Ten Years on Twitter, already?

I received a notification from Twitter this morning that today marks 10 years since I joined the social network. Who knew? Well, they did, of course.

As I tried to will my brain back to June of 2007, wondering how the heck I’d been on Twitter for a decade, I figured I’d multitask and simultaneously clicked through to review the tweet that had been prepared on my behalf, complete with the hashtag #MyTwitterAnniversary.

Never one to use a canned tweet without adding at least a few words of my own, I quickly added three and sent it out to the Twitterverse. I don’t expect any engagement given how little thought I put into those three words,  but the occasion had to be marked. And now it is.

I will be the first to admit that I’ve lost some of my original zeal for Twitter over the last few years and I’ve gone weeks without posting a single tweet. I have my reasons for this, which may be fodder for a future post. (I’ve often thought it may just be burnout.)

But, I still love live-tweeting from conferences and industry events, and participating in Twitter-chats, sharing my knowledge and expertise and the same of others. Give me a conference hashtag and some speakers dropping serious knowledge bombs and I will tweet until the cows come home!

And I will continue to visit Twitter to put my finger on the pulse of popular culture, experience news firsthand and enjoy the creativity of the masses when a meme goes wild.

However, I remember when Twitter was full of early adopters and technology geeks. If you mentioned someone in a Tweet, they replied. Even Craig, of Craigslist who was known for having early morning Twitter conversations with random users. Celebrities had no interest, so no one was looking for them or broadcasting their every tweet. And most people really didn’t understand its purpose. Some might call those the good old days because you really could build your own community.

Even though I may have enjoyed that time, that is not my position. I believe Twitter has evolved in ways that are pretty amazing. Activism has found a new home, wrongs that have gone unexposed and hidden are suddenly front and center and getting the attention needed to bring about change.

With Twitter, accountability is arguably the new black.

So, upon reflection, it absolutely feels like a decade, because I’ve had at least five Twitter lives.

Three years into my life with Twitter I can recall having four meetings with a CEO, followed up with a research document and presentation before finally getting the green light for a three-month Twitter-pilot that allowed me to create a branded account for the company.

I can also remember it taking two years to convince a client to use a branded hashtag on a campaign. They just flat out refused in year one. Can you even imagine that today?

And when Twitter rolled out guidelines for how news organizations should display their logos and the content of tweets on screen. I almost forgot about that one.  I also remember noticing a trend of press releases announcing Twitter accounts, and even wrote about it on my old blog. 

Okay, I’ve been around a long time. And what a difference a decade makes. I think I’m going to spend a little more time thinking about this last decade on Twitter and see what else I have in my memory bank.

As an advocate for change, and someone who constantly talks about the profound change that the industry is undergoing and will continue to experience, I love this stuff. And writing about it makes me happy.

Thanks for the reminder, Twitter!

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