Twitter: It's Not About Sandwich Reports

I've read that “Twitter is full of people talking about the weather, what they had for lunch, and their indigestion.” Maybe that’s so, but if it is, I don’t know much about it. Here’s what I see on Twitter: people offering their opinions on brand strategies, new software releases, logo redesigns, live speaker quotes from conferences attended, and other musings related to the profession of Communications. If that’s not what you see, it’s because you’re curating a different set of Twitter users than I am.

When I first heard of Twitter, I did what you probably did. I scoffed. I mocked the idea that anyone would want to hear about what kind of lunchmeat some dude in Indiana had on his sandwich. Why would I want to know such a thing? Life's full of enough empty information as it is. Friends who were excited by Twitter and were already participating rolled their eyes and said “that’s not what it’s about. Just try it and you’ll get it.” I scoffed some more, just as other media outlets told me to do.

After creating a Twitter account and hanging back, first watching how others used the platform, I started following users that looked like they had something interesting to say. As I continued to make “follow” decisions, I found that I was creating a list that mirrored my interests in web design. Finding one interesting voice connected me to another. In the pattern of a classic geometric progression, I followed users who were followed by those I admired. Soon, I had a vibrant list of people who were better connected than I was, telling me about new topics that I knew nothing about. Twitter wasn’t just a collection of random people talking about what they had for lunch, it was a forum for professionals to share knowledge. You could know what everyone else knew almost as soon as they knew it. I had access to the thoughts of my industry’s top thinkers.

It's also said of Twitter that many people don’t have much to say. That depends on who you follow. If you follow your friends, or a random collection of Twitter accounts, it probably does seem like many have little to say. People that think Twitter is a forum for posting deep thoughts will find that they have few thoughts worth posting. Twitter is about finding a groove. Of the universe of things that you can turn your attention to, what are the ones that you want to concentrate on? Whatever that is, there’s a group of Twitter users out there to follow and talk to. When you find that groove is when you find that there’s a lot to say.