4 years and 34000 tweets later….

by [me]

I joined Twitter 4 years ago today. At first it was mainly to help co-promote the launch of the Age of Conversation. Like many business owners I was skeptical about this new messaging system and didn’t use it much to begin with.

I remember going to a PubCamp in Sydney hosted by Jed White (who later became a good friend) and being somewhat bemused by a team of people from Happener led by Markus Hafner (who later became a friend) all furiously tweeting from their laptops while speakers did their presentations. It all seemed a bit silly.

But inevitably I began using Twitter more and more. I remember Gavin Heaton (who has become a good friend) telling Gordon and me that it won’t be until you have at least 50 followers and are following at least that many that we’ll see the value in Twitter.

A big breakthrough came a year later when I went to my first #singleorigin coffee morning in Surry Hills and met a few of the people I’d been following, like Tiphereth (who became a good friend) that I started to value the human connections Twitter was unearthing. That night a STUB event was held at The Grace Hotel and it was like meeting the who’s who of my little Twitter universe. That night I met Mark Pesce, Stilgherrian, Malkuth, Maarinke and Gavin Costello (who’s name I actually thought was Frank Sting) amongst many others (it was a big night, some beers may have been spilled and the memories are slightly blurry). Quite a few of these people have become good friends.

Amazingly, this silly little messaging system started becoming a valuable business resource. My Newcastle-based agency began receiving enquiries from companies who had people following me on Twitter….from all over Australia. Suddenly I was doing business with Justine and Suzie (both who have become good friends).

What many business people see at a time-suck device became a key driver of new business for us. Doors were opening that had previously been closed, all due to some weird 140 character connection.

A subsequent trip to the USA became a much more interesting experience due to the people I met via Twitter and the advice and tips I received from followers as I traveled around. I had a great time at SXSW with Kevin Gawthrope, Beth Harte, Jed White (yeah him again), Guy Kawasaki and Gary Vaynerchuk, and caught up with a few of them again in San Francisco.

We launched a #newcastlecoffee tweet-up here in town that brought together a diverse range of people (way too many to mention, so check the list) with one thing in common, we connected on Twitter. A lot of great friendships formed.

Out for #newcastlecoffee came the Lunaticks events which attracts even more people for some great discussions and debate.

These days I go on training rides with cyclists I first met on Twitter, like Simon, Wayde, Steph, Paul and David.

I see breaking news for the first time usually on Twitter. I discover useful new information, products and services on Twitter every week.

In short, what I had originally dismissed as a distracting fad has become very important to me both socially and commercially.

4 years and 34,000 tweets latter Twitter has changed a lot and the way I view and use Twitter has changed even more. But its due to all the people I have met and new friends I have made that I am glad I signed up four years ago today.

Thanks to everyone who said “hi” along the way.

Posted under Conversation Age, Social Media

Written by Craig Wilson

7 Responses to “4 years and 34000 tweets later….”

Hope you get to those 50 followers sometime soon!

Comment by Gavin Heaton on March 28th, 2012

Twitter, who would have thought? A great read mate. I’ve been using it for almost as long (though I haven’t racked up as many tweets as you, not by a long shot) and also find it to be a valuable tool, both in business and personal life. Twitter has lead me to new business leads, whilst also forming the foundation for new friendships. I like to think of it as a social spark!

Comment by Chris Gander on March 28th, 2012

Gavin, I’m working on it.

Comment by Media Hunter on March 28th, 2012

Chris, I think Twitter is really whatever you want it to be.

Comment by Media Hunter on March 28th, 2012

So very glad I was one of those people who said hi! You have certainly been a great influencer for me and opened the door to many opportunities.

Comment by Steph Hinds on March 28th, 2012

I like to think that you have not only contributed to my new-found joy of cycling, but to the derision of my bike-pants-hating friends and the general driving public :)

Comment by Wayde Christie on March 29th, 2012

I love the Twitter bots that tell you every year on the anniversary you signed up to Twitter. One of them reminded me I’d been on Twitter for 5 years because I’d signed up on the 26 March 2007, so close to your Twitter anniversary. I didn’t use it much in that first year, it took the iPhone launch a year after that to make me really get into using it. Twitter does change your life – I met you and Gavin Heaton and a stack of other people, including Doug Chapman who started SMCSYD with me. My life continues to be enriched by Twitter – because it always expands horizons and brings new people and ideas to my attention. And I’m grateful it introduced me to you x

Comment by Tiphereth on March 29th, 2012

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