Productive Use of Twitter: Are You Stalking or Are You Talking?

Posted: July 29th, 2010

Probably not the best use of Twitter here

Probably not the best use of Twitter here

I tend to have an on-again, off-again relationship with Twitter. Some weeks are just so busy with work that Twitter plays second fiddle to it. I still don’t get paid to use it so, sorry there little avatars with personalities, you’ll have to wait until next week (or after a night out later tonight).

Maybe it’s time to rethink that again for a second.

Now I’m not one to buy into using Twitter for the whole celebrity “reaching out to your fans” experience. I can just see it now if I did my daily Twitter stalking and finally received that coveted response.

@freelancerant Back off dude. I got armed bodyguards and an unlimited legal fund.

I prefer its “proper” use such as networking, sharing links and trading a friendly jab once in a while. When I really thought about it, though, it’s much more than that.

  • I’ve improved by leaps and bounds in my work as a web developer because I’m in constant contact with those who seem to know quite a bit more than I do. OK, they DO know more than I do.
  • I’m friends with others outside of my field such as marketers, designers, writers, Twitter socialites and the general population with free time on their hands. You definitely learn a thing or two by branching out and learning from users you wouldn’t normally expect to learn from.
  • I’m up-to-date on absolutely everything. It can be crucial to your success being on top of your work, technology and what Justin Bieber had for lunch an hour ago (so I don’t have to follow him myself).
  • I’ve made great business contacts who I know, with a reasonable degree of intuition, are good peoples.
  • Considering all the above as what I get out of Twitter, an hour a day invested in it is rather minimal.

I’ve been on Twitter for over a year now and, while it is a no-brainer to use, it does take some time to realize how it can put a positive jolt in your freelancing career. Pry yourself from the distraction side, though admittedly I can’t help but to have humor and sports in my feed, and you have a tool that can move you places.

That or witness people moving places. Nothing like something to motivate you to move forward.

On a side note, I say this as I unfollow @Alyssa_Milano. You were a distraction and never responded but I have my real friends now, thank you.

More on the author, Johnny Spence
Johnny is the founder of The Freelance Rant and a freelance web programmer with 8 years in the business. Have a visit at his company Oscarrr!web or see what he's up to on Twitter.

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