Thursday, March 12, 2009

Maximizing Twitter

Several people have asked me how and why I use Twitter. Initially when I heard about Twitter when it first started, I joined and ignored it. To some that may have been a tactical error. Had I utilized it back then, I would have been what Everett Rogers refers to as an innovator in his book Diffusion of Innovations which is strangely enough popularized by Malcolm Gladwell in The Tipping Point. But I digress. An innovator is a risk taker, one who is not risk averse. He or she has the financial means to purchase and experiment with technology. Instead, I jumped on board with the early adopters. According to Rogers that group consists of opinion leaders and mavens like myself. We help sway the masses into adopting a new idea, innovation and/or strategy. Then, the early majority can afford the innovation and realizes that they need to get on in order to get along with and communicate with the innovators and early adopters. The late majority begrudgingly follows along and then finally the laggards bring up the rear.

I say all of that to say, you need to realize where you fall and why. You also need to understand that any level beyond the early adopter is in dire straits simply because things are moving so fast.

With all of that said, I use Twitter strategically. I follow folks like Pete Cashmore thanks to my colleague and friend Paul Chenoweth, BruinGeek on Twitter. Pete is very insightful on ways to improve your social media experience.

Amy Webb, who I had speak at Belmont recently. Here's my Coveritlive blog of her talk. She is beyond a visionary and knows her stuff. I can barely keep up but I'm trying.

I follow Mindy McAdams for her insightfulness and teaching strategies. She is also well travelled. And since I've been blessed to teach in London and plan to teach in Australia over the Christmas break, her experience is valuable to me.

To stay informed I follow CNN and Breaking News On . Ironically, Breaking News is often faster than CNN. I also follow the Chicago Sun Times and the Chicago Tribune in order to know what's happening near my parents and other friends and loved ones. And understand that I get most of my news from Twitterific on my iPhone as the above icon illustration depicts.

I follow my former boss at CBS in Chicago, Mark Toney who owns Smith Geiger and the Poynter Institute's Al Tompkins to keep up with what is going on in the media industry in general. Al led the New Century Journalism Advisory Board for years and he led my archrival, the NBC affiliate, WSMV when I was reporting at News Channel 5 here in Nashville.

For the record, I also follow WSMV on Twitter since to the best of my knowledge, they are the only local TV station using the micro-blogging tool. Somebody please tell them not to tease on Twitter. Give me the facts or get out of my way. And, don't TWEET every story. I'm about to stop following you.

Anyway, here a few others whom I follow, Joe MD. I absolutely LOVE his insights on life. Pastor John Girton is a dear friend and partner in multimedia crime who has taken his message virtual. In his words, the church has officially left the building. I also follow the young millionaire Ephren Taylor for added inspiration.

You can check out who else I follow in my Twitter Mosaic, just click on the square of interest. I'm sure I've overwhelmed some and underwhelmed others. The bottom line is that I use Twitter for news, networking and necessary action. For me, it is not random, it is relevant. I also have my Twitter feed linked to my Facebook page and in terms of marketing that's an ideal situation. You know I have a little book called The Color-Full Alphabet Book.

Please leave me a message on the blog if you like my posts and feel free to ask questions, I'll do my best to find the answers for you. And/or just follow me, I'm a good leader. Also, let me know some of the people you follow and why.

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