Do you ever get the feeling when you are on Twitter that you are involved in a bunch of desperate yelling? Sometimes I also feel like I’m casting a note in a sealed bottle out to the ocean, to be left to chance whether or not someone will find it.
Hypothetical Tweet: I’m eating a chocolate donut @TimHorton’s right now. Gotta love these #Timbits!
Translation of Hypothetical Tweet: Hello? Hello? Is anybody out there? I’m really lonely and bored so I hopped on Twitter to see if I could strike up a conversation!!! Does anybody want to talk? I need human interaction!! I want to share my Tim Horton experience with someone!
Twitter Tweets: Just Snippets of Your Thoughts
Sometimes, I scroll through my Twitter news stream, and I see the little snippets of words representing your thoughts streaming by, and it makes me feel sad. All these thoughts going out there, and how many of them meet up with anyone who will take notice?
That’s how I felt when I was an occasional user of Twitter. Like I was just shouting into the wind and my words were going unrecognized. Enter, the power of lists.
Twitter Lists: Turning Streams of Unnoticed Thoughts Into Conversation and Relationship
If you are on Twitter, I really hope you are using lists, because it will make your Twitter experience so much better. I made lists from the start, but I ended up not really using them. But as I got more involved with blogging, I wanted to make sure I was tweeting all my favorite blogger’s stuff and saying hello to them when I could get a chance. So I started building out my lists and checking on them every day. Now, don’t think too much of me, because I just started doing this at the beginning of June. So, that’s a big 15 days. But even after 15 days, I’ve noticed a difference.
I started by making a separate list for people whose blogs I read. I call that list “bloggers.” Pretty unique, huh? So then, anytime I’m bored (and yeah, sometimes lonely), I get on my phone and see what’s happening on Twitter, I just go to my favorite list that has all my best blogging buddies on it. I check out and see if anybody’s shouting into the wind at the moment I get on. If so, I respond, so their words are no more lost on the wind.
When I do this, I feel like the message they sent out was just for me. I think this because, unless you are really famous or something, each of your tweets doesn’t really get a lot of action. Now, the sum of all your tweets might equal out to be pretty decent, but each individual tweet might only get a couple of reactions. So, I figure, if I was one of the ones that saw your tweet, and reacted, then that message was meant for me. Cool huh? It might sound simple, but I believe in fate.
The other difference I’ve noticed after I really started using my lists is that my relationships with other bloggers are really becoming more well-rounded. Now, not only am I reading their blog entries, but I’m reading some of their “chatty” stuff, and I’m seeing live interaction they are having with other people (ok, ok, now it’s starting to sound like I’m a stalker, but I’m not; this is just how it is on Twitter). Seeing these interactions or even just their individual tweets helps me to see these people from a different perspective. And then there’s the whole conversational side of it too. I’ve started chatting little bits here and there. The thing with Twitter is you can’t have long conversations in one burst. You have to limit what you say, so it makes you choose your words carefully. This is good practice for people like me who are pretty wordy (this article going on 800 words!).
Blog and Twitter Challenge For You!
So, this is to challenge you, that if you are on Twitter and are an occasional user like I was, to start making and using lists. If you don’t know how, this link will show you how to make a list on Twitter (It’s a good one and it should be because it is the official Twitter help online). Put all your favorite blogging friends (make sure I’m on there—hardyharhar!) on the list, and then start tweeting their stuff and answering their random tweets like my donut tweet at the top.
Do you use Twitter and if so, do you use lists? How do you feel on Twitter? Have you had similar feelings to what I did early on?
*Message in a bottle photo by Phillippe Guillaume on Flickr via Creative Commons License.