Twitter Challenge Update: 3 Things I’ve Learned So Far

Now that I’m halfway through my self-imposed Twitter challenge for February, it’s time for a progress report. My goal is to tweet at least 10 times a day, balancing three types of updates: curatorial, conversational, and promotional. (Rather than explain the details here, I refer you to my original post.)

So far, I’m more or less meeting the goal. I’ve produced the minimum number of tweets every day so far, though doing so did require a couple of late-night efforts. I haven’t analyzed my output by type, but I think I’ve done well with both conversational and curatorial tweets. I’m still a lousy self-promoter, however.

Putting myself through this for the last two weeks has been an enlightening experience. I’ll revisit and perhaps expand the following list at the end of the month, but here’s some of what I think I’ve learned so far, both about myself and about Twitter.

  1. The more you put into Twitter, the more you get back. Twitter pros will find that statement painfully obvious, but until you actively and consistently participate in the conversation, you don’t really get Twitter.  Passive consumption of your Twitter stream is like admiring a beautiful strawberry without ever tasting it.
  2. To make the most of social media, you have to loosen up and take the bad with the good. It doesn’t pay to be a deliberate, careful writer on Twitter. You must accept typos, ill-phrased witticisms, and banalities, along with the occasional bon mot and cogent insight, as the price of being a fully fledged Twitterer.
  3. Interaction increases your appreciation for the people you follow. Given my requirement to retweet (and my reluctance to retweet just anything), I’m looking more closely at what people are saying and sharing, and have been blown away by how smart, helpful, and generous they are.

Even if I learn nothing more in the next two weeks, this challenge will have been worth the occasional inconveniences it created. Twitter was already my favorite social media platform; now I have a better understanding of why.