OMG! A twitter pitfall, should I burn for saying such a thing.. will the fail whale fall from the sky and drop on my head, squishing me like a grape underfoot? Nah, that is just my humor. Twitter is one of the best tools of our recent lifetimes for many reasons and I won’t go into them all but will mention a couple.
- It is great for learning – I have learned more from my eventprofs tweeps than I ever thought possible.
- It is great for marketing – Getting the word out about a new product, service or success story is fast, easy and effective as long as you do it right (see my post on Hotels and Twitter for tips that apply to everyone).
- It is great for keeping in touch with colleagues, friends and professional acquaintances.
- It is just great.
One pitfall that strikes newbies, old twitter hats and even (especially) me is listening to the same voices.
We listen to the people that think like us, share the same ideas and have the same world or work view. We then streamline and narrow the focus even more by creating lists that allow us to zoom in on the people that give us the most…….the most education, most humor, most information….. you choose your most and those are the people in your list(s).
This is where we need to be careful, this is the pitfall. We need to use twitter beyond a laser focus and use it to bring in more voices. Twitter is the perfect tool for listening to many, many voices, opinions and thought leaders. Even if they don’t share your take on whatever issue.
For example, I think that Crowd Sourcing conference topics is an awesome idea, I think that it can strengthen any event program. I follow people that think like this and they teach me great ways to crowd-source.
I also listen to people that HATE Crowd Sourcing Topics. Why? Because it is good to get both sides of the argument, it is good to hear a different opinion. By listening to the other side, I hear the arguments that I will have to overcome, I hear the downside of Crowd Sourcing, I just hear… and that is important. So far, this has strengthened my resolve about Crowd Sourcing, but I also have a clear understanding of where it will not work. I would not know this if I only listened to the cheerleaders.
When you follow, follow both sides. This makes you a more knowledgeable asset. You need to sometimes go back to the pool and refresh your “mosts”… Always be on the lookout for fresh voices, new insight and new ways of looking at the world. Add the naysayers to your lists.
This is when Twitter goes from being a useful tool to indespensible.
The world is talking to you, are you listening?