Twitter isn’t everything. There’s the first honest thought. I began using Twitter on a regular basis about three months ago. As of this writing, I’ve accumulated 1,799 followers. I’ve also sent about 3,800 tweets. This may sound like a lot, and I get teased about my frequency, which has actually led to this particular blog post.
In the way of explanation, I don’t read every link I pass on, mainly because much of what I pass on is “future reference” tutorials, inspirational designs, etc. So I don’t spend 48 hours per morning reading stuff – I speed read good posts and pass along what I find to be useful. Nonetheless, I’m examining my own Twitter adoption curve and it’s an interesting thing to evaluate.
I started out like everybody else – signing up and then tweeting nothing for six months. When I became active, I would occasionally post about what was happening in my life. I added the task of passing on helpful links from my rss reader. Web design is a big hobby for me, so most of the resources I pass on are related to that field.
Within the past two weeks, I’ve realized that I’ve just posted and retweeted way too much. I know retweeting is fast becoming a popular race to run, but I’m bowing out and slowing down and returning to what Twitter is really supposed to be all about – a conversation. (By the way, if you’re a serious poster/retweeter, more power to you – these are my thoughts alone.)
I’ve often likened Twitter to a stream that trickles by whether we notice it or not. It’s nice now and then to dip our toes in, to join the conversation that is taking place, offer insight, encouragement, and perhaps a resource, then to return to real life. The problem is that I’ve been gushing conversation like the Niagara! And I think I may have annoyed some people whom I value deeply.
Here’s the honest, bottom line conclusion. You can flood the stream, gain followers, rank high, build a network, and attract attention. But you’ll probably miss the point in the meantime. Leadership is about leading tribes and small crowds, sometimes crowds of one or two or three. The same is true in any size organization in real life.
So here’s my advice to myself (and to you, if you’ll listen)… make friends, converse, share, but set proper limits and have a good strategy for managing relationships, not marketing products. Dip your toes in the stream of conversation, but avoid shouting with a bullhorn at those who choose to follow you.
I’ll be sharing all kinds of great links here on thisinspires.me. If you’re looking for inspiring stuff for the web, come here. I’ll be blogging about leadership and theology over at brandonacox.com and about web design at eGrace Creative. On Twitter, I’ll be conversing. Will you join me?
By the way, I am who I am. I’m a Pastor and make no apologies for talking faith and theology. I’m a web designer on the side, so I make no apologies for talking about tech stuff as a Pastor. I’m a husband, Dad, and lots of other things. So if any of that annoys you, unfollow me. On the flipside – I’ll try not to be so stinkin’ annoying.
I want to offer some special thanks to some real friends who are willing to be honest and frank. In particular, @justinsrefuge (my awesome Youth Pastor), @nickuva (a fellow Spurgeon lover), @pricechris (a pretty cool Pastor-theologian from the BIG state of Texas), @javamoose (my first college roommate and a deep thinker), @artmealer (a missions strategist), @mhenslee (a Youth Pastor / theologian with a nice gotee), and @drrus (a church planter and radio dude who always inspires). Oh, and I’d also like to thank the academy (… music begins). Thanks guys – real friends!
Now, back to life, and back to the real conversation!