Finding Value in 30,000 Tweets
Today I will reach my 30,000th tweet.
Or I might have already, depending on when this is published. It's been a long and winding journey and my 30,000 some tweets so far tell a number of stories, but primarily mine as a young professional making my way through college, traveling the world, and working towards career success (with a little luck).
I started it all on July 20, 2007, sitting in a cramped little apartment outside of Tokyo, Japan, where I was staying for six weeks as part of a cultural exchange scholarship program. I signed up not knowing what this little micro-blogging service called Twitter was, and with no possible idea where it would take me over the course of the past three or so years.
As I tweeted out my excitement about hitting 30,000 tweets this morning, a follower asked me, "How many were of value?" That got me thinking. How many of these little 140 character messages really provided value to anyone? What have I accomplished in my 30,000 tweets, my approximate 4,200,000 characters, those 50,000-some-odd words?
To me, all of them provided value, and I've accomplished more than I ever dreamed I would with a social network.
With social media there's a constant struggle between quantity and quality. Do you want to be the one who's always present, always first on the news, and with the highest stats and metrics? Or do you want to be the one with the highest quality, who provides intense value in a small number of tweets, updates, or blog posts?
I think that depends on your goals, and I don't think there's any rule saying you can't have both, as long as you balance it right and engage with those around you--it is a social network, after all, not a wire service.Continued on the next page