Monday, March 16, 2009

Why Twittering is worthwhile

I was on the fence about Twitter for a long while before I finally decided to dive in to the pool. (You can follow me @36hourday or keep an eye on the Twitter feed on the right-hand side of this page.)

Of course, as with any public forum, there are potential pitfalls:

I think that the trap many people fall into is that of thinking of Twitter or Facebook as a place that belongs to them and is safe, personal, and private, when really, it’s not — anything you put up there could potentially be read by anyone else, even if you change all of your settings to “private” (you know how to copy and paste, right? Well, so does everyone else). But if you think of those social media sites as tools with specific uses, then it’s possible to be active on them without jeopardizing yourself or your career.

I think people have to figure out what they hope to get out of participating on those sites. Are you tweeting in order to collect followers/readers, or to broadcast information? Are you on Facebook to reconnect with friends and family or are you open to networking with coworkers (and, potentially, your boss?) ... [More]

So, why bother with Twitter? It depends on what you want to do. The New York Times Magazine recently had a great article about ambient awareness and microblogging, but my reasons are far more simple: I like being able to throw out a question and get a handful of different responses immediately, and it's great to be able to broadcast what I'm writing about and where. Do you Twitter? Let me know (I'll follow!) and tell me why in the comments here or at The 36-Hour Day.

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