At the Twitter Cafe’

If you have been thinking about signing up to use Twitter, here are a few things that might help you both use it and feel more comfortable with it.  I write this from a non computer, non social networking, don’t know what the letters PR stands for kind of perspective. 

 
I think it was Jonathan Fields who said that Twitter is like the water cooler at the office.  I think it’s even cooler (so to speak) than that.  And something many of us are also likely to be comfortable with. 
 
I am seeing it more like a really hopping cafeteria at a huge high rise office complex.  So not only are there people that are not in our “department” having lunch at this “Twitter  Cafe” there are tons of people that are from other offices all together. 
 
So what we are doing in Twitter is building acquaintances.  We come into the Twitter Cafe and ask if we can set your trays down with an interesting group of neck tie types.  Or we go sit with those cute blue-jean, Google-like geeks over at the table by the window.
 
So I think it’s not right to think of Twitter as JUST a marketing tool, even though it clearly is a wonderful marketing tool.  To think of it in JUST that way l feel is using people, and that’s just not my style and hope not yours either.  I think we are building all kinds acquaintances as I said before and maybe even some friends, at least familiar faces.    
 
Which brings up faces.  Have one!  Have at least an icon that is the symbol of you.  Otherwise it’s like going down for lunch and saying, “no one talk to me.”  You want people to say, “oh there’s that crazy lady with the red shoes who takes her little dog everywhere!”  So put an image up for your Twitter self.
 
I come down to the “Twitter Cafe” now and then whenever I’m working on the computer and see if there’s anyone there or any conversation I want to add something to.  It’s just not promo.  I am not totally keen on the idea of just coming down for lunch and say LOOK WHAT I DID AT MY DESK TODAY!  I think…”who are you???”  The only exception to this rule is the fat and sassy like dudes named Seth who can have everyone follow him and no one he follows..seems a little Messiah Complex to me.  I’m just saying… But hey, if you have something really interesting to say, “say it and they will follow.”
 
So we are social people who like people, sit down at  the Twitter Cafe now and then, and say hi.  For people who work primarily for or by themselves,  this is an especially great place for us. 
 
The other thing I want to say is about following and being followed.  That’s just like who you notice in the cafe and who’s noticed you sort of.  The guy that’s following like 8,000,000 people and is followed by like 2 people,  I don’t trust.  I think Parana.  If someone like that follows me, I usually say no thanks.  
 
If you don’t know what I mean by follow and following ask me and I can explain it more clearly than I’ll do right now.
 
So I’ve noticed the most interesting and “popular” people in the Twitter Cafe are those that have about an equal numbers of followers and followings.  So, okay, yes, I wanta be popular.  But I’m not going to go around shaking hands with everyone at lunch all at once that makes me the scary person.  The parana I mentioned above.
 
I’ve been trying to follow 1 or 2 new people every day.  When I do this, I’m seeing that more often than not, they tend to follow me too.   If they post too much or we just don’t click, I will un-follow them.  
 
So if someone seems interesting enough to sit at the same table with your cup of coffee, go ahead and  follow them.  You don’t even have to talk to them.  By following you’re just catching each others eyes and tipping your head at them in a friendly hi.  That’s it.  They are likely to smile back.
 
So as you get to know the faces of the people that work in your office building and know a little bit about them, you can share a little bit about yourself.  There are likely to be some people at your table who do want to hear about what you wrote about this morning.  Or they might want their co-worker to hear about what you wrote about this morning.  So see now you are really a part of a social network. 
 
I’ll see you at the Twitter Cafe.  I’ll be coming down soon to strech my legs and grab a bite.  Click HERE to follow me.


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2 responses to “At the Twitter Cafe’

  1. Rachel,
    What a terrific explanation of Twitter. I love how you put concepts into everyday terms that everyone can relate to. I love reading your blog!

    Beth

  2. hey that was the best explanation i’ve found that explains twittering. I’ve been trying to figure all this stuff out lately, with facebook, and twitter, and rss feeds and well, you know all that stuff. So, cool… see you at the water cooler.

    thanks,
    jo

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