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  • Twitter Friday: One Year of Twitter Participation

    First Birthday Cake

    First Birthday Cake is a Creative Commons licensed image by hfb.

    Approx. one year ago I joined Twitter. I was late. Most early adopters had been Twitter power users already by then. The spring of 2008 was a watershed moment for Twitter acceptance in the SEO industry.

    At first people still argued why Twitter is useless but soon enough the number of pro-Twitter voices from search marketers by far outweighed the anti-Twitter minority. I joined Twitter with a bang, a monumental Twitter resources post. It did not perform as well as expected but nonetheless I stayed with Twitter and a whole year flew by at an amazing pace.

    Now, a year later I teach others about Twitter with a regular Twitter column. Has anything changed in the meantime?

    TV celebrities reach millions of followers while it’s one of the most self-evident things to join Twitter for marketing purposes be it SEO or not. So what happened, what changed during this year? To be honest: That’s difficult to retell. Twitter is so fast that you’re beyond time in a way. My impression is that I still use Twitter as I did on day one. In reality it changed. At the beginning retweets weren’t a popular way of tweeting at all. Amazingly I haven’t retweeted anything for months before I noticed this incredibly simple and effective tool. Instead of optimization for retweets I used Twitter to announce a post and to see it submitted on other social sites. People don’t do that anymore.

    Matt McGee of Small Business SEM joined Twitter a day after me and he wrote an insightful post covering uses of Twitter he prefers most in retrospective.

    My usage of Twitter continually evolved. As I mentioned a few times already, I also use Twitter as a social news aggregator. Some of you might know that I actually boycott Digg. I don’t read it and I don’t submit stuff there. With the appearance of Twitter social news like interfaces for the most popular links Digg became finally obsolete. I had hopes in StumbleUpon and Mixx but finally Twitter did it, the site I least expected to do so.

    So beyond retweets and social news, what’s the difference between Twitter now and a year ago. People don’t tell me anymore what they had for breakfast. In the early days many users still relied on the question Twitter was originally meant to answer: What are you doing? You don’t do much while tweeting do. Either you sit in front of the screen at work and browse the Web or you hold your mobile in your hand and type with the other. So this question is basically a paradox. You can’t do much while you are tweeting.

    Twitter is really microblogging. It’s like a Delicious-bookmarks feed with a chat component. Wait. Isn’t there Friendfeed for that and much more? Yes, there is but FF hasn’t replaced Twitter at all. The exponential growth of the original microblogging tool has been undeterred.

    I’ve often referred to blogging as an indispensable tool for authority building in your niche. Well, microblogging on Twitter is also such a tool.

    There was a strange thing hoping in the recent week. Some of the most important Internet marketers on the Web have followed me back. I mean

    • people who have thousands of followers, sometimes more than 10k
    • people with hugely popular blogs and a rock solid personal brand
    • people whose time is very valuable and who sometimes follow just a bunch of people, sometimes a few hundred.

    So these people, they were really several of them, decided after a year that I don’t annoy them, that I’m in a way useful for them. I don’t retweet much. I don’t discover links all the time like @zaibatsu. So there must be something else about my usage on Twitter that made me an authority valuable enough to become virtual “friends” with some giants of our and similar trades.

    I don’t really know exactly what it was but I watch my steps closely and I will take a closer look in the upcoming weeks. Make sure to come back to read the outcome.

    • How do you use Twitter?
    • How do you participate?
    • Has your Twitter usage evolved over time, if yes in what ways?

    Tell me about it. Her or on Twitter: @onreact_com

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    ABOUT THE AUTHOR
    I help people with blogs, social media & search. I help you succeed on the Web. I've been online publishing for 15 years. I started back in 1997.

    2 Responses to “Twitter Friday: One Year of Twitter Participation”

    1. Twitter Friday: Digg, Reddit or Mixx? Twitter! — TwtBlog says:

      [...] Twitter Friday: One Year of Twitter Participation [...]

    2. Great idea this, i am seeing here different commands also thanks for sharing. I need some time to think about this

      Follow me on Twitter

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