I started my Twitter account in April of 2008.  I had heard a lot about Twitter, and how it was going to change the Internet, so I thought I would give it a shot. After all, I was a person who has a lot of things to say.

It turns out, I had very little to say once I started.

So I shared some stuff,  most  info about myself and posts I found interesting.  Unsurprisingly not much happened with that.  I languished in the Twitter basement, eventually using it mostly as a novel way to consume news.

It was a mistake early on that I made worse when I started my blog. Once that was taking off, I used Twitter as just another broadcast channel.  Sharing my posts automatically and enjoying when someone liked things.

At this point I unfollowed all those news sites and focused my following on just a few people in my blog’s niche.  I thought I had figured it all out, but I hadn’t, I wasn’t really enjoying Twitter.  Instead it was just a means to get more traffic to my site.

I did this for years. Trying to figure out the best way to phrase my headlines or improve my sharing.  What I didn’t realize is that I could get a lot more out of Twitter by surrounding myself with people I wanted to know better. Instead of my just throwing out the occasional like or retweet. 

Instead I made getting to know them and their content the main part of my Twitter use.

On Twitter, we get excited if someone follows us. In real life, we get really scared and run away.


I quickly realized that about half the people I had been following were exactly how I used to be.  So I dropped those and replaced them with all the people who made an effort to develop a relationship with me.

The results have been outstanding.  Not in the traditional measurements, but in overall satisfaction.  My traffic from Twitter hasn’t changed at all, it has remained about the same since the changeover.

But now when I get online, I am actively thinking about who might enjoy my post and love when I coax a like or a comment out of them. It is like I actually know these people. 

They are my community and I appreciate and value them by not wasting their time with the self-promotional nonsense that I dropped into Twitter in the past.

My Twitter world is so focused that very little from outside my area of interests gets through.  I would like to say this is because of some algorithmic shift by Twitter, but I think it is from careful grooming.  No longer do I know instantly when some disaster happens or a famous person passes away and it’s not big deal.  I can get that information from a news site.

Instead I have a feed that reflects who I am and the people I am most interested in knowing.  It is an amazing capability and it has made Twitter my favorite social media platform.


Person figures out Twitter works best when they use it to try and connect with people and not for self-promotion.