Posts Tagged twitter
Have you ever just stopped and thought, “OK, exactly, what am I doing here?” Have you ever been asked to explain something and found yourself ramblings and your thoughts came out incoherent and and your thoughts are without any cohesion and almost on the verge of being labeled ‘verbal diarrhea’? (run on sentence intended for effect folks!!)
Force Some Discipline
There is a way you can attack this problem. This idea comes from a book I’ve recently read call “Drive” by Daniel Pink. (Good Read! Recommend it!) It’s one of the suggestions in the back of the book which you could easily overlook and just skiip by if you are not careful.
The concept is simple. Use a tool, like Twitter, to force you to craft a message in 140 characters. Twitter will only publish 140 characters of a person’s tweet. It provides a nice clean interface with a gentile reminder of how many characters you have remaining. It also provides you a negative number if you go over 140 characters, thus showing you how much you have to trim to have your entire message included in the twitter stream. Twitter simply provides us a clean and straightforward page with the needed feedback to accomplish this task.
Twitter is not the focus
You could use any tool that gives you the feedback to understand how close you are to 140 characters. Even the 140 characters are arbitrary and simply based on the fact that Twitter has this limitation. I could also use any word processor that provide the basic functionality of ‘word count‘ . You could write a simple Visual Basic program in minutes to perform the same task. The tool is not the important factor here. It is your ability to boil down your message to 140 charaters.
In the past we’ve talked about using elevator speeches, but this is more intense and to the point. Only using 140 characters to create focus.
Twitter Summary Application
- Front Office Staff – image the value you would bring if your responses were pithy and to the point. How many of us have wished we met some of these staff in our travels. Only to find out 2 minutes into a question answer session you picked the wrong person to ask ‘where the bathroom was?’ (exaggeration intended)
- Meeting Prep – Wouldn’t we all like to come into a meeting and with a short burst from the moderator / facilitator know how much I need to pay attention? In fact, I could then text my assistent to pull me out of the meeting in let’s say 10 minutes. (Note to self: I bet I could write a quick program so that when I text mesage a certain code to it, it would then rendomly generate a ‘emergency text message‘ to my department member’s phones so I can get them all the hell out of there before they waste another minute not doing their jobs!) (exaggeration intended)
- Event Planning – When I plan out an event, each hour has something it needs to accomplish. I would suggest having a twitter summary for each hour so that each hour can be easily reviewed by the facilitation staff and the owner / sponsor of the event.
- Calendar Management – wouldn’t we all like to look at a calendar event and not ask the question – what in the world is this here for and who authorized it to be on my calendar? Well a twitter summary would help there also.
- Instructions to Staff – I’ve also heard this one called ‘commander’s intent‘ as well. It would be a short burst stating what is the ultimate outcome or goal is for an activity. Sometimes these are needed so that if something goes wrong, the team, using autonomy, can make adjustments to still hit the mark by the end of the assignment.
- Classroom Setting – excellent use of a few seconds to start out the class. Let everyone know what’s going to happen in the class for the next hour to three hours. (Also see Meeting Prep above – for you resourceful students – but don’t try it in my class – I have you turn off your phones)
Taken to an Extreme
Would love to hear how you could apply Twitter Summaries. Leave a post and let me know.
- The art of complaining in 140 characters or less (swiss-miss.com)
- On the benefits of #macroblogging, observing a #Twitter stupidity, and the return of #stopshortening (dropsafe.crypticide.com)
- Don’t spend hours tweeting, says Twitter co-founder (telegraph.co.uk)
- How Twitter Can Improve Your Management In 140 Characters Or Less (businessinsider.com)
- Tell us about ‘the moment’ in 140 characters or fewer (timesunion.com)
In “Success” magazine (Success.com February 2011) I found a great article on Jacky Chan. In this articles they list Jacky Chan’s 7 Traits for Success. I found his thoughts fit nicely into internet marketing as well. So I’m going to take his traits but add my own thoughts to each of his traits.
1) A willingness to crash and burn
I can’t stress enough that each internet marketer should try to fail, often, and big. Two phrases come to mind “Go Big, or Go Home!” and “Failure is an event, not a title!” Your embrace of risk might be the deciding factor that helps you find your niche.
2) A discipline for fitness
The key word being discipline. Fitness is needed for everyone, but in marketing, we need focus, intentional creative disruption. We often try many tactics for our clients. We need to perform our duties in such a way that our measurements tell us which tactic produced the results and then build on them.
3) A disdain for wasted time
As Zig Ziglar wrote in his “See You at the Top” recording your activities and understanding what it takes to create positive results in critical. Equally important is understanding what is not helping you create success. Avoiding time wasters are equally important then improving skills.
4) A need for alternative opinions
It’s important we seek out and study other disciplines and build on the lessons of those. Reading materials from other continents, or cultures. Subscribe to blogs from other marketers on other countries. Spend time discussing ideas on twitter or in blog comments. It will improve your ability to communicate your positions to clients and prospects.
5) A set of high expectations
Never be afraid to say “That’s not good enough” and demand more of the outcomes of your tasks and tactics. With internet marketing it often a series of “shoot, ready, aim” moments, but that doesn’t mean we can expect some impressive marksmanship!
6) An accurate moral compass
A marketer with no moral compass is simply a politician. Enough said.
7) A relentless sense of humor
By all means, have some fun. If you can’t laugh and laugh hard at your work, you will often find yourself ‘chasing rabbits’. I know we call it work, but push the limits, always create a version of your latest project that is an exaggeration of the client requirements. By creating this outlier, you will find your other ideas less risky and at the same time take some risks.
So which one of these traits caught your eye? Which of these traits are you doing well at? Which one of these traits do you need to work on? I’d love to get your feedback.
Enjoy! Good Hunting!
I have come to the conclusion that Twitter has a major design flaw and it is making it difficult for me to continue to grow my network of followers. Not that my number of followers are very large, this is more of a philosophical debate raging inside of me to justify my limited time I have on this planet and the effort it takes to accomplish something in said limited time. I, like others, am a complex human being. I have many faces or areas in my life which are in different stages of maturity. I don’t just share on a singular topic. I expose myself in many ways, to the horror of some, yes!
For Twitter to continue to become the social force that it is destined to be, it must move beyond this singular voice that it has granted us.
What kind of a Twit would I be if I didn’t take this opportunity to invite you to follow me on Twitter. Sometimes the most obvious mistake for Twits is not to simply ask people to follow them. Thanks!
My Many Masks! (or Filters?)
So, what are the chances that my Twitter followers are just like me. That they enjoy everything I do, or for that matter, are at the same maturity level in those similar areas of our lives. Here are some of the areas I Tweet about, randomly mind you, and often based on what other’s Tweet about also.
Religion - As a Christian, it shapes my thought process and value system immensely. I enjoy studying and talking with people of other faiths, but it is unlikely that this interaction with change my core belief system.
Family - I love talking about my family. My wife and boys are the greatest gift and treasure I have and love sharing them with others.
Marketing - My passion, my hobby, my mistress. Yes, I tend to focus my vocation on internet marketing, but I still love the field. I happen to follow the principles of Marketing Warfare which at times places me at odds with other marketers in how we approach solutions to problems, but that is also part of the fun!
Soccer (true Football) – I absorb all that I can about the game. My hands on experience is at the youth level, mostly because of my four boys. I train, coach, ref at the U15 level or below and volunteer with different clubs and organizations in the area. If there is a match on the TV, I’m watching it over all else.
Chess - I consider myself a novice. Yes, I can put my boys is a good chess smackdown (sometimes) every now and then but put me in a room with a person rated over 1500 and I look like a fool who’s never seen a board before!
SUDOKU - I loves all things Sudoku. I’m even thinking about learning Japanese so I can solve puzzles faster!
And the list goes on and on ……
Now imagine trying to find a set of people on this planet who have the same interests. Ok, now I have a following of 5. Now what? What are my odds of getting to six, without investing heavily into cloning?
Twitter is Tone Deaf!
Now images your Tweets had Tones! Let’s say that each of the areas I’ve described above had a Tone. This would allow people to follow not only the person, but the areas of their life they had an affinity with. Thus, when I Tweet, I would associated a Tone to the Tweet so that you would only hear the items you wanted to and not the other things I find so interesting (and bore the hell out of you!).
Twitter was simply meant as tool to tell others “Hey I’m going out to lunch, will be back in 30 minutes” and there is some developer somewhere laughing his ass off for what Twitter is being used for today!