This is what I really learned in the past 9,999 tweets….
You truly, honestly don’t care what I had for breakfast. Or lunch. Not even dinner… but someone will always take pictures of their food and tweet it — and I will always look. While I don’t care what it is, I like to live vicariously. Twitter is about sharing, and gossiping, and just plain out living your life in different ways (some of which you may not do in real life). That is OK. You are encouraged to share as much or as little of your life as you want — just don’t expect it to remain private if you share it. Think of Twitter as an electronic postcard that is immediately read by 100 million people.
Not everyone will agree with me. I made my share of friend-nemies, and plain out enemies, based on what I tweeted at one time or another. No worries though, it just accelerated what happens in real life. I made friends also, many more of them. I am very grateful to both good and bad people (bad is those that don’t agree with me). Twitter has been an incredible place to cross-reference what I know, to learn a lot, and to share what I learned. People are mean? sure, as they are in real life. People are nice? same, as they are in real life. If you had enough of someone or something, simply use the filters that Tweetdeck gave you (or your favorite client), block them and go on with life. Just like you would do in the real world.
Everyone wants to collaborate in Twitter. Even if it is the old high-school concept of team (one person works, the others take credit) for very few of those “collaborators”. Coming out of Gartner I missed the 6×24 (noon Saturday through Sunday afternoons were very slow or dead) global collaboration environment with smart people. It was a very challenging and nourishing environment. Think of Twitter as a mega Gartner. Don’t like that reference? I could’ve said mega-Forrester and you would’ve really shuddered… (BTW, this may also explain the low incidence of analysts on Twitter, but that is just a working theory).
Twitter is a microcosm. Twitter is a world in itself, and it has dramatic representations of what happens in the real world as well. You want to see a computer pioneer get 30,000 followers before even the first tweet? Bill Gates did that. How about see a Latin America dictator convince his dictator friends to join Twitter (and tweet under the name of the devil)? Hugo Chavez did that. Seen a celebrity whose tweets can be worth $10,000.00? Kim Kardashian did that. Did you notice that anther celebrity’s empty-content tweets are re-tweeted 350,000 times within 5 minutes? Ashton Kutcher would be the one (even if you don’t count the millions that follow him now.
In short, I learned that Twitter is a representation of the real world, no more and no less, and it requires the same commitment to get value out of it as you do from the real world. Simply said, Twitter is another GIGO model. Garbage In? Garbage out!PS – I also learned that if you make a mistake and re-tweet something it does indeed goes against your tweet count, and if it was your 10,000 one you have to delete it, get a mulligan, and then re-tweet it again. Just like in real life, you do get second chances :).