Friday, September 4, 2009

When Paths Connect

Each friend represents a world in us, a world not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born~Anais Nin

Did you ever wonder what twitter is all about? I often hear, "what good is it?"

In my other job I work for a nonprofit organization. Part of my job involves using twitter to get the word out about this organization. For those of you who don’t know about twitter, it is a free online communications tool that allows its users to send and read messages known as tweets. Tweets are messages/posts of up to 140 characters displayed on the author's profile page and sent to the author's subscribers who are known as followers.

During the first month of using twitter I listened to a conference training call on the “how tos” of making twitter work. One of the most surprising tips I learned (besides that this form of communication is the way of the future because it gets information out so quickly): Don’t exclude followers whom you may believe think differently than you. Granted a great majority of my followers are of like mind.

I have followed quite a number of people who have different political views, philosophies of life, careers, etc. In retrospect, this was good advice. I didn’t want to simply preach to the choir (I do, however, check people’s profiles and messages they have recently sent because there are some unacceptable crumbs in the twitter world who try to trick you into pornographic sites and some only know how to tweet foul language).

Over the past several months I have tweeted hundreds of positive thought quotes, information about the nonprofit organization, reposted others’ interesting and thought provoking quotes and information about other charitable foundations and causes. Reciprocity is a key in using twitter. This is the means of building relationships and credibility with your followers. I now have over 3000 steady followers and the number is always increasing. And I have managed to surround myself with many, many positive people. This is one reward I’ve found through twitter~I am constantly inspired by others.

All along I’ve been asking people to visit the nonprofit’s website, but recently I’ve added “let us know how you heard about us upon signing into the site.” Not only has the traffic to the site dramatically increased, the majority of the people visiting say they heard about the nonprofit through twitter. All the work (and fun) is paying off. This too, is part of the payoff.

But, I received my best gift ever, just last week. One of my followers, a young man (I’ll call Craig), who remains quiet among the more “poetic” tweeters. He is a DJ for a radio station and sends messages about music, which I believe it would be fair to say, we don’t really share the same taste in music. He is one of the people I followed to have variety amongst my followers.

Tuesday, Craig posted a recommendation to follow me: nannette1094 she's been holding me down for months as a silent motivator. great twitter companion!!! I’d be lying to say I wasn’t surprised. I instantly tweeted back a note of thanks. A moment later Craig tweeted this message: When a person really desires something, all the universe conspires to help that person realize his dream. I sent a message back: Isn’t it contagious? He wrote back: it's happening to me!! as we tweet!
I couldn’t find the quote I wanted to send to him…I searched and searched. I’ve found it, though not yet sent it to him. To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded. You have succeeded Craig. What good is twitter?

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