Building Relationships with Twitter

Twitter is the first communication mechanism I’ve been a part of
that actually helps me build new relationships without any preexisting
knowledge (or trust) with the other party.   Much hoopla has been made
about the microformat of Twitter and how it enables new forms of
communication, but the amazing power of Twitter comes from it’s ability
to allow people to connect and develop new relationships seemingly out
of nothing.

My Twitter relationships may lack the depth of trust that I have in
the “Friend” model (in some cases 🙂 of Facebook, LinkedIn, or email
but they’re still relationships that I’ve come to value and that
provide me with a sense of community.

How this happened surprised me.  I had sporadically used Twitter for
about a year but wasn’t finding it very useful until I started using
the search feature of Twitter to discover people that I shared a common
interest with.  I’ve talked about this in the past but in a nutshell to get an action (or Twitter usage in my case) requires the following…

  • Find people that share a common interest, motivation, or problem.
    This commonality is the building blocks of relationships (aka
    community).
  • When relationships form around a shared interest excitement is
    generated from the freshness of new ideas and finding people that share
    your passion.
  • Excited users are users that take action and in my case that was Twitter usage.

In essence by discovering people that shared my common interest for
open source, community, and collaboration I discovered pockets of
users that shared my passion, and by Following these people and
interacting with them I developed new relationships that drove my
adoption and usage of Twitter.

It then dawned on me that Twitter wasn’t about micro communication
it was about Macro Community and bringing people together around the
things that matter most to them, in essence a ginormous community
organizer.

I must admit, I’m excited at the opportunity for community that Twitter has created and if you’re interested in joining in on the fun you can find me on Twitter as @emcconne

Posted in News, TeamForge
2 comments on “Building Relationships with Twitter
  1. Absolutely, Brent! And don’t forget the community-building mechanisms of “retweet,” “via,” overheard conversations, and the non-judgmental dynamics of following. Twitter is a strikingly simple technical product (you type, people see) with startlingly effective and numerous opportunities for linkage.
    And it’s remarkably effective. A study has just been published (http://www.steverubel.com/study-twitter-is-made-of-80-meformers-and-20, which I learned of “via @JesseNewhart,” as we say in Twitter) that reports an 80/20 split in “messages that are simply about me” vs. “messages with some discernible purpose.” There’s a lot of debate as to exactly what the two categories really imply, but one fairly safe conclusion would be that pretty much all of the 20% is about building the Macro Community–and not a little of the 80% as well.
    You might think that “only” 20% was a disappointing proportion, but here’s a different perspective on that: Twitter is often compared to a cocktail party, or a neighborhood pub: no over-all agenda, groups form and re-form constantly and spontaneously, and it’s more or less expected that you’ll hear something interesting said over your left shoulder, and drift over into that conversation for a while. You’ve been at such gatherings, I’m sure, so think back and tell me: how many of the individual remarks were conscious attempts to include someone into a new group? 20%? I don’t think so! 10%? 5%? 1%? “Consciously include–what’s that?” Call me a wall-flower, but in my experience it’s extraordinary to get more one person reaching out to me in an entire evening. But in Twitter, 20% of remarks are reaching out!

  2. andropause says:

    our company will be having our team building activity next week and I am in-charge of choosing appropriate team building activities and this is definitely one of the activities I will include in our program.
    The A-Frame team building activity looks very challenging. The team will really have to learn to work as a team in a synchronize and steady pattern to succeed in this game. The activity reflects cooperation issues in the workplace and when the team can manage to set aside their differences and work towards a common goal, then the A-frame team building activity is a success.

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