Friday, September 02, 2011

Join Us in the Twitter Break Room

Yesterday, my friend Ann tweeted that it was her four-year anniversary of being on Twitter. "See you in the break room for cake this afternoon!" she said. And that got my mind spinning about how cool a Twitter break room would be, because it would be there that you could hang out with all the cool people you are connected with on the social network.

If you use Twitter as actively as I do, then chances are this concept sounds cool to you too. Over the past two years, I've met lots of people on Twitter. Many of them I don't know offline, but they add value to my life because they're either funny, insightful, or they tweet solid information (sometimes all three). A handful of them wished me happy birthday this year from as far away as Australia. Others have made watching the Lost finale, the Oscars, or the Super Bowl more fun. Celebrities and famous people (B- and C-level ones, typically) make me feel like I'm part of the "cool kids" crowd (even if I'm waaaay off on the periphery of the crowd, looking in).

People I have met offline I've gotten to know more through their tweets. I can say I've even dated people I met on Twitter. Others have made business trips and conferences more enjoyable. Speaking of which, industry colleagues I tweet with have made me feel a part of a great community of smart, fun people. And that's just part of it.

On any given day on Twitter, I laugh and I learn, and I share the laughs and insights with my own network of followers. In short, my Twitter experience includes a wide range of interesting, informative, amusing, and friendly people. It's a great mix of people who've gotten to know me and who've allowed me to get to know them, making all of our lives better in the process.

Again, I know I don't know the majority of the people I follow on Twitter offline, but that's not always the point. It's about connecting, interacting, and engaging. Being open to dialogue, not just a pusher of content. It's about using information and personality to bridge barriers and find commonalities. I've used Twitter to expand my knowledge and broaden my network. Making actual offline friends — those that I've made as a result of or with the help of Twitter — has been both inevitable and a great bonus.

As Andrew Dubber once wrote, Twitter's not stupid. You just have boring friends. Allow me to second that: If you're on Twitter and you don't enjoy it like I do, then it has to be because you're not following the same people I am (1,312 at current count). If you'd like to meet any of them, we'll be in the break room, having cake with Ann. Come join the party!

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