Which Twitter are you using?

January 4, 2010

     We’re all on the same Twitter feed, aren’t we?  No, actually we each have our own customized feeds of those we choose to follow and I think we don’t realize how much these can differ. So is there really any such thing as a universal Twitter expert, guru, coach? Is there an Emily Post on Twitter that covers everyone? I don’t think so. You need to find and follow the people relevant to your particular community or communities. There are many different communities on twitter, and like communities anywhere they differ in customs and manners. Some people just endlessly tweet what they do all day, as so many people wrongly perceive Twitter is all about. Communities of online merchants see nothing wrong with talking about and promoting their offerings, public relations and marketing people see nothing wrong with endless self-examination of the effects of social medias on their fields. Charity fundraisers see nothing wrong with their endless appeals. Geeks chatter endlessly about the latest apps and gadgets, musicians connect and promote, writers network and chat. The list goes on and on.

     Some of the more well-known Twitter ‘personalities’ cross over many of these Twitterverses, but I’ve noticed lately a slightly schizophrenic tendency in their tweets and blogs as they try be universal to an increasingly diverse following. You can’t be all things to all people, as they say. And one set of rules of behavior won’t fit very different communities on Twitter. The way people use Twitter is their own affair, and shouldn’t be crammed down other’s throats like ‘the one true religion.’

     This is not to say there isn’t overlap, or that one is limited to one type of community. It’s my opinion one should broaden and connect with all types of people. I’m all over the place, and I think that has helped me realize how many different Twitters there are out there. And how different in intent and usage they are.

     Do you think there is some universal etiquette or set of customs applicable to everyone on Twitter?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.


Top 10 Strangest Top 10 Lists

December 26, 2009

This time of year we are deluged with Top 10 lists. Many are the predictable music, movies, celebrities, sports, news stories etc.  But there are the slightly more obscure and stranger Top 10 lists also. Here are my picks for 10 of the stranger ones!

The homeless are still there after the holidays

December 14, 2009

     Don’t get me wrong. I think this month’s #12for12k’s pick of helping the homeless is a wonderful idea. Go to the blog about it here. And the emphasis on being hands on and getting involved locally is great. Don’t let me discourage you from participating.  But doing a little research I’ve found there’s a problem with people helping the homeless right now. Just before Thanksgiving and Christmas, they get more food, volunteers, and attention then they can deal with. Many shelters have to turn volunteers away. TV Sitcoms and Lifetime Christmas movies have episodes about the homeless.

     But then comes January and February, colder and more deadly.  And the attention, help, volunteers and donations drop off precipitously.  So don’t forget them after Christmas, I’m going to do my homeless volunteering and work, but over the next couple of months. Remember that the homeless need help all the time.

Is Twitter a highway to nowhere?

December 13, 2009

     The question here is that talking about Twitter on Twitter might be a lot of fun, and that’s okay. But if Twitter is to be taken as a serious medium, where are you going on the Twitter highway? Are you delivering any fresh content, whether it be recipes or philosophical musings? A large amount of social media seems to be navel gazing, recursive discussion of social media discussing itself. This resonates across all forms of social media in different but related ways. I focus here on Twitter as it is my preferred type of social media.

     In the early 1960’s Marshall McLuhan had many remarkable and prophetic insights in the fields of communication. Among these was the concept that media was as or more important than the content it delivered, summed up in the famous statement ‘the medium is the  message’. He had many startling conclusions which don’t seem quite as strange to us now as they did then, although a few still are a little unsettling. For example, he said the effect of television as a medium was the same whether it was delivering children’s shows, or reports on violent crime. 

     So on Twitter, is it just the  tweet that’s important? Or, as I hope, does the content still have some meaning. Twitter can be a road leading somewhere. As a tool for businesses to analyze their brand and communicate with their customers, as a means for people to mobilize for social causes and charities, as a way to find people with shared interests for discussion and involvement.

Being Thankful for the Contrast

November 23, 2009

I’m sitting here typing away, feeling fine, no aches-pains-dizziness-weakness, just feeling fine.  But recently I was very ill for a month, pneumonia. I was weak, confused, and barely able to draw a breath for a while. Thoughts blew through my mind like autumn leaves, I really thought I was a goner for a while, what would happen to my kids, my mother that I care for? My 13 room house and outbuildings just full of stuff, who would deal with all that? My life was so unfinished. Contrast is what makes things visible, and  this experience illuminated something I usually take for granted, my health. Well, thanks to modern antibiotics, I’m still here. All better now. And every day I wake up feeling that I’ve been granted an extension on things. I’ve started chipping away at the detrius of my life to try and reduce and bring order to it.  I can’t really love my kids anymore than I already do, but every day with them is a blessing and every day they are closer to self-sufficiency. I run up and down the stairs as I always have, but I don’t take it for granted anymore.

So this is what I’m thankful for at the moment, I’m thankful for many things, but this is what’s in focus for me.  I realize how privileged I am compared to so many in the world, and of all the things I take for granted. That’s why global awareness is so important, it offers the contrast we need to really see things.  

This post was created as part of a global groundswell of gratitude called TweetsGiving. The celebration, created by US nonprofit Epic Change, is an experiment in social innovation that seeks to change the world through the power of gratitude. I hope you’ll visit the TweetsGiving site to learn more, and to bring your grateful heart to the party by sharing your gratitude, and giving in honor of that for which you’re most thankful.

Music and Medicine, A Love Story

October 10, 2009


      There are all kinds of charities with all types of goals. They are all battling for a shrinking pool of funding in the present economy, often when their need is greatest. At this time it might be good to think about the smaller niche charities, who don’t have the well-known names. Some of them serve unique needs, and one such is #12for12k’s charity this month, “Musicians on Call“.

     There is much focus lately on health care, and rightly so. But no matter how good the health care, hospitals can be a pretty bleak place for the spirit. Musicians on Call provides musical services to those shut away in hospitals and other health care facilities. They provide several different services, such as actually bringing performers right to the bedside, providing CD libraries for patients, and even helping patients write and produce their own music. 

     We can’t all give a lot, but almost everyone can give a little. To read more from #12for12k about Musicians on Call, or to donate, go here.

Business Exposure/Helping Charity – A Win-Win!

September 25, 2009

Are you a business or organization trying to get more exposure through social media, particularly on Twitter? As social media evolves, so do the ways people try to use it.

#12for12k is a great group of people trying to raise money for a different charity every month. All money is channeled directly to the charity and everyone involved is a volunteer. This month the charity is Doctor’s Without Borders, and #12for12k is trying the idea of a sponsored tweetathon on September 29th, with our own @HennArtOnline tweeting for 24 hours, with associated activities taking place on the #12for12k site.  Businesses and organizations can get an incredible amount of exposure on Twitter for a very low investment, the spots are being auctioned off on Ebay in one hour time slots. This is a global event, with people involved from around the globe.

This is great exposure and will garner great goodwill from a large segment of the Twitter community. Please check things out here.