When confronted by Twitter for the first time, many newbies freeze. What do I write?
One of my favorite Twitter users, @unmarketing, recently blogged about when to blog and when not to (http://www.un-marketing.com/blog/2010/04/09/frequently-futile-how-often-should-you-blog/).
Now that we've all become content creators (whether we like this realiity or not), it's become imperative that you understand the answers to these questions.
For so long, we sat by passively as others churned their content at us. I remember in the early days of the Internet, big media companies and advertisers scoffed at the prospect of people actually wanting to create their own content, instead of having it done for them. Many of them have since gone out of business.
I mean, really, what could we nobodies have to say that would rival the relevance of Jon and Kate Plus Eight, or the latest mistress out of the woodwork from Tiger Woods? Yeah. Pretty much ANYTHING you have to say is more interesting to me that that crap. I know I'm not alone in believing this.
There are a million things that happen in each person's day. (And yes, some people choose to blog/Twitter about all of them. I don't recommend this.) The color, the flavor, the tenor of your day, though, is specific to you and your perception of it. And that's what I want to hear about.
FAR too many blogs and Twitter posts hover around the "how do we make money from this crap?" tangent. They aim their posts at marketing something to you. I avoid these posts/blogs like the plague. I care about them as little as I care about Tiger Woods.
Realize that we are in a distinctly different time now. Our mission, all of us, is to take what is valuable from our lives and broadcast that to others. Podcast it, blog it, Tweet it, LiveStream it, however you've gotta do it, just do it. But consider editing a bit. Just because the world is now your blank slate, doesn't mean that we are all hungering for each salivating morsel of it.
Play by plays of each sandwich you make probably can take a blog pass. But that encounter you had with the grocer that made your day? THAT I want to hear about.
In short, what is important to you? should be the top Twitter question. If you retweet others (and you should), it should be something that moves you. If you #FollowFriday others (and you should), it should be people whose posts really make your week better. That is how we show our interconnectedness. (If I value you, and you value someone else, perhaps I might get something out of their Tweets too?)
Those who haven't yet jumped on the Twitter bandwagon might not understand this. Or those, like the collosal jerkoff Conan O'Brien, who made such a big show about following one person (without realizing all it said was, to a mass audience: I don't understand Twitter at all.) It's not about one to one anymore, or even one to many. It's even more than many to many. It's like we are all part of a giant rushing stream, and we are compelled to contribute our important part.
Sure, if you want, you can get all uppity and protect your Tweets (also not understanding Twitter), but it's all about the discourse now. Shy folks, private souls need not participate.
We are twisting and molding and shaping our future right now. From the hands of those who would shovel crap down our throats. We can make it whatever we want. But to do that, we have to distinctly and clearly voice what is important to us.
Implicit within that is also one of the rallying cries of the new age. We, the imperfect, are taking over this world from those who would force perfection on us. So we have podcasts using shitty mics, and blogs with typos and Tweets that are typed when we are drunk. Yep. We do that, and it's ok. In fact, it's great. Imperfection is what is valued now.
Adam Curry talks about the new authenticity. Being real and honest and true is the currency of today. Mainstream media has forgotten what truth is all about. We need to remind them. Constantly.
Unmarketing was talking about some people's need for a "blog schedule" (every day, or every week, or every Friday). He was at SXSW. He wants to post whenever the spirit moves him. And you know what? That's ok. In fact, that is how it works today. You share something when you have something to share. I'll still be paying attention to you, once it's there.
I don't demand perfection from you, and I hope you don't demand it from me. Let's just get real together, shall we? Cause we all can make the world a better place that way.