Don’t get Twitter? Think of the golf course.

golf

First, Baby Fish Mouth was sweeping the nation…now, it’s Twitter.

I taught a workshop yesterday, and there was, let’s just say, a less than webinized group in the audience. And as I waxed poetic about Twitter and its benefits and wonders, one gentleman kept raising his hand and repeating, “I still don’t get it! Why would I want to do this?”

Who am I to throw stones, even when I can’t think of a good reason not to engage on Twitter. But here’s the bottom line:

  • It’s fast
  • It’s alive – when I ask a question, I get instant responses – sometimes 50 in 10 minutes (of course, this is relative to the number of followers you have)
  • People are on it all the time by phone, desktop application, web
  • You can build a network at a rapid rate
  • In no time you’ll have 100, 1000, 10,000 people who know you and your business that didn’t previously know about you or your business.

Why wouldn’t you do it?

To all of you who are freaked out by Twitter, I say: stop making it so difficult.

It’s just like any other networking you’ve done – you meet, you shmooze, you see if you can help each other, you file away the other person’s info, you have fun, you get good information. Sure, you have to learn some new terms and new technology – but, so far, over 5 million people have mastered it – and I’m confident you can too.

As Dawn, my good friend at Martha’s Vineyard Online put it: It’s like the golf course.

Why, yes Dawn, yes it is. A great analogy. There we all are hanging out and enjoying ourselves – we all know what we do for a living, we all know we’d love to do business together or learn from each other – but it’s secondary, it’s unspoken. And still the business gets done. Oh, and we’re spared the horrible clothes. Disclaimer: I’ve never played golf and doubt that I ever will.

The Today Show covered Twitter, and here’s what they had to say. (Of course, they had me at Jon Stewart) Oh, and I can’t believe this – but Newt Gingrich actually tweets something very interesting and apropos during the course of this video. I know, I know – you don’t have to say it. But, hey – there’s another Twitter benefit – it brings the unlikeliest people together.

Image courtesy of Fevisyu

Join the discussion 5 Comments

  • Maury says:

    Speaking from the standpoint of an audience member at said workshop, I feel like I can understand their perspective and perhaps give some of my own. Now, granted, I am far more “in the know” about web stuff than, well, probably everyone in the crowd (barring maybe some of the MVOL employees), but I myself had avoided Twitter until you showed it to me yesterday. It looked like a glorified Facebook update, and I didn’t realize the potential for connecting with people on such a large scale. Additionally, I had no idea about the live search engine, which instantly became a huge selling point. It took that “lesson” to get me interested. I had been considering the viability, but didn’t know how to make it valid. This showed me.

    However, the crowd on this island is not just “less than webinized” but often completely terrified of technology on the whole. Luddites, and proud of it, as Vonnegut might have said. That’s fine, I suppose, but it creates a larger challenge for teaching them: the learning curve starts all the way at the bottom.

    Fortunately for me, my first job ever was to teach Word processing to elderly people, so it gave me a sense early on (at 14) about how to approach this.

    A typical day on the job went as follows:

    “click here”
    “click?”
    “use the mouse…”
    “mouse?”
    “Oh, uh, that oval shaped thing in front of you with the buttons on it.”

    And the student proceeds to flail wildly around the screen and the room, mouse in hand.

    A lot of these people are scared to death of computers in general, not just the internet. They may think themselves savvy, but to stand behind one of them and watch them operate a computer, it’s all you can do not to throw them out of the way and do it yourself. “Oh god, they’re so slow, they’re clicking the wrong button, they don’t know what the @ symbol is for! Augh!”

    It takes a severe amount of patience, which unfortunately, there just isn’t time for when you have to cram in that much information over the course of a couple hours. I guess the benefit is: you can then snag the interested parties for consulting jobs. However, if they are overstimulated, their brains will shut off and that interest will give way to fear of the new technology and they will go “forget it, I’m surviving the way I am, I don’t need this.”

    Telling people “this is easy” will only get them so far, they want their hands held as they walk with you into the darkness.

    Personally, I enjoyed it a lot. I found myself wanting to jump up and answer the questions for you, at times, but I didn’t want to take anything away from your presentation, and as you can see from my sudden flux of tweets, I found it valuable: you sold me on twitter, and not just sold – I went from a skeptic to a maniac for the site, instantly.

  • --Deb says:

    I’m just laughing at your first line, because I SAID THAT this afternoon! My mom was trying to remember the name of Hobby Farm Home Magazine and was saying, “Hobby Home, Hobby Lobby, Hobby Horse, Hobby (all this with me bent over laughing) … this is like charades!” So, naturally, I quoted from “When Harry Met Sally” (One of the best movies ever.) How great to see you using the same quote on the same day–because it’s not really one that you can insert into just any conversation.

    Now, all that said? I should probably go back and read the rest of the post, huh?

  • Moms At Work says:

    A great explanation! I must share this with the … ahem … less than webinized people at my office.

  • Monica says:

    not everyone is going to in a twitter lovefest. you must be comfortable sharing life and business with masses of pple you will never know IRL. I just think it’s funny for once I’m in know before others. usually, I’m the last in line.

  • I swear I had 5 friends from Facebook join Twitter and start following me when I posted the link to the Today Show piece on Twitter. Why does the Today Show validate it for people? don’t know, but it does!

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