Im not a fan of Twitter.
And, I have been secretly rebelling against it.
Facebook, Im OK with. Actually, more than OK with, I love it.
But Twitter? Im a 33-year-old grump when it comes to learning this technology an attitude all you Accounting Tomorrow diehards know isnt reserved for Baby Boomers. It seems tedious to me to be throwing up tweets every two hours and then have to respond to said tweets. Theres the 140 character limit, which I find mildly offensive. Add in all the symbols one has to learn to communicate with your followers and I, just well, want to turn off and plug out.
So yeah, I could do without the whole thing. After all, its just the latest fad, right?
As it turns out, Im probably wrong and I think my attitude just might be changing thanks to Jessica Levin, whom I call, the Queen of the Twitterati, but who many in the CPA profession know as manager of communications and member services for Moore Stephens North America, Inc.
Levin has positioned herself as an expert in social media she can be found on Twitter and Facebook, among other sites, commenting, starting discussions and networking. Shes putting her passion for technology and connecting people to good use by offering consulting to those who want to learn more about the possibilities and growth potential of using these tools.
So when she invited me to the First Official Social Velocity Drink Tank Session at The Slaughtered Lamb in Manhattan, I decided to give Twitter another chance at winning over my affections.
Two other women joined us on a rainy Wednesday evening in the West Village, marketing directors from New Jersey law firms who will remain nameless in an effort to collect tips on how to best take advantage of Twitter.
My original idea was to have this in a fun environment, not in a stuffy environment, Levin said, her voice competing with the Top 40 music blaring in the background. I know this set up is not for everybody, but I thought it would be fun to do it in a bar.
The idea is to bring like-minded professional service folks together those who share a similar level of understanding about technology to learn something and network. Future sessions will come at a cost of $25 per participant, Levin said.
Though Levin is a lover of social networking tools, she said those who are most successful at using them still understand that the best business and relationship building is done face-to-face.
With that she said on July 9 shell be celebrating her one year anniversary with an account that boasts 4,154 followers (at least when this post went up).
Twitter, according to Levin, is meant to add value to relationships. And after her shpiel, I have to agree.
Especially since she told me about a free downloadable application called Tweet Deck, that would allow me to update my social networking platforms with the same status update at the same time. Bingo! Tell me more, Jessica!
Using this application, tweets can be organized by mentions, and by creating groups of people such as CPA related or Friends. You can also search for a specific hash tag and a view of all tweets related to a specific topic. The Tweet Deck also allows someone to tweet from multiple accounts, has a function to shorten a URL for you and configure your too-long tweet to one that falls under the allotted 140 characters. That feature is called Tweet Shrink.
And of course, we cant forget about Twitter etiquette.
If I do have a follower, I do follow them back as a courtesy, she said, adding that in her opinion Twitter wont be fizzling out anytime soon. It will be like YouTube. Something you add to your Web site.
Levin ran through a laundry list of applications that can be used with Twitter as well as how people out there in the virtual world are using the Twitter tool. She pointed to the chief executive of Zappos, Tony Hsieh, as someone who is one of the best Tweeters out there. He meets people in real life he knows online from Twitter in a gathering called a Tweet Up. Thats social networking at its finest.
In an hour and a half, I can honestly say, I walked away from that session feeling that Twitter isnt a waste of time, that it does add value to communicating and that I should get on the ball and do some experimenting.
Ill let you know what I find out.
In the meantime, if youre interested in hearing more about the Social Velocity Drink Tank, contact Jessica Levin directly at email@example.com.