What’s happening? The story of my Twitter evolution…

August 23, 2011 at 4:41 pm 9 comments

by Cynthia Lambert

A funny thing happened on the way to the weekend: I found myself on Twitter looking for stuff to do!

Now don’t get me wrong–I have been on Twitter. I signed up about two years ago and have used it sporadically ever since. I like the short bursts, but they often are just links to typical stuff found elsewhere. Plus, my choices of who to follow were often disappointing.  Not the real people I actually know!  It was the content providers and entertainment choices I made that fell short.

From the input side, I posted some.  That was fun, especially the phase where I tried to make every post use as close to the total 140 characters as possible.  Still, after posting to Facebook, I didn’t find I had anything new to say.  Mostly, I glanced and moved on. That began to change when I was planning my vacation.

I was heading to Northern California and some pretty tiny towns.  I certainly used Google to plan and prep for the trip.  However, I couldn’t get any real sense of the towns or what there was to do after hiking all day.  At some point, I thought maybe I could follow a local library twitter feed and find out a few things happening while we were going to be in town.  I dug about further and found a local paper, the local college, and a few government feeds for my destination.  Boom, I finally found my Twitter sweet spot!!

Yarn Shop in Mendocino California

Mentioned in a Tweet about a garden walk in Mendocino!

I found information about food, gardens, and shopping.    I even found a yarn shop via a garden walk.  Now folks, these are a few of my favorite things!  I gleefully watched the feeds for a few weeks before we arrived.  It was a great trip.

After vacation, I returned home and reverted back to my Facebook and Google habits.  For a few weeks that was just fine.  However, one day I glanced at my Twitter feed just as @PrincetonScoop posted about an event for that weekend.  The scales fell from my eyes and behold, I became a Twitter convert!

Once again, I dug around for the local newspaper, the local university and colleges, the college radio station, and a few commercial PR providers.  I added a few local places I frequent.  I was on my way.  A treasure trove of information began to flow in:  Farm Market Updates; what’s blooming in the local gardens; summer theater options at Princeton University, and of course all the great events hosted @mylibrary.

The moral of this story–always look at your resources and tools with fresh eyes. 

I thought I knew what Twitter had to offer, but I was wrong.  What it is, and what I want from it, have evolved over time.  I now visit Twitter before I hit Facebook.  I still don’t post much, but that is because I am too busy planning what to do this weekend!

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