When I first start on twitter it was more of a group IM among friends. Very casual and great way to chat with friends then I started to realize other IT people where it. After all at first it was mainly cutting edge tech geeks. So I started to interact with other IT geeks. Being in networking I started to interact more with networking people. As time went on I got more involved with data centers. These conversations on Twitter allowed me to learn a whole lot about technologies such as VMware that I had limited experience with. In the same way I could talk to the VMware guys about networking. This was great, I have learned so much all because of Twitter. I also have got to interact with all kinds of people I never would have. Even a number of friendships have been formed all around sharing info and learning from each other. Of course we all have lives outside of networking and from time to time post non-IT related tweets. I for example am a huge sports fan. You will see me tweet from time time to time about Arsenal, Dallas Mavericks and maybe something else sports related. In fact my first Twitter name was @Arsenal. I never should have gave that up. But I digress. Now I recognize that most people that follow me do not do it for sports reasons but for networking reasons. So now I have two accounts, @steve for IT related posts and @steverossen for non-IT. Why did this was I want to make sure that I keep adding value to those people that have followed me. Now I do post non-IT tweets now and then because you are following me, not a brand, you get whatever I feel worth tweeting. The other reason post non-IT to @steve is I just forgot to change which account it went too
So what is the point of this post? It was just to get you thinking. Do you add value to your twitter followers or just noise? So think a little before you tweet. Are you trying to build a brand for yourself or just share what is on your mind? Nothing wrong with either. Just don’t be upset when people don’t follow you or even worse unfollow you. Would you follow your own twitter stream? If not why would someone else? I have unfollowed people because they posted too many FourSquare or other silliness. Two people that have done a great job building their brand and reducing noise are Gerg Ferro at EtheralMind and Jeremy Strech at PacketLife. They have a ton great IT follower because they post quality content. If they started posting football scores or pics of their dog or what was plating in iTunes people would stop following them. They are going for a quality stream of content that is above what most are going for.
However, don’t be too quick to unfollow people. Remember what I said about former friendships? Sometimes you put up with a few random tweets that you don’t care about. After think of the ratio of value to noise. As long as the value is high enough you deal with the random pic of their car or post about them eating at Chilis.
Recently I had been thinking about my Twitter stream as since I changed jobs I don’t think I have added much value to Twitter. I have been trying to think about how I can improve that with the change in what I feel is appropriate. Lots of times I have just not posted on industry trends or specific tech issues because of this new role. That is changing, just had to feel out the new gig. Bottom line is think about what you tweet just a little bit and you will have a far better experience on Twitter.