I have always been a fan of hats. Proper hats mind you, not these overly branded trucker caps that people plonk on their heads these days, but the more refined and stylish type of headgear that gentlemen used to wear. Yet despite being a fan, I have never really spent much time wearing them.
A succession of cheap, poorly-made fedoras have made their way onto my noggin, but for various reasons, have never stood the test of time. And so, as I approach my fortieth year on this planet, I have decided that it is time to do this properly… and by properly, I mean it is time to wear the only hat that any man would ever want to wear, the hat that stands as a symbol for all movie millinery… the Raider’s Hat.
I’m a huge believer in Twitter’s ability to be a force for good in this world, but I have not previously been impressed by some of the means in which this mantra has been publicised. As I have spoke about before – Can hope be delivered in 140 characters? – I still remain unconvinced by the official voice of Twitter, @Hope140, and was not expecting much from Claire’s book.
I was lucky enough to receive an early digital copy of ‘Twitter for Good’ and upon first reading was seriously unimpressed. I once again felt that here was some celebrity charlatan who was making money by simply telling people what time it was. Everything within the book seemed to me to be stating the blindingly obvious or telling you how something should be done and then suggesting that it doesn’t always have to be that way. This was everything that I disliked about the social media industry.
Part of my unwritten agreement upon receipt of the digital copy of the book was to post a review and I was struggling with my positivity. I didn’t want to be someone who writes snide, negative reviews to hopefully score points off the author yet I didn’t want to welch on the deal.
I decided to re-read the book, just to be sure.
It was during this second reading that I realised where the problem truly lay… it was within me. I was judging this book by the usefulness it had for me, but I have been doing this social stuff for a long time. I’m certainly not going to suggest that I am an expert or ‘guru’ and I know that I have always suffered from this delusion that everyone I meet knows exactly the same things that I do.
For me, the book was everything that swirls around inside my head, but what Claire has expertly done is to put these random thoughts and feelings into print. She has structured what was previously unstructured and provided those who are just starting out on their Twitter journey with a massive head start.
I’m still not 100% in agreement with everything that is suggested in the book, no surprise there, but would definitely feel confident suggesting it to a colleague or friend who is looking for help on how to start making Twitter work for them.
To end this rambling review I’d like to give you what I consider to be THE best advice for how to use Twitter. It comes from a book that was written 75 years ago and to my mind remains the archetypal instruction manual on Twitter and social networking:
1. Become genuinely interested in other people.
3. Remember that a man’s name is to him the sweetest and most important sound in the English language.
4. Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
5. Talk in terms of the other man’s interest.
6. Make people feel important, and do it sincerely.
It’s fair to say that I haven’t been entirely enamored with Google in the past. At one point I likened them to the relentless consumers of civilisations from Star Trek, The BORG, with their desire to reduce everything to an algorithm. But after just a few days with Google+ it’s time to put the record straight.
G+ seem to come out of nowhere and establish itself as the place to be, certainly the majority of my network turned up within days. From the overly complicated and bloated WAVE, to the messy and noisy BUZZ, Google have clearly been slapped round the face and reminded of what made them great… Simplicity.
That’s not to say that G+ is basic, far from it. But the experience of using it feels intuitive, like something designed by Apple, and without thought you feel free to post quick Twitter like updates, pictures and links to cool shit à la Tumblr or monster Blog like rants. With Picasa and YouTube, Google now OWN the web.
For me Facebook began to wither and die when the brands and marketers turned up. Games and apps muddied the social experience, and a visit to Facebook quickly became more about dodging the sell than catching up with friends. I know that this special breed of scum will turn up in G+ soon, but luckily Google don’t need the money so it can (hopefully) be on there terms. A few adwords here and there don’t bother me in the slightest and when brand pages do turn up, I sincerely hope they look like this.
When I first played with G+ I thought that Twitter was safe and Facebook was history, but now I’m not sure anyone is safe. Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr have all been mashed together to produce one true social network, and with the layer of make-up provided by themes removed it has literally become all about the content shared. Kudos must go to Twitter for creating this real-time, short conversational mentality and to the king of social networks, Facebook, for bringing us all together in the first place. But playtime’s over kids, it’s time to let the grown-ups take control.
And so I finish by saying please accept my apology Google, I’m sorry I doubted you and this one’s for you…
I can’t blame the papers, with the ever increasing number of citizen journalists who can provide the news faster and with less bias, any story has to be jumped on quick to ensure that they are seen to be relevant. Both however were keen to point out that it was the strong preponderance of Silicon Valley’s finest among its users that has led to Quora’s sudden success.
I truly believe that Twitter will bring about the next great renaissance in human civilisation. I REALLY do!
Whatever you might think about that statement, it cannot be denied that every single second of every single day we see a deluge of tweets about people doing good and that is why I get SO frustrated when I see opportunities to amplify those positive emotions wasted. And my public enemy number one for wastage is the official account from Twitter highlighting the forces of good… @hope140 Continue reading Can hope be delivered in 140 characters?→
Today’s excursion to the Forties Family event at Bletchely Park has confirmed my suspicions that those boffins at Britain’s super secret wartime intelligence site are at it again and this time they’re cracking a very different code.
Not content with changing the course of the war and saving millions of lives, Bletchley’s technicians are now hard at work deciphering the social code. But while other organisations are busy discussing and planning their strategy these analytical geniuses are DOING!