Today is a special day (not at all). Early this morning, I passed 10,000 tweets (I have no life). Let’s take a second and figure out how I got from Twitter infancy to Twitter adulthood (you probably don’t care and I probably don’t remember enough stuff to stretch this out to 500 words).
I joined Twitter on March 20th, 2007, 900 days ago, and really had no idea what it was about. I was one of those people who thought Twitter was dumb, and only joined up to read Bill Simmons’ tweets (I’m a creeper when it comes to Simmons’ articles and podcasts). I quickly caught on to Chris Mortenson’s live tweeting from his NFL training camp bus tour. I freaking loved all the inside, instant info from the ESPN and Sports Illustrated guys.
I was immediately impacted by how quickly information could spread through twitter. I really only used it for fantasy football at the time, but it was no mystery even then how much something like twitter could affect the news cycle and public opinion.
Still, I was just a reader, only occasionally stepping out of my box to say something (usually something stupid). If I bothered with research, I’d know the specific person or tweet that changed my twitter life, but between @joyfully_e and @davepolak , I started talking my fool head off. Eventually I made friends with their friends, and then their friends got in on the act. Real life networking. There are groups of people that I’ve had a great time going out with and groups of people that I know I’ll have a great time when we do go out. The biggest lesson I learned in my twitter youth is that twitter is a social network first and foremost, not a news network or advertising network.
I still use Twitter as my central news aggregator, but its really the friends that I’ve made along the way that keep me hooked on the potential of social networking. Public Relations folks can work their branding magic and CNN can keep us all informed, but no one would care about twitter if it wasn’t for tweetups on Friday nights, impromptu meetings for lunch or having a big group of people actually care when something crappy happens to you.
So now I’m 10,000 tweets old. Most of the stuff I say is still stupid, but now there’s a whole lot more people willing to tell me so.