A while back I found this great list from Web Worker Daily: 62 Ways to Use Twitter for Business . If you read through it (go ahead, I’ll wait… )
You’ll see it’s chock-full of tips that make sense for businesses. And for individuals using Twitter for business reasons. All well and good. But beyond the practical… Twitter me this, Batman… why do we try to use Twitter as a giant echo chamber? So often the “business individuals” using the platform devolve into tweets that:
Virtually reinforce each other’s beliefs
Digitally debate the finer points (sometimes razor fine) of a still-evolving medium rather than actually using it and producing results (let’s debate those, instead!)
Sling crap of various stripes at those who don’t agree religiously, politically, or professionally.
Unfortunately, Twitter is a public forum. People who are rude or obnoxious in person are likely to be rude or obnoxious online as well. Lots of advice exists on managing this… don’t feed the trolls, don’t engage in personal attacks, etc., etc. But the bottom line is if we’re going to all stand around at this giant cocktail party, there WILL BE some people you don’t want to hang out with. That’s OK. Good discussion, meaningful (but respectful) disagreement and folks who are just a bit “out there” are what make a party worth attending.
I choose to wander out of the safe harbor of my main Twitter feed (of those I follow) and see what the wider world is chatting about a couple of times a week. Sometimes it’s a little scary, frankly, but I always find a new person or two to follow, a bit of conversation I want to participate it or someone who’s style makes the party worthwhile. So go on… leave the safety of the known and self-reflective glory of the echo chamber. You’ll (probably) be glad you did!