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From Twitter to USA Today

August 3, 2009

What a day it was today! It started with my colleague Lucy Hackman showing up at work this morning carrying the Sunday issue of USA Today that featured her picture on the front cover. Why? Twitter of course! Lucy was contacted by USA Today via Twitter after their reporter spotted one of her tweets where she commented on her “addition” to constantly checking her Brackberry (believe me it’s true). USA Today invited her to participate in a test over the weekend during which she committed to a totally “unplugged” weekend, no Blackberry, no tweeting, no Facebook. The result? A joyful reunion with her blackberry come Sunday night when she was allowed to tweet again ! Seriously though, it was an eye opener for her and many of us who often do not realize how much time we spend tied to our mobile devices, netbooks and other ways of staying connected at work and after work. Bottom line though, what a great opportunity and a great experience for her to be the subject of the USA Today article. And it would not have happened without her presence on Twitter.

Let me give you another example of Twitter power. A few months ago I was contacted by Shel Israel, the author of “Naked Conversations” and soon to be released book about Twitter for business called “Twitterville.” Shel spotted me on Twitter (yes, Twitter again!) which resulted in an interview and a subsequent story in “Twitterville” about Pitney Bowes’s Social Media engagements and my role as a champion for a company-wide Social Media engagement. Again, Twitter made it happen.

Why am I bringing it up? To warn you not to listen to folks who tell you that Twitter is a waste of time. Most of them have not even signed up for a Twitter account before they’ve made up their mind about the service. Go explore it on your own. And don’t ask for the right way to use Twitter. There is no right amount of time to spend on it and no golden recipe to use to become a Twitter rock star overnight. What Twitter is for me, for Lucy and for many others is an opportunity to connect with others who share our interest, who can offer advice, who entertain us and teach us. Make the best of it and make Twitter your own. One last thing, don’t expect to appear on the cover of USA Today though. But again, you never know who is listening on Twitter.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. August 4, 2009 8:32 am

    Excellent Article-no-Gotcha’s With negative publicity Twitter probably has generated Millions in Free Media Spin -It is great to see your positive approach to the Twitter Experiment ,your content creation denotes a clear conscience ! I am a 73 year old blogger at my time on the coil I don’t waste any ! Shout Out for Aneta Hall !

  2. August 4, 2009 8:58 am

    I fully agree with what Aneta is saying in her post. I was a skeptic until a few months ago. i couldn’t get my head around it. I was at a tech conf a few weeks ago and the founder of twitter was speaking — Biz stone. he said Twitter is not meant as a social tool — iit is a communication and information network to discover what is happening right now. It is one of the best places I go to get news updates and content applicable to my job. I have no “personal” friends/family that follow because I really only update about mktg content.

  3. August 4, 2009 9:47 am

    Dear Twitterville Alumna:

    I know what you mean. After having been discovered by @shelisrael and interviewed for his upcoming book, “TWITTERVILLE”, I find our Midwest linen company getting mentioned in! Are you kidding me?

    …only through Twitter(ville)

  4. Aneta Hall permalink*
    August 11, 2009 8:01 am

    Thanks Lucy. The beautiful thing is that there are no good or bad ways of using Twitter for personal use. Some still find it helpful to keep in touch with friends, some use it as ego builder and some, just like you and me, look at it as a communication channel with a twist. As long as the value you get from it justifies the time it takes to really stay on top of it (and it does take time) Twitter is your tool. I am curious to see what brands will do with Twitter real-time search long-term.

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