Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Why Do I Tweet

I was not very interested in Twitter until recently. I saw it as a platform for people to just make status-es; non sense and pointless. But now, I can admit I am enchanted by it. Like an idiom in Indonesian “Tak kenal maka tak sayang”, I disliked Twitter because I didn’t understand it. Now that I know, I would like to propose on why in the world you should consider tweeting, here are the reasons:

1. It will help you stay connected to people you care about. Twitter actually contributes to community-building. In today’s world, it’s difficult to keep up with others. Especially if you are far from your family and friends, you can know what is happening to them and care about them.
2. It will make you a better writer. Twitter only allows you to post 140 characters at a time. As a result, you are forced to be concise yet get the message across.
3. It will help you see a new side of your friends. In an odd sort of way, Twitter “humanizes” people and provides a context for better understanding them. For example, you’ll quickly see that people get excited, bored, frustrated, anxious and happy—sometimes all in the same day. You’ll also learn what is important to them and what drives them crazy.
4. It will introduce you to new friends. I have now met several new people via Twitter. These have contributed to my life in small but significant ways.
5. It is faster than text-messaging. In a sense Twitter is a universal text messaging system. You can broadcast to all of your “followers” (i.e., people who subscribe to your Twitter feed) or send a direct message to just one. If you notice a friend is very active on Twitter, just send them message there, not on text-message.
6. It will make you think about your life. As you answer the question, “What am I doing?”. “What I want to share?” you start to see your life through the lens of the people following you. Interestingly, it will make you more intentional and thoughtful about life.
7. It will keep you up-to-date with what people are talking about. Via Twitter, I have learned about hot K-pop singers coming to town, new books, cool applications, breaking news, and even local as well as international trends. This is useful for our knowledge.
8. It can create traffic for your site. This is another tool of publicity, whenever you have something controversial or interesting to share. Your followers get to know it real-time. Moreover, when they like it, they retweet it, publicizing further to their followers. This can create a viral effect.
9. It requires a very small investment. Twitter itself is a free service. In terms of time, you probably need to invest some 20 minutes a day, or merely checking when you are idle in bus stop or traffic jam. Since every tweets are limited to 140 characters, you can skim them in a second. Writing a tweet takes less than 30 seconds.
10. It can help build your personal “brand”. When people hear your name, what comes to mind? What is your reputation? What is the “brand promise”? Brands are built incrementally, one interaction at a time. Twitter gives you one more way to build your brand, one tweet at a time.

A lot of them, isn’t it? However, I’m sure there are some downsides to Twitter as well. Hence, let’s go on the journey and shape the future of social networks rather than sit on the sidelines and throw stones.

P.S: Follow me @keziagusmawan

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