Life Without Twitter

No TwitterI spend a lot of time on Twitter.

Sometimes I’m on Twitter for purely professional reasons; other times, it’s all personal. Often – intentionally – the line between work and play blur (I think this is a good thing, but that’s for another post).

Kristina gives me a hard time for the amount of time I spend on Twitter. There are times when it interferes with our interaction. That is no good. In fact, that’s really bad. Really bad. Without getting too much into our personal lives, suffice to say that I’ve “cut back” on the amount of “non-working hours” I spend on Twitter. No brainer really as my relationship with Kristina is more important that all the other stuff. Without a doubt.

But I got thinking, what would my life (personal & professional) be without Twitter?

**UPDATE 2/22/10: Turns out great minds think alike. See what Scott Stratten wrote today, What If I Didn’t Use Twitter?**

Life Without Twitter (Professional)

Professionally, I use Twitter out of the Blue Sky Factory account (@blueskyfactory). My job as Director Community requires me to listen, reply, interact, engage, etc with prospects, clients, fans, evangelists, and anyone interested in the email marketing or social media industry. No – my job is not simply tweeting all day long, but Twitter does play a role. Some days – when a lot of people are talking – a large chunk of my day is back and forth on Twitter. This often occurs when we are at an event (speaking), write a killer blog post, upload a cool video, and/or present a content-rich webinar. But what would happen if we didn’t have a Twitter presence? What if we had one yet didn’t monitor it closely or engage with people?

  • Less buzz – Without Twitter, fewer people know of us, fewer recommend us, and fewer leads roll in.
  • Fewer online discussions – Twitter has helped to increase Blue Sky Factory’s visibility in the email/social space. The more we engage on Twitter, the more we are viewed as a legitimate thought leader in the community.
  • Fewer speaking opportunities, guest posts & articles – It is becoming more and more common that I’ll “meet” someone via Twitter, develop a relationship and trust with them, and eventually be asked to speak at their event, post on their blog, and/or be quoted in an article. This all matters. It leads to inbound links (hopefully, right Chris?), public recognition for Blue Sky Factory, and ideally more qualified leads.
  • More time – Like any other tool, Twitter can be a time suck. It takes time to engage. It takes time to respond, to track, to measure, to build relationships and trust. The key is figuring out the best way to balance and budget that time. (No. I do not have the answer. Sorry!)
  • More focus – Very similar to the time point above, Twitter messes with focus. It’s an interrupter. I’ve learned to turn it off for a few hours if I really a project/call/email etc really needs 100% focus. Trust me, it helps.

Chris Penn said it best a few weeks ago. The only marketing metric that matters is qualified leads.

Life Without Twitter (Personal)

First off, I know that I would not die without Twitter. Not only would I not die, I’d certainly be more productive. I spend a ton of time in Twitter. There is no denying that (Again, ask Kristina). So, what would happen if I just deleted my Twitter account?

  • No job at Blue Sky Factory – I talked about how Twitter helped me get my job. While others have reminded me (rightfully so) that Twitter didn’t get me my job, the relationships I’ve build did … I still think it helped.
  • Fewer friends – I’m not talking about “online friends” here. I’m referring to real, human, face-to-face friends and colleagues. Twitter makes it easy to connect with like-minded people. As I’ve said before though, the real magic happens in the face-to-face.
  • Fewer real-time updates – Much of the news I read now comes from what I see on Twitter. A lot of this content is fresh – often talked about before the mainstream media picks it up – often even before blogs. I’m not suggesting this is good or bad, but it’s the truth.
  • Fewer opportunities – This one may be a bit tough to measure; however, I was recently interviewed by someone at Southwest Airlines. I was recommended by Christi Day – the voice of Southwest Air’s Twitter account. She trusted me based on what she’d seen me write about SWA on Twitter (as well as here on this blog).
  • More time and focus – See above.

So yeah, clearly life would go on without Twitter. I mean, it did go on before Twitter, right? Much like we all lived before phones or cars or email or Facebook or the Internet. So, life would continue just fine.

How about you? What would your personal and/or professional lives look like sans Twitter?

Photo Credit

DJ Waldow
@djwaldow

22 comments
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Lance
Lance

With everything going on in the social media arena, I can't seem to remember anymore what life was like without twitter. It has become such a huge part of people's lives, it's like feeling something's lacking if you haven't tweeted a thing in a single day. =)

Ben McKeegan
Ben McKeegan

So DJ, what does it say about me that I do not have a My Space, Facebook or Twitter account? Am I that old school? Out of touch? And is it so bad if all I want is to go back to All Star Weekend?

Talk soon.

Benny

Sonny Gill
Sonny Gill

DJ - I agree with what you're saying here and get your POV, but with so much of the 'this wouldn't have happened', we would have a lot more time (as you mentioned) to do all of the above but in another form. To continue building relationships and friends and consuming content through different means. To be honest, who really knows how we would connect and consume and grow if it weren't for channels like Twitter?

We're all evolving as communicators and people every day, so if Twitter wasn't here, the number of opportunities I think would be the same - it would just reside in another form.

Good food for thought.

ilinap
ilinap

Without Twitter I'd never get to talk to you!

Sharon Mostyn
Sharon Mostyn

Great post, DJ! Here's another one to add to your list: "without Twitter, I wouldn't have been asked to moderate Wednesday's (2/24/10) 1P ET #SMchat where we're going to discuss life with and without Twitter!" I can't wait to see what everyone has to say - you're going to rock it!

Thanks again and hugs!
sharon

maayanroman
maayanroman

Without Twitter I'd never be able to find all the people in the email industry with whom I've connected. While there's still more to do in developing strong connections, Twitter really helped grease the wheels of discovery and introductions. If nothing else it completely tears down the difficulty of being introduced to someone - even LinkedIn makes this somewhat awkward.

Without Twitter I'd never have found this blog and countless other gems - but who knows what else I may have found through other means?

emilyhaughey
emilyhaughey

DJ-

Without Twitter I wouldn't have been invited to the VIP SuperBowl Party at Social Fresh Tampa. Thanks again!

Because you reached out to me before the event about what I wanted to learn there, I got to meet you and your crew. I am a bit of a social butterfly too, but needed backup. So I picked up @summerjoy (whom I recognized from #sofresh on Twitter) at the bar and we crashed the VIP room together. The rest is history.

We're both going to #SXSWi and looking forward to catching up with our #sofresh tweeps! We've been obsessing about it 24/7 on Twitter, so that has really helped productivity.

Also, without Twitter I would have no idea what size fruit the growing @babywaldow could be compared to in any given week.

And ditto on everything you wrote :)

Thank you DJ. Thank you Twitter.

unmarketing
unmarketing

High five dude. Creepy yet awesome we both wrote the same topic on the same day.

We really need to live near each other for BBQ's and beers weekly

Teresa Basich
Teresa Basich

Off the top of my head...

Life Without Twitter (Professional)--

One prime marketing channel out the window: We promote heavily on Twitter, and while that's apt to change (or even out, I should say) in the months to come, I think it'd be tough to get the same response we do from such a real-time interactive channel.

Less connectivity with colleagues: Sometimes, Twitter is the best way for me to find out what's going on with my team. It's the nature of a community team, I think, and with everyone being remote, having a common place where we know we'll all be at some point during the day is definitely beneficial to us.

Life Without Twitter (Personal)--

No job: Yep, like you, I got my job because of Twitter. And it's a good one! Definitely wouldn't have had the same career opportunities without Twitter.

More isolation: This is a long, personal story, but I'm positive I'd feel pretty darn lonely and isolated without Twitter. It's a way for me to connect with people when I can't motivate myself to leave the house.

I've definitely been using Twitter less since the new gig started, but it's still a part of my routine, and it's been huge in helping me shape my career. I come in contact with plenty of people who don't get it and never will, but hey, that's there problem. ;)

DJ Waldow
DJ Waldow

Agree, Lance...Just have to remember that it can't be all-consuming. My wife reminds me of that - OFTEN. Ha ha.

dj

DJ Waldow
DJ Waldow

You'll always be old school Benny. Love that about you.

dj

DJ Waldow
DJ Waldow

Sonny - Thanks for your comments. I agree. Seems to me it's the "it's not the tools" discussion, right?

dj

DJ Waldow
DJ Waldow

An excellent point, Sharon. Was fun! Thanks for including me.

dj

DJ Waldow
DJ Waldow

And I think that's the rub. As you said, "...but who knows what else I may have found through other means?" My wife reminds me of that all of the time. We'd survive, right? We'd just have to find another way.

Thanks for stopping by!

dj

DJ Waldow
DJ Waldow

Emily! Ha. Thanks for stopping by. I think that is one of the keys to Twitter. It can create new opportunities. To me though, without the face-to-face, it's not nearly as powerful. Oh yeah...that @babywaldow account. Kinda creepy, I know.

Peace.

dj

DJ Waldow
DJ Waldow

Scott - Only 5? I think this is "high 10" worthy, no? If you are interested, I'll really dive into the "Bring #UnBookTour to the 801" campaign for this fall. Dead serious. Give me the green light and it's on. Jeremy Hanks (CEO of Doba) already committed some $$, right?

Beers and BBQ. Let's do this!

dj

DJ Waldow
DJ Waldow

T - Love it. Great additions. Funny how a full-time gig can limit your use of Twitter, huh? I'm sure you'll get more into it over time. Remember to keep it personal too...can't be all Radian6 now, right? Ha ha.

Thanks for your comments.

dj

debhenry
debhenry

Who could turn down high fives (and tens), beers and BBQ with you guys?! Not this girl.

Teresa Basich
Teresa Basich

Like I don't feel guilty enough already for being all R6 all the time. Nature of the beast, my friend. I am definitely trying to get back to some more normal sharing (and reading) habits, though. Give it time.

DJ Waldow
DJ Waldow

Scott's call. You know we could make it happen...

dj