One year ago today, I joined Twitter. My growing interest in using social media for promoting my favorite bands and small businesses made me realize that I was being foolish to restrict myself to Facebook, so I finally created a Twitter account. I can see now that my reluctance to join Twitter was based on the way it is portrayed in the media with its focus on celebrity, which obscures the fact that it is a great tool for sharing information and making real connections to real people based on interest, region or nearly any other subject.
To commemorate this milestone, here are some observations and notes from my first year of tweeting.
- One of my favorite bands, The Infamous Stringdusters, was the first “person” I followed.
- Nora Jane Struthers, songwriter and lead singer of the band Bearfoot, was the first person to follow me back.
- Laura Click was one of the first people to actually interact with me, when she suggested that I update my Twitter bio so that folks could know more about me.
- The best Twitter advice I ever got was to actually respond to other tweets rather than just retweeting them as I did for the first several months.
- The worst Twitter advice I ever got was to reduce the number of people I follow, especially celebrities and others who don’t follow back, to bring the following count more in line with my follower count so that my “Klout” score would increase. It did not affect the score at all, and I missed the entertaining tweets from folks like Michael McKean, George Takei, Wil Wheaton, Paul & Storm and Patton Oswalt.
- The best result of joining Twitter have been the regional connections I have made, especially folks who support local agriculture, real food, roots music, craft beer, wine and spirits.
- The most fun I have had on Twitter was a recent #bluegrassbeef with @eartyme.
- Facebook is great for keeping in touch with old friends and family, but Twitter is better for meeting new people with common interests.