How Twitter changed my life in 2009

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Truth be told I have been on Twitter since 2008 but in 2009 I feel I took my Twitter experience to a new level as I explored the benefits of the micro-blogging tool. I consider myself a "Twitterer" or whatever you want to call it but I feel that I use Twitter in a respectable manner. I do not inform people that I have just woken up from a nap or tell people that I am about to head out to the post office.

Instead I try to use Twitter for two purposes.
  1. Publicize myself
  2. Communicate back and forth with like minded individuals
Twitter is a valuable resource for anyone and you can tailor it to best suit your needs any way you can imagine. In 2009 here are a couple ways that my Twitter experience has grown.

It's like my own personal PR machine
Athletes and celebrities have publicists and agents to publicize their work. I do not, but I do have Twitter.

Using Twitter is a great way to publicize my posts on a variety of forums such as this site, Examiner and Nittany White Out. All I have to do is send a tweet that I have a new post active to all of my followers and see if any of them check it out. If I am fortunate enough one of my followers will be compelled to re-tweet my work, sending my posts to a whole new set of followers and potential readers.

I honestly feel that taking advantage of Twitter helped me find a position with Examiner as the Penn State Football Examiner, and then National College Football Examiner. There is no doubt in my mind that Twitter helped to clear my path to recurring guest spots on The 700 Level and Phinally Philly as well, in addition to my contributing to Nittany White Out. Posting on those sites opened me up to a whole new reader pool and I have picked up some followers from each outlet over time.

When news breaks, it's on Twitter
Harry Kalas. Michael Jackson. The plane on the Hudson. The Iran election.

When these news stories broke they spread quickly on the Twitter servers either locally or world-wide. When something news worthy happens they look to Twitter for instant reaction and sometimes analysis. I have learned a lot of news just by reading what people are tweeting. Think it is over the top? Google does not think so. Why else would they have added real-time Twitter streaming in their Google search results?

The death of Michael Jackson practically crashed the entire Internet, with Twitter being one of the major culprits. When President Barrack Obama was sworn in as President of the United States people were tweeting about it, including myself.

Twitter is still growing in users on a daily basis, although it is often still mocked by those who feel it is a waste of time. It can be a time-waster if not used responsibly, but so can e-mail and text messaging. When I hear media and everyday people mock Twitter I tend to think that these people have never used the service and therefore do not fully understand it. When people do not understand something they tend to mock them and the people who do use it.

I see the value in Twitter and I hope that you do too. In the past year how has Twitter changed your life? It may be a major change or something on a much smaller scale. Let me know your thoughts. Also be sure to be following me on Twitter @krmcguire!

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