I was just named as one of the Top 50 Innovation tweeters by Innovation Excellence. A tweeter is one who uses Twitter.
It’s a fairly informal sort of top 50 list — I don’t think there is a great deal of analysis around content or reach, but still, it’s nice to be recognized. I crossed the 10,000 follower line about a month ago, and weirdly, it felt like a real accomplishment. Then I saw that my friend and colleague Dr. Cindi Burnet (@Cyndiburnett) is over 50,000 followers and I didn’t feel quite so glamorous. And, you get out of Twitter what you put into it. I’m happy with my results at my current time-investment level. 10,000 feels like a “very good” showing. When I’m talking to publishers about my speaking and writing platform, that number is an eye-opener, i.e. somewhat impressive.
Readers who are Twitter newby’s or not-yet involved with Twitter might find this list of 50 a really good place to start. Follow this 50 for Innovation news. Or, just start with: @greggfraley and the KILN id, @kilnco (and this short list of my fave peeps: @kate_hammer @indy_neogy @madcreative)
I’m often asked by friends who are not at all “public” people why I bother with Twitter. The simple answer is it’s a multi-purpose business tool. First and foremost, a great PR vehicle for me, my written content, and my business services. I tweet to get people to read my blog. I tweet to get people to read my book. It works folks, your website will have higher numbers if you tweet appropriately* and lead people back to your site. I’ve gotten business from Twitter, actual face-to-face consulting and speaking work. I’ve also gotten book reviews for Jack’s Notebook, interviews for blogs and radio shows, and on occasion have spiked my Amazon buying numbers.
But it’s more than that. Twitter is a creativity and innovation tool.
Sharing content is how one builds community in the modern age, and a community is often what it takes to innovate. I tweet because I have something to share that I think my followers will find interesting and useful (novel + useful = creative, and, creative is where innovation begins). I tweet simply for fun — as a form of written self-expression. Twitter is an art form. One can explore a challenge with Twitter, use it as stimulus for jamming ideas, and you can kick off an action plan in Twitter (so, it can be used in all phases of structured creative problem solving, aka “CPS”).
And then there is the whole wisdom of crowds thing. You may have noticed that Jimmy Fallon and other late night talk show hosts source great jokes via Twitter. You get to know specific people. My colleague on the top 50 list Jorge Barba (@jorgebarba) is a case-in-point. I started noticing his tweets and found many of them compelling enough to retweet, click on, and/or respond to. We’ve chatted via Twitter and posted on each others blogs — I’ve grown to respect his opinions and energy. We’ve never met in person. I feel we are quite good friends.
If you are thinking Twitter is primarily where you post “what you’re doing now” I’d say you are about 4 to 6 years behind the reality of social media. Twitter may have been that ephemeral “right now” thing when it first came online, but it quickly evolved into something much more interesting, useful, and powerful. Beyond the uses author’s like me make of Twitter, it’s also a prime news outlet, a social “pulse” meter that rivals Nielsen, a market research tool, a tool of street level communication, an advertising media, and much more. Look at the Wikipedia entry on Twitter for a quick read on what it’s really all about.
By the way, Twitter happened as a result of a classic brainstorming session. At a valuation of approximately 9 billion (achieved since 2006) might that be evidence that, yes, brainstorming can work? That evidence speaks to me more than a poorly executed study of random college students generating ideas about what to do with a brick.
* Appropriate tweeting goes something like this — tweet things of general interest to your community about 8 times before you tweet something that promotes you or your products.