Sunday, June 21, 2009

Twitter Week Two: Time for a Twinnovation

Photo by treehugger

Sunday, June 22nd, 2009
Number of days on Twitter: 14
Number of outgoing Tweets: 33
Number of people following:21
Number of followers:44
Highlights:  Sarah Silverman discusses bladder control issues
Lowlights: Sarah Silverman discusses bladder control issues
Impressive: The coverage, watchfulness and green support for the demonstrators in Iran

One of the coolest things about Twitter truly is the end-user innovations which have been taken place.  We've touched on them briefly a bit already. It's the way that the consumer has taken this tool and adapted it to work harder and more productively than it was meant to in its inception. Twitter has now been seized and squeezed by just about every business, organization, entrepeneur and governmental agency. And why not?  One's potential audience is enormous. Ellen DeGenerous hit a million followers recently and is working fast and furious on her second mil.  Suze Orman is racing to catch up.

Having put a half month into this field work, the jury is still out for me on the benefits of this tool.  Thus far, I'm not quite getting how this might be of use to my writing career.  Fascinating and overwhelming, yes-- but useful?  Not so much.  Like some of you have mentioned, Facebook is a more comfortable environment. I agree!  

Being on Facebook is like being at the high school dance-- I get a little nervous, but I like the snacks, people-watching, and it's fun to catch up with everyone.  Twitter is like being at the dance AND having to dance by yourself through the gauntlet. (Or whatever they call that nightmare where you have to boogie down the middle of two lines of people.  I'd rather be strung up by my uvula outside Costco on a Saturday afternoon.)

I say it's time for a new innovation-- one that will make bring some personal and tangible value to the table. And it comes right from the Shrinking Violet Bible.  (Now available in a purple leather-bound edition.)  

Get the spotlight off of yourself.  Twitter asks you to answer the question "What are you doing?"  Turn the mike around on your followers and followees, Violets and Vinnies.  But don't simply ask them what they're doing.  That has been asked and answered ad nauseum.  Ask them something else.  Something meaningful.  Something maybe even a bit radical.

Starting tomorrow, I am going to ask everyone "What are you doing today to make the world a cooler place?"  (Or better/safer/kinder/gentler) At the very least, I will give them pause.  Hopefully it may inspire some a-c-t-i-o-n. I know it will for  me.  Come ask me!  I am going to add a number of new people each day to follow so I'll have an even larger base to challenge.

Wanna join me?  

And, if you do-- please come back and report in. We'd love to hear how it goes.  Maybe you'll think of a different question entirely!

Mary Hershey
Photo by aussiegal


Yat-Yee said...

Bow brilliant! I've love to hear how it works. Still don't think I have the guts to jump into twitterville.

feywriter said...

I've created a twitter account, and have joined the followers. :-)

CathrynG said...

I'm still not ready to tweet, but your idea is great. I'll look forward to reading the results.

Sherrie Petersen said...

Mary, have you heard of Twitterature? I saw it on GalleyCat and blogged about it today. It's definitely a new twinnovation!

Edith said...

Neat-o idea!!

Mary Hershey said...

Thanks, everyone!

Sherrie, I will check out Twitterature-- sounds great.