Grid Magazine Issue #13
by Paul Spicer
So, why do you Tweet?
I tweet for many reasons. I work from home as a web designer so it gives me the social interaction that an office provides others. I also use it as a promotional tool by sharing my work, as well as informative blog posts and tweets from people I follow that my audience might enjoy. It’s a great source for breaking news, helping others with their questions, and even finding a missing person or a lost item. I tweet looking for recommendations on new restaurants or services I am interested in and that’s where my followers have an opportunity to lend feedback. Furthermore, if you travel a lot like me, having a Twitter following is extremely useful because you can instantly get feedback regarding the local surroundings.
And on an average day, how often do you figure that you tweet?
Howoftendoyoutweet.com will tell you. Currently I’m at 4.1 per day, but it takes into account your total number of days on Twitter vs your total number of tweets so mine isn’t exactly accurate since I’ve been a member for so long. In the early years people weren’t using Twitter like they are today. They either didn’t know it existed or if they did they didn’t know how or why they should be using it. I would try and interact with people, but it just didn’t catch on until a few years ago so my activity wasn’t like it is today. One of my favorite tweets to look back on now was from a friend that said: “What’s so special about this app? Seems just like email or IM.” That pretty much sums up what most people thought about Twitter until the last few years and today I would bet many would still say the same thing.
Time to brag — do you have a favorite tweet of your own that you’ve posted?
My brag would be my first tweet. I’m betting I’m the longest standing Twitter user in RVA. As of today, December 16, 2011, I have been active for 1751 days, or March 1, 2007. The actual project started on March 21, 2006 by @Jack, but didn’t go public until July 15, 2006. Until that point it was still an internal service being used by Odeo, a company that Jack and some others started. In April 2007 Twitter was officially its own company and I was already a user. That’s kinda baller I guess. If anyone can beat that, holler at me. We should be friends. www.howlongontwitter.com/
Which of your tweets have been the most popular, caused the most stink, or generated the most buzz?
I’m not a confrontational person by nature in real life so I don’t try and hide behind a handle in Twitter life and cause drama or just be a troller. I’m here to make friends, not enemies. I’m here to help people and in return be helped when I need it. I’m here to hopefully make you laugh and say what’s on my mind while treading that thin line of what’s appropriate and what’s not. Being confrontational on Twitter is the quickest way to get followers, because we all enjoy watching a good Twitter fight, but I just have no desire to be part of one. A recent tweet I posted linking to a blog post I wrote about a new restaurant in town got a lot of traffic because one of my followers endorsed it. That led to a dramatic increase in clicks and views on my blog. Thanks @ksiddall.
Got a good Twitter story?
Why yes I do. In March 2011 VCU Mens Basketball made it into the NCAA Tournament. Some of us on Twitter who had mostly only been virtual friends planned a meet-up at Home Team Grill to watch the game. We won the game so we met again. We won that game so we met again. We ended up hanging out for four games and had quickly formed a solid bond with each other. We are now all friends and hang out in real life.
Any favorite (good or bad) replies?
When you have an open forum like Twitter it’s the bad replies you should be worried about especially if you are tweeting as yourself or a business and not tweeting fictitiously. Having a tweet is awesome especially if it’s a well known Twitter personality, but that doesn’t compare to having someone or a group of people bash you for all to see. I’ve seen it a lot and if handled improperly it can greatly hurt your brand. #boomgate (@orlandowynn) anyone? It can of course also make the person or persons doing the trolling look terrible, but they probably have nothing better to do so I’m sure they don’t care.
Who are some of your favorite Tweeps that you’re currently following?
Design: @DesignerDepot provides good fresh content. News: @mashable because they know pretty much everything first. Sports: @danawhite and @RealSkipBayless because they are controversial. TV: @jimmyfallon because he knows how to use Twitter in a fun and creative way. Health: @EatThisNotThat because they provide healthy alternative food options. Comedy: @KF*CKINGP and @danieltosh because their shows are hilarious and you never know what they are going to say. Social Media: @garyvee because he
tells it like he sees it and @hubspot for amazing content and ebooks. My RVA crew mentioned earlier and any other RVA person who will share and communicate with me.
If you weren’t using your current Twitter handle, what would you call yourself?
@chadwilliams. Honestly I don’t even know what happened. As mentioned earlier I started using Twitter in 2007 with the handle @echadwilliams, because my first name is Emory, but the handle @chadwilliams wasn’t created until May 22, 2008. I don’t recall creating that account and it only has one super informative tweet, “Wmtpjm.” I’ve asked Twitter for years to clear it, but they haven’t supported that in years and at this point it’s irrelevant, but it wouldn’t be worth starting over.
When you’re not using Twitter what other platforms tickle your fancy?
I am very active on Facebook, yes one of their 800+ million users, since it’s still the best place to connect with friends, family and now even strangers via the subscribe feature which is like following on Twitter. I also use Facebook for my business. Klout is the newest and most interesting site because it ranks your social relevance (aka Klout) online. I’m also a member of Google+ personally and for business. It’s a more tech heavy, man demographic currently, but is growing. I use Tumblr for my one of my personal blogs and I was among the first 3% of Foursquare’s 15 million plus users, where I am a Level 1 Superuser. I also have profiles on Stumbleupon, Last.fm, Digg, Pandora, and Spotify. So you shouldn’t have any trouble finding me.
What’s coming up next for you in 2012, in terms of how you plan to use Twitter or other platforms?
I am a fan of all social media, but there is still a long way to go to educate the every day person on all the different options and why they might want to join a certain network or how they could use each to benefit them. Part of my job is to try and help educate those who want to know more, but just need a little help. The more people on these networks share information the more robust they become. Content is king in today’s Internet so the more valuable content you have out there or share the more recognition you will receive.
What I’m looking forward to is taking all the social interactions we share on platforms like Foursquare, Facebook, Google+, Twitter, etc. and using it to predict where we should go or what we might want to be doing, not where or what we are currently. We haven’t even begun to scratch the surface so I’m very excited for 2012 and beyond.