12 Reasons to Start Tweeting

I originally committed to using Twitter for 30 days. So far, I have enjoyed the service and intend to keep using it. My wife, Gail, and four of my five daughters are active. I have sure this is one of the reasons I am still using it.

A Screen Shot of My Twitter Profile

Don’t know what Twitter is? Read my original post on this topic. If you want to know how to get started, read my Beginner’s Guide to Twitter.

If you are wondering why in the world you should consider it, here are twelve reasons:

  1. It will enable you to experience social networking first-hand. One of my pet peeves is people who pontificate on new technologies but have never actually used them. This is particularly annoying—but common—among CEOs. Real users can always tell the difference. There is no substitute for personal experience.
  2. It will make you a better writer. Twitter only allows you to post 140 characters at a time. As a result, you are forced to be concise. In my opinion, this is one of the hallmarks of good writing. Short messages. Short paragraphs. Short sentences.
  3. It will help you stay connected to people you care about. This is one of the few technologies I’ve found that actually contributes to community-building. In today’s busy world, it’s difficult to keep up with others. Twitter makes it easy—and fun.
  4. It will help you see a new side of your friends. In an odd sort of way, Twitter “humanizes” people and provides a context for better understanding them. If you follow me on Twitter, for example, you’ll quickly see that I get excited, bored, frustrated, and confused—sometimes all in the same day. You’ll also learn what is important to me and what drives me crazy.
  5. It will introduce you to new friends. I have now met several new people via Twitter. These have contributed to my life in small but significant ways. Gail and I have even had dinner with a couple that we met via Twitter.
  6. It is faster than text-messaging. In a sense Twitter is a universal text messaging system. You can broadcast to all of your “followers” (i.e., people who subscribe to your Twitter feed) or send a direct message to just one. As a result, I have almost completely stopped text messaging. The only time I use it is to reply to someone who messages me outside of Twitter.
  7. It will make you think about your life. As you answer the question, “What am I doing?” you start to see your life through the lens of the people following you. Interestingly, it has made me more intentional and thoughtful about my life.
  8. It will help you keep up with what people are talking about. Via Twitter, I have learned about hot books, cool software, breaking news, and even great restaurants. Because the information is coming from real people who care enough to Twitter about it, I have found it more valuable and authentic.
  9. It can create traffic for your blog or Website. I have noticed a 30% uptick in my blog traffic in the last 30 days. It may be related to the fact that I have been in the news more or have been writing on more controversial posts. However, I also think it is related to the fact that I am tweeting every time I post a new blog entry. This seems to have a viral effect.
  10. It requires a very small investment. Twitter itself is a free service. In terms of my time, I probably invest less than 20 minutes a day. Since “tweets” (i.e., posts) are limited to 140 charters or less, you can scan them in a second or two. Writing them usually takes less than 30 seconds.
  11. It can help build your personal “brand.” When people hear your name, what comes to mind? What is your reputation? What is the “brand promise”? Brands are built incrementally, one interaction at a time. Twitter gives you one more way to build your brand, one tweet at a time.
  12. It is fun! Twitter is just plain entertaining. Following your family and friends is kind of like watching reality TV. The difference is that you know the people and actually care about them. In this sense, it is even more fun, because you know more about the people from other contexts. Don’t believe me? Give it a try.

I’m sure there are some downsides to Twitter that I am either ignoring or don’t recognize. But I would rather jump into the fray and shape the future of social networks rather than sit on the sidelines and throw stones.

Question: How about you? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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  • http://flowerdust.net/ anne jackson

    i almost always see you've updated via twitter before it shows up in my google reader! twitter is awesome.

    lately i'm wondering if you can take the temperature of someone's work/life balance via twitter. some of my twittering friends tweet about work stuff at all hours of the day/night but seldom tweet about family time or fun. others seem to have a good balance. and then there is my friend who always wakes up late for work. :)

  • http://flowerdust.net anne jackson

    i almost always see you’ve updated via twitter before it shows up in my google reader! twitter is awesome.

    lately i’m wondering if you can take the temperature of someone’s work/life balance via twitter. some of my twittering friends tweet about work stuff at all hours of the day/night but seldom tweet about family time or fun. others seem to have a good balance. and then there is my friend who always wakes up late for work. :)

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

    @anne: It would be cool to have a widget like WalkScore that measures work/life balance, using Twitter instead of your address. Maybe someone could do a mash-up.

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

    @anne: It would be cool to have a widget like WalkScore that measures work/life balance, using Twitter instead of your address. Maybe someone could do a mash-up.

  • http://isaiahsix.org/ Gregory Pittman

    Thanks for sharing your insights, Michael. Numbers 4 and 5 are the most important to me. The crux of Twitter is the transparency it calls for. Not only does Twitter allow you to see a new side of your friends, it allows you friends to see a new side of you. How else would we know that the president and CEO of a large publisher is saddened when his wife travels away and that he looks forward with excitement to her return? And that he spends time on the front porch talking with his daughters?

    The masks come off and that's a good thing.

  • http://isaiahsix.org/ Gregory Pittman

    Thanks for sharing your insights, Michael. Numbers 4 and 5 are the most important to me. The crux of Twitter is the transparency it calls for. Not only does Twitter allow you to see a new side of your friends, it allows you friends to see a new side of you. How else would we know that the president and CEO of a large publisher is saddened when his wife travels away and that he looks forward with excitement to her return? And that he spends time on the front porch talking with his daughters?

    The masks come off and that’s a good thing.

  • http://idomba.net/ Ian

    Michael, your tweets are the reason I decided to jump on the twitter train. I figured if a successful (and human!) CEO could do it, than I certainly could as well.

    I finish my Masters in May and am much more tied up in Facebook than any other social network but Twitter allows me to keep with my family (or rather, allows THEM to keep up with ME) since they aren't on facebook. Our family is really enjoying it.

    I just signed up for Tumblr as well. It seems to be a great way to share those things you find on the web that you just have to share with others (esp. things that you may not want to post on your main blog since it would be highly off-topic; I find this to be true with my finance blog.) Cheers!

  • http://idomba.net Ian

    Michael, your tweets are the reason I decided to jump on the twitter train. I figured if a successful (and human!) CEO could do it, than I certainly could as well.

    I finish my Masters in May and am much more tied up in Facebook than any other social network but Twitter allows me to keep with my family (or rather, allows THEM to keep up with ME) since they aren’t on facebook. Our family is really enjoying it.

    I just signed up for Tumblr as well. It seems to be a great way to share those things you find on the web that you just have to share with others (esp. things that you may not want to post on your main blog since it would be highly off-topic; I find this to be true with my finance blog.) Cheers!

  • http://jonezy.org/blog jonezy

    This is an excellent post on why twitter is a great tool. I have a lot of people asking me why is twitter so good/great/useful, I think I'll just point them to this article as an excellent list of reasons to use twitter.

  • http://jonezy.org/blog Chris Jones

    This is an excellent post on why twitter is a great tool. I have a lot of people asking me why is twitter so good/great/useful, I think I’ll just point them to this article as an excellent list of reasons to use twitter.

  • Shawn Kelley

    It seems that twitter has become a very useful extension of blogging. So many of my friends didn't want to start blogging because 'nobody would want to read about their boring life.' In some cases that might be true, but on the other hand I think we're voyeuristic by nature and enjoy reading about other people's everyday lives. Twitter offers an opportunity for that without the investment that a personal blog requires.

    As Gregory Pittman said above, it is awesome to see a glimpse into the everyday life of a successful ceo and see the importance that his family plays in his life. Thanks Michael for your inspiring example.

    Personal storytelling has been an effective communication tool for thousands of years and this just offers an easy way to continue that tradition.

  • Shawn Kelley

    It seems that twitter has become a very useful extension of blogging. So many of my friends didn’t want to start blogging because ‘nobody would want to read about their boring life.’ In some cases that might be true, but on the other hand I think we’re voyeuristic by nature and enjoy reading about other people’s everyday lives. Twitter offers an opportunity for that without the investment that a personal blog requires.

    As Gregory Pittman said above, it is awesome to see a glimpse into the everyday life of a successful ceo and see the importance that his family plays in his life. Thanks Michael for your inspiring example.

    Personal storytelling has been an effective communication tool for thousands of years and this just offers an easy way to continue that tradition.

  • http://www.thoughtcoffee.net/blog Mark Burleson

    I'm one of those that follow you on twitter and have subscribed to your blog for a number of months now.

    I like this post!

  • http://www.thoughtcoffee.net/blog Mark Burleson

    I’m one of those that follow you on twitter and have subscribed to your blog for a number of months now.

    I like this post!

  • http://www.withoutwax.tv/ Pete Wilson

    Michael, I love to twitter. You're on of my favorite people to follow. It helps me get great insights into some of the personal habits of great leaders!

  • http://www.withoutwax.tv Pete Wilson

    Michael, I love to twitter. You’re on of my favorite people to follow. It helps me get great insights into some of the personal habits of great leaders!

  • http://tlandini.com/ tommyl

    "You are forced to be concise." Amen.

    Now, if we could only figure out the 140-character equivalent in real life.

    • TheGreatSwami

      ur rit about tht! with 140 char lmt, we lern to writ concise, clr msgs. NOT! Its regressive n dstroys ablty 2 writ.

  • http://tlandini.com tommyl

    “You are forced to be concise.” Amen.

    Now, if we could only figure out the 140-character equivalent in real life.

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

    @tommyl: I would love to put a 140-charter limit on some people in meetings. Can you imagine?

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

    @tommyl: I would love to put a 140-charter limit on some people in meetings. Can you imagine?

  • http://www.churchvideoideas.com/ Greg Atkinson

    I really appreciate you being on something like Twitter. It's very fun and interesting to see what you're up to.

  • http://www.churchvideoideas.com Greg Atkinson

    I really appreciate you being on something like Twitter. It’s very fun and interesting to see what you’re up to.

  • http://blog.laridian.com/ Craig Rairdin

    Twitter has been a huge disappointment. It's unfocused and inefficient. It meets a need that doesn't exist. However, it makes a nice little microblog in the margin of our regular blog. And I'm just narcissistic and self-absorbed enough that I imagine that others find these insipid little tidbits of my life to be entrancing and addictive. So I continue. In fact, I imagine that feeling a certain amount of self-importance is essential to one's ultimate uptake of the twittering experience.

  • http://blog.laridian.com Craig Rairdin

    Twitter has been a huge disappointment. It’s unfocused and inefficient. It meets a need that doesn’t exist. However, it makes a nice little microblog in the margin of our regular blog. And I’m just narcissistic and self-absorbed enough that I imagine that others find these insipid little tidbits of my life to be entrancing and addictive. So I continue. In fact, I imagine that feeling a certain amount of self-importance is essential to one’s ultimate uptake of the twittering experience.

  • http://twitter.com/abelara abraham Lara

    great post, another in a series of great reasons to twitter. it seems that eventually everyone who starts twittering ends up writing a blog post on their reasons why.

    this is one of the better ones. i’ll refer others to it.

    i also like following your tweets, and furthermore i enjoy following your whole family together. (your wife and daughters currently using) it’s fun to see the interaction you have with each other and how your lives intersect with one another.

  • http://twitter.com/abelara abraham Lara

    great post, another in a series of great reasons to twitter. it seems that eventually everyone who starts twittering ends up writing a blog post on their reasons why.

    this is one of the better ones. i'll refer others to it.

    i also like following your tweets, and furthermore i enjoy following your whole family together. (your wife and daughters currently using) it's fun to see the interaction you have with each other and how your lives intersect with one another.

  • http://samrhall.com/ Sam R. Hall

    Great post. I'm doing the same thing right now, testing Twitter.

    I actually started doing so for a campaign I'm managing as a way to take aim at younger, more tech savvy voters. Now I find myself doing it as well.

  • http://samrhall.com Sam R. Hall

    Great post. I’m doing the same thing right now, testing Twitter.

    I actually started doing so for a campaign I’m managing as a way to take aim at younger, more tech savvy voters. Now I find myself doing it as well.

  • http://marissahyatt.blogspot.com/ Marissa Hyatt

    I just wanted to say to all of my dad's "fans" (as we like to put it) that twitter really has helped me keep up with my dad's busy life. Its been pretty incredible to be able to actually know what he does during the day, while traveling, at the office, etc. I've always heard about my dad's professional life at the end of the day, but it makes it feel 100x more real when I actually get to hear about it along the way!

    And p.s. its also helped him keep up with me…not sure if thats a good or bad thing!

  • http://marissahyatt.blogspot.com Marissa Hyatt

    I just wanted to say to all of my dad’s “fans” (as we like to put it) that twitter really has helped me keep up with my dad’s busy life. Its been pretty incredible to be able to actually know what he does during the day, while traveling, at the office, etc. I’ve always heard about my dad’s professional life at the end of the day, but it makes it feel 100x more real when I actually get to hear about it along the way!

    And p.s. its also helped him keep up with me…not sure if thats a good or bad thing!

  • John Young

    Mike points 2 3 and 4 are significant to me.
    I like the concept but struggle with keeping it in check.Inbetween juggling emails and phone calls all day I find myself communicating more with strangers than friends. You've handled this well it seems. I'm just tired of being "linked in" to big crowd of whom I know few and have the phone number of none. These are fun things but real relationships grow on the phone or at Starbucks meetings and I'm missing too many of those.

  • John Young

    Mike points 2 3 and 4 are significant to me.
    I like the concept but struggle with keeping it in check.Inbetween juggling emails and phone calls all day I find myself communicating more with strangers than friends. You’ve handled this well it seems. I’m just tired of being “linked in” to big crowd of whom I know few and have the phone number of none. These are fun things but real relationships grow on the phone or at Starbucks meetings and I’m missing too many of those.

  • Renee Teate

    But don't you get tired of thinking about your self so much? I have not yet been convinced that anybody is or even should be interested in "what am I doing". I do not need encouragement to be more self-absorbed. I'd like the over-arching theme of my life to be more thinking of God and others.

  • Renee Teate

    But don’t you get tired of thinking about your self so much? I have not yet been convinced that anybody is or even should be interested in “what am I doing”. I do not need encouragement to be more self-absorbed. I’d like the over-arching theme of my life to be more thinking of God and others.

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

    @Renee: Like any conversation, I don't think it is either/or. It's a dialogue. I am probably reading ten Tweats for everyone I write—maybe more.

    Practically speaking, I think it is very other-centered. I am following what other people are doing and, as a result, feel more connected to them. I also have more to talk about when I am physically with them, because of this connection.

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

    @Renee: Like any conversation, I don’t think it is either/or. It’s a dialogue. I am probably reading ten Tweats for everyone I write—maybe more.

    Practically speaking, I think it is very other-centered. I am following what other people are doing and, as a result, feel more connected to them. I also have more to talk about when I am physically with them, because of this connection.

  • Nobody Important

    I agree with Renee!

    2 Big reason not to twitter –
    1. Who cares what time you drink your coffee in the morning, what time you go to bed, or where you buy your groceries, or where you're traveling…please get over yourself.
    2. Don't you think that your time would be better spent on the company that you have been put in the position to oversee than twittering, after all, your strategic plans has cost a lot of jobs for families in need at no cost to you.

  • Nobody Important

    I agree with Renee!

    2 Big reason not to twitter –
    1. Who cares what time you drink your coffee in the morning, what time you go to bed, or where you buy your groceries, or where you’re traveling…please get over yourself.
    2. Don’t you think that your time would be better spent on the company that you have been put in the position to oversee than twittering, after all, your strategic plans has cost a lot of jobs for families in need at no cost to you.

  • http://www.faxjuvenil.com/ Justo Llecllish

    Twitter is a tool that helps to share tips, ideas, micro-journal, et.

    Justo Llecllish http://www.faxjuvenil.com

  • http://www.faxjuvenil.com Justo Llecllish

    Twitter is a tool that helps to share tips, ideas, micro-journal, et.

    Justo Llecllish
    http://www.faxjuvenil.com

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

    @Nobody:

    As I mentioned in the post, I spend all of about ten minutes a day Twittering. As the CEO, part of my job is to explore the future, so that my company can be prepared for it. With technology changing as quickly as it does, simple participation is a cheap, powerful way to do that.

    Thanks,

    Mike

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

    @Nobody:

    As I mentioned in the post, I spend all of about ten minutes a day Twittering. As the CEO, part of my job is to explore the future, so that my company can be prepared for it. With technology changing as quickly as it does, simple participation is a cheap, powerful way to do that.

    Thanks,

    Mike

  • http://idomba.net/ Ian

    @Nobody: I would venture that Mr. Hyatt spends more time thinking about his company in a day than most people do in a week. He makes a very good point that looking forward into new practices is crucially important to his job as a strategic leader.

    @Mr. Hyatt: I believe your Tweets show a wonderful work-life balance that many professionals (and even fewer C-level managers) lack. This is further evidenced by your daughter, Marissa's, comment above.

  • http://idomba.net Ian

    @Nobody: I would venture that Mr. Hyatt spends more time thinking about his company in a day than most people do in a week. He makes a very good point that looking forward into new practices is crucially important to his job as a strategic leader.

    @Mr. Hyatt: I believe your Tweets show a wonderful work-life balance that many professionals (and even fewer C-level managers) lack. This is further evidenced by your daughter, Marissa’s, comment above.

  • http://web.mac.com/sjweiss/Sufficient_Grace/Blog/Entries/2008/5/7_How_to_be_Like_Paul.html Shelly

    Okay… you brought me out of the Twittering closet… I admit, I Twit. Thanks for sharing your days.

  • http://web.mac.com/sjweiss/Sufficient_Grace/Blog/Entries/2008/5/7_How_to_be_Like_Paul.html Shelly

    Okay… you brought me out of the Twittering closet… I admit, I Twit. Thanks for sharing your days.

  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/petenikolai Pete

    You may already be doing this, but I realized this morning that I can use Jott to Twitter and use TwitterSync on Facebook to sync my Facebook status with Twitter–simply amazing! Now if I could just get my kids to actually want to let me know what they are up to…

  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/petenikolai Pete

    You may already be doing this, but I realized this morning that I can use Jott to Twitter and use TwitterSync on Facebook to sync my Facebook status with Twitter–simply amazing! Now if I could just get my kids to actually want to let me know what they are up to…

  • http://www.myspaceless.com/ RadX

    Thanks. I just created an account at Twitter. My name there is radical81.

  • http://www.myspaceless.com RadX

    Thanks. I just created an account at Twitter. My name there is radical81.

  • http://butwait.pbwiki.com/Twitter-Newbies-FAQ Shelley

    Thanks for this thoughtful post, Michael… I've added it to my very low-tech hodge-podgy Twitter Newbie FAQ (http://butwait.pbwiki.com/Twitter-Newbies-FAQ); I find the phenomenon of Twitter-inspired evangelizing interesting!

  • http://butwait.pbwiki.com/Twitter-Newbies-FAQ Shelley

    Thanks for this thoughtful post, Michael… I’ve added it to my very low-tech hodge-podgy Twitter Newbie FAQ (http://butwait.pbwiki.com/Twitter-Newbies-FAQ); I find the phenomenon of Twitter-inspired evangelizing interesting!

  • http://www.ripplecentral.com/ Steve Harper

    Michael,

    Just discovered your BLOG because of one of my Tweeples I follow.

    Look forward to reading more!

    Ripple On!!!

  • http://www.ripplecentral.com Steve Harper

    Michael,

    Just discovered your BLOG because of one of my Tweeples I follow.

    Look forward to reading more!

    Ripple On!!!

  • http://inspiroi.net/ @inspiroi

    It's true Twittering gets you more traffic. I also found your blog from tweet =)

    Good reasons you got on your list.

    Thanks!

    @inspiroi

  • http://inspiroi.net @inspiroi

    It’s true Twittering gets you more traffic. I also found your blog from tweet =)

    Good reasons you got on your list.

    Thanks!

    @inspiroi

  • http://alanlnelson.typepad.com/seat_1a/2008/05/now-using-twitt.html Seat 1A

    Now Using Twitter

    I'VE STARTED TO USE TWITTER. I plan to use it for microblogging — the brief, remaindered links that I have usually stored up and then posted in bulk, leaving Seat1A for longer items. I've updated my blog template to include

  • http://alanlnelson.typepad.com/seat_1a/2008/05/now-using-twitt.html Seat 1A

    Now Using Twitter

    I’VE STARTED TO USE TWITTER. I plan to use it for microblogging — the brief, remaindered links that I have usually stored up and then posted in bulk, leaving Seat1A for longer items. I’ve updated my blog template to include

  • Edna Marie

    Todd Albertson wrote in his blog "To Tweat or not to Tweat; That Is the Question" (http://www.toddalbertson.com/?p=75) that "12. I now know the intimate details of the comings and goings of many folks, their friends and families. The particulars that people are putting out on Twitter are the same details that kidnapers, robbers, or stalkers would kill to know."

    I enjoy reading your blog, but I think you make the mistake he mentions of giving out far too many personal details!

  • Edna Marie

    Todd Albertson wrote in his blog “To Tweat or not to Tweat; That Is the Question” (http://www.toddalbertson.com/?p=75) that “12. I now know the intimate details of the comings and goings of many folks, their friends and families. The particulars that people are putting out on Twitter are the same details that kidnapers, robbers, or stalkers would kill to know.”

    I enjoy reading your blog, but I think you make the mistake he mentions of giving out far too many personal details!

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com/ Michael S. Hyatt

    @Edna: And the really interesting thing is that I wrote an entire book on privacy in 2001. I have utterly abandoned it!

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com Michael S. Hyatt

    @Edna: And the really interesting thing is that I wrote an entire book on privacy in 2001. I have utterly abandoned it!

  • http://www.balkhis.com/ Syed Balkhi

    Twitter is for sure a great thing. That is how I found this site. Michael you have a decent blog. I like reading it. Keep up the good work.

  • http://www.balkhis.com Syed Balkhi

    Twitter is for sure a great thing. That is how I found this site. Michael you have a decent blog. I like reading it. Keep up the good work.

  • http://www.theunbreakablechild.com Kim

    Ohh, I don’t know, I’m still undecided, and I’m so techni challenged, I can’t get the electric can-opener to obey me. And, just recent, I posted a blog about how society is eroding the capacity for human attention with text–email and such. Twitter sounds fun, great for professionals, but I personally feel I may need to go back to voice; the building block needed for intimacy — wisdom, which I find has been lacking for me… Maybe in another five years I’ll think different. Thanks, Michael

  • http://www.theunbreakablechild.com/ Kim

    Ohh, I don't know, I'm still undecided, and I'm so techni challenged, I can't get the electric can-opener to obey me. And, just recent, I posted a blog about how society is eroding the capacity for human attention with text–email and such. Twitter sounds fun, great for professionals, but I personally feel I may need to go back to voice; the building block needed for intimacy — wisdom, which I find has been lacking for me… Maybe in another five years I'll think different. Thanks, Michael

  • http://imran.com/media/blog/ Imran Anwar

    Great and interesting perspectives, Mike. Very useful.

    Imran
    http://neternity.org

  • http://imran.com/media/blog/ Imran Anwar

    Great and interesting perspectives, Mike. Very useful.

    Imran http://neternity.org

  • http://www.fallinglast.com Bryan

    Great article. I linked it to my entry here: http://www.fallinglast.com/2008/12/09/dont-fear-the-tweeter/

  • http://www.fallinglast.com/ Bryan

    Great article. I linked it to my entry here: http://www.fallinglast.com/2008/12/09/dont-fear-t

  • http://www.zajanatural.com Zaidat

    Great article. I do have a twitter account but do not use it as often as I should. I will start paying more attention to it tomorrow!

  • http://www.zajanatural.com/ Zaidat

    Great article. I do have a twitter account but do not use it as often as I should. I will start paying more attention to it tomorrow!

  • http://www.spiritinthevillage.com Kevin

    Know I’m a little late on seeing the article but it’s new to me… Thanks from a Twitter Newby.

    Kevin
    http://www.twitter.com/kboon

  • http://www.spiritinthevillage.com/ Kevin

    Know I'm a little late on seeing the article but it's new to me… Thanks from a Twitter Newby.

    Kevin http://www.twitter.com/kboon

  • http://www.twitterforchurches.com Anthony Coppedge

    Twitter is an excellent ministry tool even if you don’t like it for personal communications.

    The 12 Reasons above give good insight into getting good value for your personal tweets, but the church/ministry side of Twitter is also important. Some of those would include:

    Remind church members of events; drive traffic to the church website; effectively target segments of the congregation (and not send irrelevant information to other segments); pass along urgent prayer requests; keep church members informed of last-minute changes; reinforcing aspects of weekly messages and a whole lot more.

    If you’re interested, check out http://www.twitterforchurches.com

  • http://marksnewton.com Mark S. Newton

    Long time Michael. We met when I was CIO at IFL. You need to take a look at twitterforchurches.com from my dear friend @anthonycoppedge.

    I have followed you for sometime, and enjoy your tweets. Keep it coming…and yes, be a shaper, not a stone thrower!

    @marksnewton

  • http://www.twitterforchurches.com/ Anthony Coppedge

    Twitter is an excellent ministry tool even if you don't like it for personal communications.

    The 12 Reasons above give good insight into getting good value for your personal tweets, but the church/ministry side of Twitter is also important. Some of those would include:

    Remind church members of events; drive traffic to the church website; effectively target segments of the congregation (and not send irrelevant information to other segments); pass along urgent prayer requests; keep church members informed of last-minute changes; reinforcing aspects of weekly messages and a whole lot more.

    If you're interested, check out http://www.twitterforchurches.com

  • http://marksnewton.com/ Mark S. Newton

    Long time Michael. We met when I was CIO at IFL. You need to take a look at twitterforchurches.com from my dear friend @anthonycoppedge.

    I have followed you for sometime, and enjoy your tweets. Keep it coming…and yes, be a shaper, not a stone thrower!

    @marksnewton

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  • Dean

    Twitter is for very very busy people with a a herd of people needing to follow what they do, otherwise to me it is social suicide.

  • Dean

    Twitter is for very very busy people with a a herd of people needing to follow what they do, otherwise to me it is social suicide.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/scottfillmer Scott Fillmer

    I have met more people through twitter than any other online network, and everything can be tailored to your specific interests and skills, great article

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/scottfillmer Scott Fillmer

    I have met more people through twitter than any other online network, and everything can be tailored to your specific interests and skills, great article

  • http://www.michaeldmiller.wordpress.com/ michael miller

    I agree Mike Twitter is an essential tool!

  • http://www.michaeldmiller.wordpress.com/ michael miller

    I agree Mike Twitter is an essential tool!

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  • http://www.campusgrotto.com/ Ted

    Great Post Michael. I think you've sold me on Twitter…will start using it soon.

  • http://www.campusgrotto.com/ Ted

    Great Post Michael. I think you've sold me on Twitter…will start using it soon.

  • @charlesjonson

    love you tooo

  • @charlesjonson

    love you tooo

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  • http://www.twitterbranch.com/ Solomon

    Wow those are good reasons! I'm going to create an account now… then look for a good twitwork to join.

  • http://www.twitterbranch.com/ Solomon

    Wow those are good reasons! I'm going to create an account now… then look for a good twitwork to join.

  • Jim Chaffin

    I was reply hoping to find some usefull reasons for Twitted or even to use it. 99% of the posts here, hoewver, were simply "Me too!" comments. Nothing new, nothing important, nothing compelling. Almost all uses were centered on the importance (or supposed importance) of "Me." The only targeted use I saw was for notification of updated info to a self-selecting group. Self-limited input of information can be very limiting to ones development, IMHO. Enjoy Twitter, if you want, but stop trying to rationalize your playtime. :-)

  • Jim Chaffin

    I was reply hoping to find some usefull reasons for Twitted or even to use it. 99% of the posts here, hoewver, were simply “Me too!” comments. Nothing new, nothing important, nothing compelling. Almost all uses were centered on the importance (or supposed importance) of “Me.” The only targeted use I saw was for notification of updated info to a self-selecting group. Self-limited input of information can be very limiting to ones development, IMHO. Enjoy Twitter, if you want, but stop trying to rationalize your playtime. :-)

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  • http://www.aneliteresume.com/ Martin Buckland

    9, 10 and 11 are my favorites. However, 12 is good too, it's great to have fun also.

  • http://www.aneliteresume.com/ Martin Buckland

    9, 10 and 11 are my favorites. However, 12 is good too, it's great to have fun also.

  • http://tsuzanneeller.com/ Suzanne Eller

    I think it creates synergy. I am motivated by Max Lucado or Tricia Goyer or other writers. I am comforted when someone hits a brick wall in their WIP. (I'm not the only one!) It allows me to share a link to my blog and a topic. It has even brought in a couple of freelance jobs for publishers. I don't spend a lot of time on it. I check in a few times a day. Sometimes I find great gems, like this one. Thanks, Michael.

  • http://tsuzanneeller.com/ Suzanne Eller

    I think it creates synergy. I am motivated by Max Lucado or Tricia Goyer or other writers. I am comforted when someone hits a brick wall in their WIP. (I'm not the only one!) It allows me to share a link to my blog and a topic. It has even brought in a couple of freelance jobs for publishers. I don't spend a lot of time on it. I check in a few times a day. Sometimes I find great gems, like this one. Thanks, Michael.

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  • Jason Pyle

    Great post and all excellent reasons Michael. Personally I have been amazed at the how much more knowledgeable I am about what's going on in the world (everywhere) and what new technologies are out, coming out, or in the works. When asked to describe Twitter I've said a number of times it's a tool that helps you learn almost through osmosis. By involving yourself properly you cannot help but benefit from it.

  • Jason Pyle

    Great post and all excellent reasons Michael. Personally I have been amazed at the how much more knowledgeable I am about what's going on in the world (everywhere) and what new technologies are out, coming out, or in the works. When asked to describe Twitter I've said a number of times it's a tool that helps you learn almost through osmosis. By involving yourself properly you cannot help but benefit from it.

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  • Ben Moreno

    Just wanted to say thanks for the helpful articles about this and twitter!

  • Ben Moreno

    Just wanted to say thanks for the helpful articles about this and twitter!

  • http://curiosityisasin.blogspot.com/ curious_girl

    Please help me with my twitter dilemma

  • http://curiosityisasin.blogspot.com/ curious_girl

    Please help me with my twitter dilemma

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  • Karl

    I live up in Toronto while the rest of my family is in the Southeast US. we keep up with each other through twitter and are much better connected because of it.

    PS-I recently listened to your podcast on Ancient faith and really enjoyed it.

  • Karl

    I live up in Toronto while the rest of my family is in the Southeast US. we keep up with each other through twitter and are much better connected because of it.

    PS-I recently listened to your podcast on Ancient faith and really enjoyed it.

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  • adsfgh dgh

    Social media – what a load of rubbish a complete time wasting FAD – all social media is a complete and utter waste of precious time – to become a self made multimillionaire you don't do it by wasting precious time on social media. I know for a fact there are two very successful ebooks that make $20 million US on clickbank and they don't use ANY social media AT ALL!! Think about it!

    Kind regards!

  • adsfgh dgh

    Social media – what a load of rubbish a complete time wasting FAD – all social media is a complete and utter waste of precious time – to become a self made multimillionaire you don't do it by wasting precious time on social media. I know for a fact there are two very successful ebooks that make $20 million US on clickbank and they don't use ANY social media AT ALL!! Think about it!

    Kind regards!

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  • http://editorchris.wordpress.com/ Christina B

    The last three are what almost got me to join!

  • http://editorchris.wordpress.com/ Christina B

    The last three are what almost got me to join!

  • chasflemming

    I have two Twitter accounts, one personal/political, the other (the new one) business/professional.

    I must admit some possible addiction issues, especially with the political conversation.

    BUT…

    Twitter has truly sharpened my writing–even when I tweet about trivial things. It has focused my thoughts. It has made me MUCH more aware of issues of encoding/decoding that take place in communication all the time, but are much more pronounced in the 140-character world of Twitter. As I've often said after witnessing–or participating in–Twitter misunderstandings, Brevity may be the soul of wit, but too much of it can be the death of clarity.

  • chasflemming

    I have two Twitter accounts, one personal/political, the other (the new one) business/professional.

    I must admit some possible addiction issues, especially with the political conversation.

    BUT…

    Twitter has truly sharpened my writing–even when I tweet about trivial things. It has focused my thoughts. It has made me MUCH more aware of issues of encoding/decoding that take place in communication all the time, but are much more pronounced in the 140-character world of Twitter. As I've often said after witnessing–or participating in–Twitter misunderstandings, Brevity may be the soul of wit, but too much of it can be the death of clarity.

  • Cynthia Schuerr

    Another great post, Mr Hyatt. You certainly take away the guilt of tweeting. I cannot convince certain members of my family, how enriching and enlightening it can be to twitter. They, as you said "pontificate" about it but have never tried it. If I could just get them to try it. I know, I will print out this post and give it to them to read. On second thought, i will read it to them. LOL Problem solved.
    Now, if I can figure a way to keep my twitter time down to twenty min. a day like you do, I would have 2 problems solved.:-)

    Thanks again,
    Cynthia

  • Cynthia Schuerr

    Another great post, Mr Hyatt. You certainly take away the guilt of tweeting. I cannot convince certain members of my family, how enriching and enlightening it can be to twitter. They, as you said "pontificate" about it but have never tried it. If I could just get them to try it. I know, I will print out this post and give it to them to read. On second thought, i will read it to them. LOL Problem solved.
    Now, if I can figure a way to keep my twitter time down to twenty min. a day like you do, I would have 2 problems solved.:-)

    Thanks again,
    Cynthia

  • http://www.danblackonleadership.blogspot.com/ dan

    Thanks for the tips. They are helpful.
    My recent post Leading Through Daily Discipline

  • http://www.danblackonleadership.blogspot.com/ dan

    Thanks for the tips. They are helpful.
    My recent post Leading Through Daily Discipline

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  • http://www.themotherlode.wordpress.com Theresa Lode

    I haven't been so sure about this twitter stuff but your tips have help me understand that twitter is far more than a narcissist's paradise.
    Thanks!
    My recent post “The class had to move on…”

  • http://www.themotherlode.wordpress.com/ Theresa Lode

    I haven't been so sure about this twitter stuff but your tips have help me understand that twitter is far more than a narcissist's paradise.
    Thanks!
    My recent post “The class had to move on…”

  • http://www.nextlevelleadership.ca/ Sandy Reynolds

    I'm doing a webinar on social media for a Canadian non profit building leadership confidence in Christian women. I'm using this! And recommending they follow you, like I do, for your good insights on social media.

  • http://www.nextlevelleadership.ca/ Sandy Reynolds

    I'm doing a webinar on social media for a Canadian non profit building leadership confidence in Christian women. I'm using this! And recommending they follow you, like I do, for your good insights on social media.

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  • http://twitter.com/Mikeyisverycool @Mikeyisverycool

    I'm actually retweeting this article :D which, I found on Twitter :D

  • http://twitter.com/Mikeyisverycool @Mikeyisverycool

    I'm actually retweeting this article :D which, I found on Twitter :D

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  • lewis a 1

    I did not attend Rev al sharpton conference this past weekend but would like to get comments and feedback on what happened. I would like to get lay opinion instead of media analyst views.

  • lewis a 1

    I did not attend Rev al sharpton conference this past weekend but would like to get comments and feedback on what happened. I would like to get lay opinion instead of media analyst views.

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  • http://twitter.com/josephfrancia josephfrancia

    Dear Mike,

    Items 7 and 11 are particularly true for me. I just decided to commit to this new medium. Thanks for this post.

  • http://twitter.com/josephfrancia josephfrancia

    Mike,

    Items 7 and 11 are particularly true for me. I just decided to commit to this new medium. Thanks for this post.

  • http://twitter.com/josephfrancia josephfrancia

    Mike, as someone who just comittet to tweeting regularly, items 7 and 11 appealed to me. Thanks for posting this!

    Joseph

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  • http://www.indeliblewriting.com Brenda Murray

    I think it’s important to strike a balance if you’re interested in “social networking” between online social networking and face-time social networking. Together, they can be a powerfully effective way to connect with people.

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  • Kay Wilson

    You have such great stuff, I keep reading…..must do this, must do that. New at this so am soaking it all up.  Thank you

  • Ecberman

    It’s called tweeting! Not twittering.

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  • Anonymous

    After spending the last few years utterly unconcerned about the myriad social tools (Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Blogging) the Internet has suddenly provided mankind, I’ve just started trying to work out how to make use of them to communicate with the world.

    And in the midst of that am also trying to discern what effect such tools have on us.

    So Thankyou for your post, it was clear and yet comprehensive.

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  • An0n

     Twitter is garbage, and exemplifies the dumbing down of our world. Why is the mainstream media shoving twitter down our throats? Is it an attempt to undermine facebook? Is it an attempt to reduce our capacity to communicate?

  • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

    Okay, you’ve given me a dozen reasons to take the next step. The #1 reason that gets my attention is Twitter “actually contributes to community-building.” Thanks for redirecting me to a post I remember reading ages ago. And that’s how long it sometimes take to turn this ship on a new heading.

  • http://darensirboughblog.wordpress.com Daren Sirbough

    I had twitter then about two months ago I got rid of it. I found it was cluttering my life with wasted time spent checking tweets I didn’t really care about at all. At the beginning of October I returned to twitter with a fresh perspective to use it as a tool to influence rather then being influenced. I used to have a large amount of followers and now I only have 10 but I believe I’m the one who will now be influential and not the one influenced. Twitter has its pros and cons and when I realised what was happening to me through the curiosity it provides you, I cut it off. It’s great to be back in social networking in the right way again!

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  • Carolyn

    I have found all of the above reasons apply to Facebook, but Facebook can do so much more (profiles, groups, lists, events, etc). Plus, Facebook requires authentic ID so there are fewer posers. And I’ve found more friends and family on FB than Twitter. I have tried Twitter, but it seems most people on Twitter post to both so it’s redundant checking both. Is there still a reason to use Twitter?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I think it’s largely a matter of preference. I find Facebook too complex and overwhelming. I like the simplicity of Twitter. But that’s just me.

    • All Locally Made

      Twitter allows you to interact with many people all at once in real-time without contacting them individually.
      Who you choose to follow will provide you with their live feed in real-time on what they are chatting about & gives access to all kinds of information each second.You can get information sent out and spread even further then who is following, sometimes reaching tens of thousands, even hundreds of thousands of people in minutes. Facebook has many great,  fancy, fun, interesting & user friendly features. But nothing provides anywhere near the same amount reach or speed at which   you can receive or send information out to the masses, worldwide, like Twitter can.
      Both platforms have their uses and are very useful. 

  • All Locally Made

    The Twitter Account I use is for my company representing a Brand & business.  
    Our company,  Brand personality & our  mission is supporting people & communities.
    It’s quite clear that I “tweet” as a business. 

    Twitter is words on a website but genuine sincerity (or lack there of) is blatantly obvious, at least to me.

    My most incredible experience with Twitter…is the support from thousands of people who are so thoughtful.  “Tweeting” us (Our company) daily so much support with such compassion & caring. 
     
    The moment the world feels like a cold & selfish place, Twitter (or “Tweeps” I should say) remind me, the world is filled with compassionate, thoughtful & caring people whether you have met them in person or not. 
    What’s most beautiful is knowing people care,  just for the sake of caring.

    I’m always profoundly grateful for being able to  experience this kind of anonymous “Love”. 
    It’s priceless & so precious.

  • Anonymous

    Great article and I totally agree with you about twitter as a humanising medium – yes even in the business & retail world. Fantastic tool for interaction and as you say can make a fantasticly fast messaging system!

    I’ve just moved onto tumblr today too – was just trying to describe it to a friend and the best way of explaining it was it’s the blog equivalent of twitter! fast paced, fun, informative, shorter than a standard blog,  actual images, links, video and more that can quickly and easily be shared, passed on and updated – great integration to the other social media apps too – oh and mobile friendly in the extreme.

  • Larzmarshall

    Great list Michael. Always enjoy your posts and links. I find Twitter fascinating, and it allows me to have access to people that I couldn’t get near. It’s amazing how many people use it…but equally interesting how many people I meet that don’t. I hope info like this blog post can help educate the apathetic or those who think it’s going to be overwhelming and time consuming (I don’t find it to be either of those things, but I hear that excuse).

  • http://caminomyway.com/ Randall St Germain

    Michael, I commend you for finishing your manuscript. I know you’re very busy with so much on the go. I had a similar situation last year while I was finishing my first book. I told thought that it would be out in the summer, however it wasn’t ready until the fall. It was a relief to finish, though.

  • Bill Lehmann

    you seem like an interesting person.  Could I use Twitter to find people in Port Aransas who might be interested in teaching our little Episcopal Church to TWEET?  

    And what is this thing I’m trying to post to anyway?  (I’m 87 and a slow learner who got to you looking for “what is a hashtag?)  My Twitter name is “bblehmann” and email bblehmann@aol.com

    Where do I find if I get a response to this?  Do I follow you, and if so, what is your Twitter name?

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  • jennifer

    i wanna just know why we put tweets

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  • http://www.pauljolicoeur.com/ Paul Jolicoeur

    I enjoy Twitter, it has become my go to social site. I find my self using Twitter more than Facebook daily. The down side: it can suck up your time if you don’t watch out!

  • Cheri Essner

    I think Twitter is a great tool for Learning as well.  I use Twitter to share information within my industry.  I read everything I tweet and have expanded my knowledge on many subjects.  Do you see Twitter as learning tool?

  • http://twitter.com/SynergyCenter Connect With Synergy

    Thank you Michael.  I have made a conscious effort to engage with Twitter to increase my reach.  Just this week I also began to blog with @playgrounddad:twitter to reach beyond the work I do on my local Patch.  Looking at your page made me rework the background on ours @synergycenter:twitter 

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  • Ade587

    You strike me as some on who has twitter, please what is the point in it? for a kick off you can’t say what you want… Must follow the sheep ba ba ba ba ba ba I have 1000000000000 friends but never met them…. ba ba ba ba

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  • http://twitter.com/johnpeltier John Peltier

    I’ve absolutely gained tremendous value from the perspective Personal Branding alone.

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  • apreachaskid

    Very interesting reason to use Twitter. Not exactly sure I’m sold just yet.

  • Rohitforu1992

    thanks for giving these best 12 reasons to have an account and most important the 2nd point 

    • http://makeurmood.com/ Rohitforu1992

      I have also compiled the same post hope you like..on my blog http://makeurmood.com/why-you-should-make-account-on-twitter/

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  • Leighton Haynes

    Just signed up! Michael, you’ve convinced me that there is good reason to give Twitter a shot! BTW, the is my first tweet! :-)

  • matti

    Michael Hyatt is a pussy

  • eerude

    Maybe I’m stupid or something, but why does anyone attempt to “socialize” on a computer?

  • Easycass

    Funny how I am taking the time to write this. I respect what others would like to do in life. But just for me (and those like me)…

    I tried to Twitter. Or is it Tweet. And should the T be upper or lowercase? Never mind. There are some people who will watch programs like Big Brother, Survivor, Coronation Street, and 24; to perve on assorted reality TV shows, to listen to gossip at the local hair salon, to be able to chat for hours on the phone to people they only saw yesterday, to spend hours and hours going through the facebook updates of people, to quickly check their messages and phones between business meetings, to secretly reach for their phone while their plane is still taxying after landing, and of course, to write some tweet for the much publicised (only) 10 minutes a day, and then, let’s be honest and realise it is not just about writing, spend at least 10 minutes/an hour a day reading other people’s tweets.

    I go four-wheel-driving in mud-strewn jungles, kayaking in the Whitsunday Islands, sailing around the Med for six months on my beloved second home catamaran, spend time trying to write business applications for Android, work as a consultant in offshore exploration, spend hours/days/weeks on my passionate photography, enjoy full dusk til dawn drinking sessions once in a while, enjoy tennis when I can, am trying to learn Japanese and Spanish, and currently walk along the beach with my Japanese gal at least once per day… and more… I guess, just selfish over-indulgence in real life, actively engaging in consuming and enjoyable activities with real people that are around and next to me.

    If I did not love to live such a life, and needed to live my life through others, perhaps I would (T)tweet.

    But, I would like to say, I do not judge those people that choose to tweet, as it is a healthy and vibrant outlook to cherish the differences in people.

    As for me, in 140 characters or less, it is now time for a full night out on town I feel… no phone needed. Have fun out there.

  • stephencarter

    Well, I found it very frustrating last year when I started a Twitter account. I picked a bunch of names of people I admire but don’t know personally – directors, authors, bloggers, etc. 62 in all. Two became followers. I tried sending out tweets, sort of like mass text msgs … and nothing happened. I tried for a couple weeks off and on, and finally I had to admit I just didn’t get it, and stopped. My account is still active, but unused. What am I missing? I never really understood how the interaction was supposed to happen, so maybe I just over-thought it. Sending texts or emails makes sense, it’s easy to get, easy to understand what the goal is. With twitter you don’t, it’s kind of vague. It’s that vagueness that turns non-users off.

  • stephencarter

    Actually I get how tweets could generate readers for a website and blog posts, which would certainly be useful for bloggers. I have an author’s website but I stopped blogging which felt too much like talking to a vast, empty cavern. I use my site to provide information to readers of current & upcoming ebooks. Admittedly, I’ve taken on some Luddite tendencies re social media.

  • Bonzo

    Life is short. Enjoy it ALL!

  • Ngobesing Romanus

    I want to thank you, Mike, for this post. It has enlightened me. I want to see how twittering can help me in my blog. In a world that is moving forward, no one can afford to stand still. Such a person would be left behind.I like when you talk about helping one to be a better writer, more concise. This is good for me as I am often quite verbose. I’m beginning and have real difficulties but I intend to stay on.