Twitter still has its sceptics and critics. Enthusiasts try with gusto to coax them into the fold, in much the same way as one tries to persuade fellow holidaymakers into the pool – ‘come on in, the water’s lovely’.
But just as the water feels warm and refreshing once inside the pool, we all know that at the microsecond we make initial contact with the water, for that fleeting moment, we question the wisdom of our decision, before acclimatising to the temperature. To the outsider, the prospect of this freezing discomfort, no matter how temporary, is all that matters.
I am by no means a master of Twitter, in fact I was a bit late to the party. I understood the concept and appreciated its usefulness but I was very afraid I’d just become some kind of boastful boaster who just boasted. Riding a rollercoaster of sporadic self esteem, thinking ‘look at me I’m tweeting’, ‘haven’t I just said something really witty.’
However putting all that to one side, I quickly learned the value of tweeting or micro-blogging. Probably its greatest feature is that you can just listen and learn so much without actually saying anything. But I did gain some confidence and managed just about to keep my narcissist demons at bay and much like blogging, I just tried it out. There’s plenty of advice out there for people thinking of giving it a go, including help on Twitter itself, although I can’t help but feel that a blog is probably preaching to the converted!
Instead I’ll try to focus on the moment I realised how Twitter can actually make stuff happen. Sure there’s plenty of drivel on there, just like there’s drivel everywhere else, but just as face-to-face conversations can lead to people doing things, so can tweets. Sometimes, it can happen almost completely unintentionally.
So if you don’t already know Sarah-Ann Cromwell, let me introduce you to her. She is responsible for many things. She has been my friend for years and years since the days of a Methodist church youth group, and she also introduced me to my future wife who is now my present wife – just to resolve that temporal rift in my grammar. Now that was serendipity.
Sarah is also responsible for setting up a highly innovative opera-comedy cabaret fusion. ‘Diva Gigs: A week in the life of a Diva’ is a unique musical performance which has charmed the crowds and won recognition and plaudits at the Edinburgh Fringe and other comedy festivals. Back in April, Sarah blogged about how she successfully marketed her act and I was impressed. I wish I could take the credit for her comms tutoring but she appears to be completely self taught and I thought it worthy of sharing on Twitter. As I did, I used the #commshero hashtag.
That prompted the introduction of my good friend Sarah to Commshero chief Asif Choudry and ultimately led to her facilitating delegates at Commshero events in their own superhero anthem.
And there are plenty of tweets, snaps, vines and vids recording her achievement and impact, for example here, and here:
Anyway, you get the idea. All from one tweet. I call this ‘the Magic Tweet’, in the Diva’s honour, named after the opera, ‘The Magic Flute’. It’s a bit gimmicky I know but this is still only my third post and I’m still not totally sure what I’m doing.
Of course the Divagigs blog might have been spotted anyway. For all I know the relevant parties may have already been in contact. The same information might have been shared on other social media platforms. Whatever the case though, that day, the human-2-human side of Twitter came to life for me.
So if you know someone who’s still a bit unsure about the whole Twitter thing, or doesn’t think anyone ever gets past the ‘content shock’, you can tell them about the time I tweeted someone’s blog post that ended up getting them a gig. Because that’s what this is, a learning opportunity. Otherwise, just like my Magic Tweet, this is just some kind of poorly disguised promotion of my friend’s talents!
If you like this example of how Twitter made something happen, you may also like these: