I joined twitter in Febuary 2007 – user #763,549 – and originally I didn’t get a lot out of the service. Everybody that used it at this time was at SxSW – which I wasn’t – or lived in San Francisco—which I don’t. So after the honeymoon period was over, I put it down and went away for a couple of years.
So fast-forward to 2009(ish) and Twitter is starting to see a larger adoption rate and real people are jumping on the service. This is when I start to get more involved and get my friends in the real world interested. This got me back in and opened up doors I never could have imagined.
Twitter has been solely responsible for allowing me to grow the 70Decibels network. It has opened up channels of communication with hosts that live all over the world; people I never could have interacted with—if it wasn’t for this method of broadcasting short bursts to the world. It started with a tweet to Patrick Rhone – covertly suggesting he check out The Bro Show – under the guise of a fan. After this and especially after the launch of Enough, I started to become involved in a circle of people that mainly consist of the Read and Trust group. I have since gone on to create podcasts with a large bunch of these fine gentlemen.
Now twitter is like my social club. I hop on every now and then and read what Josh has just posted to Macgasm, check out Stephen’s latest Instagram and hop in on Dave and Aaron’s latest back-and-forth. It also allows me to keep up with Terry’s goings-on (sometimes it’s nice to just see what a best buddy is up to).
I’m not the first person to compare Twitter to a water cooler in an office, but that’s exactly what it is. I go to Twitter at my leisure, it doesn’t but in on my life. Sure, I may receive a push notification but I still open Tweetbot on my own terms and check in with everyone.
The majority of people that I interact with on a daily basis live on the other side of the planet. A few years ago that would have seemed bat-poop crazy—but I think this is starting to shift. People are becoming more world-social and making friends across the globe, some they may never meet in person. Relationships (friendship and love) are being forged online more and more often these days and the Internet is becoming a tool to help people interact on an emotional level. Twitter may be text at 140 characters at a time, but it is an enabler of conversation that can spill out in to many different forms.
The widespread adoption that Twitter has seen over the last few years, means that I’m now able to use the service to keep up to date with the people in my life, that I don’t always see on a regular basis. Family, friends and loved ones – those that aren’t particluaraly techie – are able to keep me up to date on what they are up to via a short status update. I value this immensely.
Being in the very fortunate position that I am – in having people give a crop about what I have to say – Twitter is also an amazing way of interacting with the fans of the work I do. I try my hardest to respond to every tweet sent my way—as this is something that is very important to me. I value the fact that people take time out of their lives to say something to me, no matter how small and I consider these interactions to be priceless. I love having the ability to get instant feedback on something, an answer to a question or to have people tell me how much they loved/hated something I had to say on one of our shows.
I am in the lucky few that gets to use twitter in this way. I am in the lucky few that gets their questions answered by a bunch of genii and also that I have made such excellent friends who have given me access to some incredible opportunities over the last couple of years.