Here’s one way to wrap up 2011:
World 2011in<140: ArabSpring Tsunami Wedding(Royal,Kim) Osama DSK Jobs(Steve,austerity) Riots Floods OWS PepperSpray Mobile!
Me 2011in<140: Wedding (mine) New Jobs (Mojiva-106) Angel ($500k) Venture ($25M) Contractions (hers) Startup (WellAware) Move (Greenwich) Baby (First) Sleep (Last)
Twitter was one thing I learned in 2011. Like most things in my life, I had never done it before. I just observed for a bit and waded right in. I ended up tweeting or retweeting 1,300 times or 100+ a month which turned out to be not at all a waste of time. Looking back at my tweets over time I recognize some basic trends that may help others considering jumping on Twitter on 2012. A few rules I learned:
- Add something to the conversation: This was #1 for me. I always try for, and sometimes fail at, a witty or creative thought, a piece of news before it’s over-reported, or a new point of view. I never tweeted “wonder if that cloud will pass behind that building”, or “bacon egg and cheese sandwiches umm”. As in life, the less you say, the more likely people will think you have something interesting when you finally speak. At least that worked for me, so far.
- Follow a few people you respect: Fellow EO member David Kerpen does an excellent job of outlining social media and has been a good one to follow. Henry Blodget has it covered in digital media. Irshad Manji is great on Middle East issues, Nick Kristoff on global. Dave McClure is hilarious on angel investing. Bill Gross is great on start ups. Joe Navarro is great at just reading people. April Rudin is awesome on the HNW community.
- Follow a few topics of interest: The topics I followed were angel investing, venture capital (though they play it pretty close to the vest), Middle East conflict, cooking, a few football players, local news, and disaster recovery (twitter is a great way to track fast breaking news).
- Keep it light, and consider the consequences: I also follow some hilarious parodies and humor, not all of which I have the guts to retweet. Miguel Bloombito is a farcical twitter account of NYC’s Mayor trying to get by in Spanish. Ricky Gervais is just raw sewer level humor that keeps coming non-stop. FAKEGRIMLOCK is supposed to be a software coder on a mission, but it’s likely just Brad Feld’s alter ego. AdamU has perfected the 140 character definition of snark. I love Henry_Kissinger (paraody)
I should also add it is a good way to make notes to yourself, make a legit complaint to an airline (they monitor those things), keep track of people in a disaster, and wedge your way into an important discussion. I did all these things in 2011. So I’m glad I jumped on Twitter, finally. It hasn’t changed me much, just made me more of who I already am. Remains to be seen if that’s a good thing.