Ok, I’ll admit it – I’m one of the Twitter users who signed up about 2 years ago, didn’t quite get it, and never tweeted. Until recently. As the microblogging service has really come into its own, I decided to take another look at how I could use it.
Twitter is a prime example of “The Network Effect” where a technology becomes more valuable as more people use it. (telephones, the internet, and facebook are great examples as well) If you’ve looked into Twitter but aren’t using it now, keep in mind that it is now inherently more valuable than ever before.
I heard someone say a couple days ago, “I don’t think Twitter would be that valuable because if people are just saying what they think, does it really matter?” If it’s being used ineffectively, I won’t disagree with that statement. The caveat is that you have to follow the right people. I follow some of my friends of course, but the vast majority of the users I follow are directly related to the industry I’m going into. There are also some news sources and some other inspirational speakers/bloggers I follow as well, but most of what I see are related to neuroscience, neuromarketing, science research, etc.
It’s possible that I have the most (or close to the most) nerdy twitter feed of any of my good friends. That’s fine, because that fits who I am and what I’m looking for. By using Twitter this way I can keep very up to date on what’s going on in the industry, upcoming events, interactions between other neuro-related Twitter users, and so forth. I’m blessed that many people in the neuroscience world are fairly tech-savvy, so it’s typically not hard to find their material online. Many of the influential people in my industry have their own blogs as well. Looking at their blogs is useful not just to keep up on what’s going on, but as a way to see what works and doesn’t in your blog. (hint: Start your own blog. Give people a reason to see more than your resume can provide in 1 page and prove that you’re tech-savvy)
I’ve also seen job postings as well as news about company closures in my twitter feed. I won’t say that you shouldn’t follow your favorite celebrities and such, but make sure you aren’t missing out on what Twitter has to offer. Of course, with any social networking technology, remember that it is a public forum and be prudent in your posts.