Dec 272008

I have finally decided to take the plunge and join the social media revolution. My first step was to start a Twitter account. I learned that it was possible to send a text message to [](] after finding a geocache which would not only create a field note at to help me log it later, but could also be set up to send a Twitter message to my ‘friends’ letting them know I found it in real time.

This was kind of interesting. Although it became real apparent that I do not cache near as much as others. Jon Stanley, (aka Moun10Bike or @moun10bike on Twitter), a cacher I know who lives over in the Seattle area, has had this same set up going for a while, and for every cache I might log, he had 5+ showing up on my Twitter screen.

I had moved from Stage 1, Denial, to Stage 2, Presense, of what Rohit Bhargava (aka @rohitbhargava on Twitter) describes as The 5 Stages Of Twitter Acceptance. But was there any other reason to use Twitter?

Before starting my Twitter account, I could not figure out why anyone would want to broadcast their activities on the web. ‘Going to sleep now’, ‘Had toast for breakfast’, ‘Dragging myself to work’, etc. just was not something I was interested in doing or watching others do. Since I now had a presence on Twitter, I started adding to the people I was ‘following’ so I could see what Twitter had to offer. Also, I had a couple people follow me right away who were watching for local Twitter users and recognized me (thanks @JeremyAsmus and @CraigSutton).

Watching the activity on Twitter I saw that it was much more than just personal status messages. It is a way to share information. As one low on the totem pole, I will be on the receiving end of most of the information, but that is fine. As a matter of fact, it is great. Hopefully what I contribute to the Twitter community will be valuable to others as well. I have moved past stage 2 now but not sure where I am between 3 and 4.

--Photo: 5 Stages of Twitter Acceptance by Rohit Bhargava--

Now I find, when asked by a family member what Twitter is, I can not give them any kind of answer that would make them want to join Twitter. Maybe that should be one of the stages.

Stage 3.5 – You can explain to someone why you use Twitter and give a good case for why they should.

As I use Twitter more I will hopefully be able to give a better answer as to why I find it useful. Right now I am in the learning stage.

  • By listening to some of the top tech people I can stay on top of what is happening in tech.
  • By listening to some of the top bloggers I can find ways to improve my blog.
  • By listening to local Twitter users I can keep in touch with what is happening around town.
  • By listening to some Twitter news feeds I can keep up on the news during the day.
  • By posting to Twitter I hope to contribute to the conversation.

I have ended up with 2 accounts, the first one, @YeOleImposter, is where I keep all my personal updates, geocaching updates, and things I want to send to my facebook account. The second account, @GaryPaulson, is my ‘professional’ account’ which I use to post things related to my work (insurance) and my blog. I am not really sure I need 2 accounts but I did not feel comfortable posting personal stuff to the tech gurus of the world :)

I am interested in knowing if any of you are using Twitter? How do you find it useful?

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