This is the fourth installment in a series (part 1, part 2, part 3) about new approaches to media I hope to adopt and maintain throughout the year.
Part 1 was a list of reading/thinking that has inspired me to make some changes, while Part 2 honed in on the realization of my "intellectual obesity." Part 3 jumped into Facebook headfirst....
In today's post I'm all a-twitter...
Here's the deal with Twitter: I try to keep it fun, light, and easy. I'm learning to be cavalier with it. Casual even.
Since signing up for the service it's been a hard road to adopt this attitude, but I think I'm almost there. Which is great, because otherwise I find it much too easy to be swept away downstream amidst a torrent of disjointed thought and random asides.
I know there are many people out there who rely on Twitter to keep them in the loop, to stay informed of the latest breaking this-or-that, that's just not why I enjoy it myself. I enjoy it for the quick connection, the quick queries, and the quick camaraderie that has developed between those of us who've put ourselves "out there" and "available" to interact via the medium.
But as with most good things in life, too much of it will start to work against you, and I've found that without some sort of self-imposed discipline it's just not worth the time it can eat up.
To that end, I'm discovering that a light-hearted vigilance serves me best. What makes Twitter work for me is when it isn't that much work.*
If I can keep it "fun" I'm in a good spot. And while "fun" is nearly impossible to engineer when you're working with lots of other people, I've found that a good deal of whim and fancy go a long way to ensuring some measure of success.
That said, it's not easy to take technology so non-chalant these days (this series is a case in point) and so I've gently adopted some of the following guidelines :
1. Don't be afraid to stray from the guidelines.
2. Follow more flesh and blood people than twitter accounts representing organizations.
3. Follow more people I know than those I don't know yet.**
4. Don't be afraid to Unfollow.
5. Use lists to slow your main timeline down.
And that, my dear friends, is where I'm at with Twitter these days.
Up next: Google Reader Redux...
*For those of you interested in my twitter setup, I oscillate between tweetie for mac, and twitter on my iPhone. Though I do enjoy it, I don't find myself using the web client nearly as much as either of these apps.
**I know this sounds slightly anti-social, but I've found that following people I know in "real life" has deepened these relationships moreso than following people I don't know has led to new relationships.