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tweeties.jpgBy B.L. Ochman
Follow me on Twitter
Lots of people laugh at Twitter, call it a waste of time and worse, and, that’s just fine with me. While they’re laughing, I’m learning, listening, meeting, and enjoying a global view of an endless flow of creative thought – 140 characters at a time.
Approaching a million users, Twitter has become, says Alex Iskold at ReadWriteWeb, “a global, distributed, multi-platform communication channel, a web-wide conversation…”
Like a lot of other people who frequent my Twitter circle, I blog less, and read my email only after I check in on Twitter. Within about five minutes after I asked today, fifteen people told me that for most of them, as it is for me, a Direct Message (DM) in Twitter is often read before email. Kristen Forbriger, Paull Young, Hugh Macleod, Anjali Ramachandran, Chris Lynn, and Donna Papacosta are among the Tweeters (Twitts, Tweeties?) who said a Twitter DM is the most reliable way to reach them.
That’s true for me if I’m logged into Twitter. But, much as I love Twitter, I have to log out to seriously get work done. So, despite my addiction to Twitter, I’m with Sheila Scarborough, who Tweeted, “Fastest way to reach me is cell phone; that thing with voices. :) OK, then prolly email, then Twitter DM, last is FB message.” And that’s the beauty of it – when you come back, you’ll almost always find a conversation worth joining, or at least following.
If you’re a marketer and you’re not on Twitter, you’re missing an important way to understand and participate in social media. As Mike Trojano blogged participation is “the key to understanding not only social networking, but the spiraling number of people who participate in it every day.”
Robert Scoble wrote yesterday that the secret to Twitter is to “follow more people than follow you so that you constantly get a new stream of ideas, events, stories.” Easier said than done, since he follows and is followed by more than 15,000 people.

For me, and the extraordinary group of smart people with whom I interact daily, Twitter has become:
o a major source of business news
o a quicker way to find out what’s important today than my feed reader
o a place to find out what the people I’m interested in are finding interesting
o a source of live blogging from conferences and other events
o an excellent source of experts on various technical topics
o a place to build relationships through common interests
o direct access to many of my business heroes
o a place to (selectively) pimp my blog posts
o an international IM platform
o a place to take a break around the virtual water cooler
o a lot of fun
Then there’s David Murray, at seriously ADD-challenged apparently, who tried and rejected Twitter in just one day. Hey, David, we miss you. :>)
Even David Binkowski, who told me last fall that I was “ignorant” for recommending Twitter to senior marketers because it’s “is nothing more than a tactic for specific audiences at best,” has entered nearly 1700 Tweets since he joined. Follow him at I do. :>)
Related: How To Write Kickass Twitter Posts
What Marketers Need to Know About Twitter

Twitter isn’t chat. it’s conversation. sort of…