I’ve been using Twitter for about 6 months now and I must say, I’m quite excited about the tool. It has helped me to find and connect with many of my topics of interest through recommendations of people who I follow. And that’s the best use I’ve found for it so far.
At first, I started following people who I already knew, part of my social circle. To be quite honest, it was plain boring. I don’t know if I was the strange one in the equation. But I don’t need to know all details of their lives, or their opinion about every little gossip on TV or YouTube. I felt like wasting my time. But I was looking at Twitter as another Facebook, or Orkut.
I dropped it for a few weeks but I kept hearing about it. How some people found interesting articles, news, and blogs by recommendation on Twitter and it compelled me to invest a little more. And the minute I stopped worrying about following people I knew and started following people with interesting posts, my impression of it changed completely.
Today my current view on Twitter is that it allows you to find and connect with communities of topics that you are interested in. Twitter allows you to hear what that group is talking about. Feels a bit like being in a party where you want to join a particular conversation but you don’t know anybody in the circle. You stay there, laughing of some jokes until you feel comfortable enough to say something – although I must admit people will still look at you and think “where on earth did this guy come from?”, and maybe still ignore your comments.
Nevertheless, some say being around giants makes you grow (I’m really bad when it comes to expressions and analogies). And just being able to find what some people have to say about topics you like, might give you incentive to think about it, and question it. And that exercise has been quite helpful in understanding the world around.
So my advice here is for you to join Twitter and try to find people who you admire. But don’t be afraid to unfollow those that fill your list with “Just had a nice tuna sandwich. Yam!”, unless you are interested in sandwiches. In that case, make sure you reply with a @ asking where from and what did it have.
(If you want know more about Twitter and how to use it, I found a blogpost from april 2008 with a long list of tips for using it. Might help your first steps.)