facebook or LinkedIn. The benefits of Twitter are not really evident for the normal user.
Here is how I use Twitter currently:
- Having to let go of the FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) - now I have understood Twitter is a stream, I won't ever get through all the content ever, so no use trying. Like a river I dip in and immerse it in when I find the time for it.
- I post links to interesting content I find on the internet, these could be HR related or not
- I reply to people who ask me specific questions
- I retweet interesting Tweets I find on my timeline.
- I have chosen the option that any follower of mine can send me a direct message (as compared to the default setting of only people I follow)
- I make a decision to follow people after going through their timelines and seeing their past few posts - too many uninteresting "personal" posts means I won't follow.
- Even after I follow people if their posts don't add value to my learning I weed them out.
- Chatty people who reply to conversations with others (whom I don't follow) so that everyone sees those conversations are ones that get unfollowed too.
- Posting auto generated posts like paper.li posts and twitter stats also ensure that you will get muted or unfollowed.
- Finally for me Twitter is a personal learning network, and any negativity and hate posts ensure that I am not interested in what you are saying.