I will not deny that I may be biased. I love Twitter. Facebook, I only use grudgingly, and Linkedin and Active Rain, I have registered for and not much more. Of course, had I not been laid off in May of 09, I wouldn’t know anything about any of them. Or blogging for that matter. I was too busy. I had a life! But you can only look for jobs just so many hours per day. And frankly, selling real estate in the current market doesn’t take up nearly as much time as I would like. And the news was covering the @aplusk massive following on Twitter. So out of boredom/curiosity, I logged on and signed up. I loved Twitter. You either “get it” or you don’t and I did, right away. I saw a quote recently and I am not sure where, to give credit where due but it said, “Twitter vs Facebook status: FB can be more personal, while Twitter demands epic wit or profundity.” Not completely true, there is a lot of unfunny stupidity on Twitter. But you can control that. You don’t have to follow stupid, unfunny people. On Facebook, you are kinda stuck with your friends and relatives no matter how dull or stupid they are. And you do not have to be Einstein or Jerry Seinfeld in the intelligence or wit department so do not be scared. Just be conversational. Say something that interests you and next thing you know someone will respond. Don’t give up too quickly.

My first Twitter account was lots of fun at first. Lots of conversations back and forth. But as it grew and grew that became more difficult. I wish they had already created lists when I first started – it is hard to go back over 15k people and start organizing them in lists. I continue to grow that account. Not as aggressively as I did at first, but growing daily. Because I do intend to use it – I am going to be opening a shop on Etsy and will post things to Twitter there. And I may even organize the lists to make it a more enjoyable experience. But I have a second account and that is where I spend my time (even send to my phone – not everyone, just certain people). It consists primarily of Rhode Islanders and real estate agents. And I started it just as lists came into being so it is very well organized. So I can have who I want in my stream at any given time. And because of all the Rhode Islanders, I have made many friends. Not just online but in person. So it is a lot of fun.

Facebook is another kettle of fish entirely. I was still pretty new to the Twitter experience so I expected it to be similar. I tried sending friend requests to everyone from Rhode Island that I could find. But I quickly discovered that on Facebook, if they don’t know you, they don’t want to. If they don’t know you and they want to be your friend they are just marketers of one kind or another. And that can change from week to week as they chase after another money making scheme. But that’s okay. I accepted their friendship. One thing I learned through the years is no one makes a better customer than a salesman – they have zero sales resistance and I will have stuff to sell from my Etsy shop after all.

Linkedin and Active Rain are sites I joined as the result of continuing education classes on marketing. And that is all I have done – joined. They just don’t grab me. Perhaps a more advanced class to show how to really utilize them would be in order.

But if you have not yet joined Twitter, I cannot recommend it enough. You can make the experience whatever you want it to be. You can find yourself part of a community where people really care about each other. I first realized that when I came across the page of a woman named Lily. Her daughter went on the page to tell all of Lily’s followers that she had died, quite suddenly and unexpectedly. She wanted to let all her followers know how much they had meant to her and I would say they most certainly must have if her daughter knew about them.  I was touched. ** FYI all my Tweeple, my son would never do that. So if I disappear quite suddenly, just drink a toast to me;-) ** When someone from RI moved to CA and was having issues with getting an apartment, I made a few phone calls and he got an apartment. While he was driving cross country he was out of touch for two days. People worried. Followers went out of their network of followers to contact others who followed him to see if anyone had heard from him. And this past week a popular tweeter was noticeably silent so people started tracking him down. He had been hit by a drunk driver. He’ll be okay and has even had someone else access his account to reassure all. It’s nice to realize you mean something to people.

Published by Kate Eileen Shannon

Artist, Crafter, Writer, purveyor of ephemera and bagatelle

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