Sunday, June 14, 2009

Twitter Field Report: Week One

Screaming Woman by Gateway
Crowd by Bao Nguyen

Sunday Night:  June 14th, 2009
Days on Twitter: 7
Number of outgoing tweets: 20
Followers: 27
Following: 26
Robin sightings: 4
Successful exchanges with Robin: 1
Number of Violets in evidence: 9 known

Disclaimer: All data above is subject
to further analysis as I am completely 
and categorically not sure about  any of it.

To assess and analyze the potential for introverts to successfully navigate and inhabit Twitter for the purpose of networking, promotion, personal connections and staying abreast of innovations in social media.

Categories to emerge thus far:

I. Purists:  These subjects use the interface for exactly what was intended at its inception, e.g., posting the most mundane details of one's lives... who-they-saw-and-where, choice of music, daily triumphs, worries, frustrations, assorted reasons why they didn't go to the gym.

II. Serial Posters (aka Cheater-Cheater-Pumpkin-Eaters):  Unable to contain themselves to the requisite 140 characters or less, these subjects will send a long series of individual messages on the same topic requiring the Twitee to try to follow the maze of posts.

III. Hijackers:  Subjects use Twitter for the purpose of posting a URL to a article, website or blog that has ten squillion characters, not 140, thereby taking the innocent Twit hostage. Posting URLs is an innovation of the media that has great potential for marketing, but if done excessively, particularly by a single subject, as noted by Robin, can be as welcome as spam.

IV. Voyeurs:  Though I have yet to directly observe these subjects, I suspect there are leagues of these taking in the scene,  gathering NetFlix recommendations and assorted intel. They may be marketers, anthropologists, journalists, researchers, or politicos watching for trends, product spikes, viral mob formation, etc. (I can hear them breathing, even if they're not tweeting.)

V. Mentors & Guides: Most excited about these curious subjects that appear for all practical purposes to be sharing information for altruistic purposes.  These require more in-depth study. 

VI. Scary People: These show up as followers with provocative/disturbing profile pictures and names. One can "block" them, but they are extremely resilient.  [Note to Self: Look for downloadable rubber mallet  Perhaps carries one.]

VII. Newscasters:  Subjects provide swift access to local, national and international news, managing to foil those attempting to limit information. This is a most unexpected adaptation of the media with significant value.

This month's mission is more daunting than expected.  After only one week, I have developed a 140-character-counting-compulsion.  Found myself enrapt over a bowl of blueberries, stunned by their very stillness and disinterest in proselytizing.  Will need to switch to a quieter cereal, however. Removed bird feeder from outside office.   Too much tweeting.  Need a map! Desperately.  Will try to master the #hashbrowns (hashtag?) this week,  and successfully round up the Violets on one message.  We'll March for Mute.



SM Violano said...

In response to your experiment: I am an introvert who runs my business (artist/illustrator)over the internet & via email.

I think Twitter is an excellent marketing tool for the introvert for many reasons- the most important of which is the 140 character limit which forces people to get to the point.

Twitter- though strange at first- is really very handy to keep my friends and clients up to date on my next project, upcoming releases and also so that I can follow others in my business and we can all communicate.

However twitter can be overwhelming to introverts- my advice for marketing is not to follow too many people but to allow people to find and follow you. As you tweet people will pick up keywords in your tweets and follow you. The main thing is to try to tweet at least once a day.

My personal twitter survival rules:

I will stop following anyone who tweets frequently about the food they ate or mundane daily rituals. Life is too short to read annoyingly useless information.

I will stop following anyone who sends a link with every post without a regular tweet. I do not mind these links if the subject is very interesting but if not they are gone.
(Many of these are automated- if you post on your blog a tweet automatically goes through your twitter account with a link back to the blog. From there the tweets can also automatically post as updates on Facebook, myspace or a web site thus one blog entry hits mutliple locations for max exposure)

I drop the serial posters the fastest. They take too much energy and time. On average I tend to follow those who only tweet under 3x a day.

I have been on twitter now for a few months and have expanded my client list and networked with many great minds. It is a great tool or a huge time waster- just depends on who you decide to follow.

Have fun hanging out on twitter- I do think it is the way of the future and great marketing can be done and networking can happen through it. And as an introvert it is relatively painless.

Good Luck!
SM Violano

Mary Hershey said...

Dear SM,

Thanks for the great post, and all that you've shared here! I especially appreciate your your comment that "It is a great tool or a huge time waster..." I think the newbies like myself can quickly fall into the time-wasting vat. :-)

I'm looking forward becoming a more sophisticated traveler here!

Mary Hershey

S.D. said...

My twitter is

I joined during NaNoWriMo when a bunch of Wrimos were all on there posting word counts, procrastinating, and venting stress. It was fun and crazy. Most of the people I follow now are still those same people I met then.

Holly said...

That's a pretty darn accurate assessment of Twitter in just a few short days of field work. Good job team!

I spend way too much time on Twitter, but I also have kept my Follow-Folks to people who are upbeat, interesting, and who share similar interests. Makes for a lot of fun that way.


Anonymous said...

Mary, your post cracked me up!


Sherrie Petersen said...

Let me know if the ACME mallet works. The scary people creep me out!

Nick said...

Thanks for poosting this