Community Participation

The more I branch out my interests (or skill sets), the more I find myself joining communities. I am a part of Yelp (food/restaurants), StackOverflow (programming questions), Codaset (social coding), Facebook, LinkedIn (professional networking), Disqus (blog comment system), and the list goes on and on for many of my interests. There are lots of communities for almost all imaginable interests. The key thing here is not just that I am a part of these networks or communities that I am interested in, but that I am a contributor.
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Why Idea People Should Twitter

Let me start off by explaining what I mean by an “Idea Person.” To me, an idea person is someone who just has a knack for thinking of things that would make the world a better place (or at least make things easier for some people). They don’t necessarily need to be a scientist on the order of Albert Einstein, but they should be people who are constantly thinking. Something like, “Wouldn’t it be great if in men’s rooms in bars, there was padding above the urinals so men wouldn’t hit their heads while relieving themselves.”. It’s just an idea.

Quite often, people don’t get those ideas out fast enough and they lose them. It even could be because their minds move so quickly that they forget to jot it down. Enter age of instant gratification. If you have an idea, Tweet it. Of course you could blog about it, but then people may only get it when they read your feed or whenever they get around to checking your blog. But with Twitter, its an almost instantaneous media connection. All it takes is one person who is highly followed in Twitter to retweet your idea(s) and you instantly have high visibility.

Why does this matter? Well I’m glad you asked. Because an idea person may not always have the want or even the means to implement the ideas, but with the connections and viral dispersion of information that Twitter provides, someone somewhere will have the means and may share your desire. Someone may even be able to point out the fact that the project or idea already exists (or is in production). Who knows you might just end up finding a new business partner on Twitter if you follow the right people and the right people follow you.

Recent Twitter Related Learning

I’ve been using Twitter for a few weeks now and am starting to get used to some of the concepts. I have since also been reminded of a little of the RTFM concept mixed with the takes the experts with a grain of salt.

I started out reading some information given by Brent Ozar on his blog. These are 3 articles that kicked me off in the right direction:

  1. Twitter 101
  2. Top 10 Reasons I’m Not Following You On Twitter
  3. Top 10 Reasons I’m Following You On Twitter

That’s when I was reminded by Ryan Maplethat sometimes, depending on the people, those may be the opposite reasons. To be more specific, Ryan won’t follow people if they are consistently tweeting the fact that they have just put up a new blog post. (Although I am guilty of this every so often).

But I think the biggest element of Twitter that has since caught me off guard is the massive amount of information at ones disposal. For instance the yellow pages or wefollow.com can provide you with people to follow based on your interests. I have learned so much about things in my field just by following links that people re-tweet.

So if you are like I was and being a Twitter luddite, you may want to rethink it. I am consistently looking for more ways to make it useful too. So if you have something, let me know.