The Twitter Connection

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The world-wide web (wow, I actually enjoy writing those words as it makes me focus on this mini miracle machine that allows me to enter that world through this blog) was once a static platform.  Interactivity was minimal.

Now, web 2.0  is for the prosumer, and is an active-oriented, creative and interactive platform where even the smallest voice gets heard.

So how did the concept of a Twitter “Follow” ever stick?

I’m surely not the first person to think or write about this. I haven’t googled this to find the endless number of blogs about this topic, but for me, this has become an issue when I try to acknowledge people who are (choke)  following me.

My aversion to this word is in direct disproportion to how I feel about the platform itself, which exists on people following other people.

I am a twitter follower. I’ve been on twitter since March and have learned so much from so many well-respected and talented educators who constitute my PLN.  I’ve learned about resources, websites, tools and received ideas and encouragement.

Hashtags, chats, bitly, tweetdeck, hootsuite, twuffer, are tools that I could not do without. RT’s, MT’s, HT’s are de-mystified as I go about my tweeting.

Why then, do I literally crunch up my shoulders and cringe when I check my account to see who my “Followers” are?

Here’s my dilemma: I certainly ‘Follow’ people on Twitter.  Yet when I find out that someone has  ‘followed’ me I just can’t do what others have done.

I can’t thank them for “following” me–it feels absurd and I just can’t get the word out.  So, instead I thank them for connecting.

So much more comfortable. So much more web 2.0.

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About Ruth Schapira

I am a Jewish Educator of teens, interested in changing paradigms of Jewish high school education, incorporating strategic and creative initiatives and collaboration with like-minded organizations. Interested in creating new educational opportunities for Jewish teens using best practices and networking tools. View all posts by Ruth Schapira

2 responses to “The Twitter Connection

  • Ruth Schapira

    Hi David and thanks for your complete response in discussing following versus engagement. I agree with you that there is a place for each as the goals and time commitment involved is different.

    I am a happy twitter ‘follower’. In what I wrote, I was limiting myself to discussing that it was the word itself that I had a hard time with. “Following” has been a personally rewarding experience.

    Thank you again for your contribution!

  • David

    You have a good point about following and followers. It can be awkward. However, I think there is a place for the concept of following.

    Following is best for these reasons:
    1) Keep track of news and whats going on in your community. This is how people used to talk to the local store owner before every business became giant national chain.
    2) Center around thought leadership and brands. Twitter profiles don’t have to be people they can be brands. Brands can create a center of thought leadership (e.g. HBR) that people can pay attention to.
    3) Following works on the scale that engagement does not. There is a limited number of engagements you can make in a day governed by time. Following allows you to keep track of more than the typical 150 engagements that people manage.

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