5 things I’ve learned from actively using Twitter for 1 year

About a year ago I came to a crossroads in my journey as an educator. I was struggling in the job I was holding at the time and deciding whether or not to pursue a PHD. My energized learning mind was saying “YES, let’s go!” while my logical mind said, “Hey, what can you do with 2 years and at least $60,000 that might directly contribute to your vision and goals” – and that last word right there really hit me. I had no idea what my “goals” were. I just knew I wanted to be around more people that thought like me and I wanted my voice to be heard.

One of the things I decided to do was to start writing more. As I was doing this, I also realized that I wanted the stuff I was writing to be heard. I’d heard of this funny little tool that people used to reach out to other people and talk about things. Yeah, twitter. One of the first people I encountered on Twitter was a 16 year old (at the time) entrepreneur, Marc Guberti. I subscribed to his mailing list and read a ton of stuff he had written on social media and especially on twitter.

So, I decided that my 300 loyal followers were in for a treat as I started my bout of summer writing and, mostly, rambling… (which is what I feel like I’m doing right now)

Ok. So I’ll step off the rambling train and get to the point(s).

i m not alone

1. I’m not alone! There are over 140 million active twitter users across the world. Many of them are educators who have an opinion, idea, thought, quote, witty saying, and much more to share. I’ve made friends from all over the globe, interviewed some of them and have regular conversations with people who I’ve never met. As corny as it sounds, this is why the internet was made.

I've got a sounding board

2. I’ve got a sounding board. The things I write have written and recorded have an audience. I’ve gotten my work/play in front of people and gotten some valuable feedback. As I’ve started to feel more comfortable in my own skin, I’ve been able to reach, an average of 3000 – 4000 unique visitors a month to my site which I find totally incredible. (see point number one).

Concision

3. Concision (I had no idea that was an actual word). As you can see from my introduction, it’s hard for me to stay focused and on point. I tend to ramble. I like to explain things from different point of views. Some people attribute that to my being a Gemini (not 2-sided or devious but rather being able to see things from two or more different angles) others just attribute it to me being me. Either way, I agree. So, enough said, I’ve made my point. At least I think I have. (This was way over 140 characters)

A plethora of resources at my fingertips.

4. A plethora of resources at my fingertips. I’ve found the answer to many questions that would have kept me up at night. Like, what is the square root of pie squared when the pie is made of apple? When a wood chuck does chuck wood, would it really need to let you know the reason it was chucking wood? When is it time to look at pie versus eat pie? Why is the sky blue? Is the sky blue? What is blue? But seriously, #didyoyknow that

  1. Eric Sheninger has a twin brother?
  2. English is not Rusul Alrubail’s first language, and she’s an English teacher.
  3. Rich Hovey sang the National Anthem at a Shark’s game dressed as a wolverine?
  4. Sarah Jane Thomas has a CD on iTunes from her college days?
  5. Jennie Magiera does not eat fruits and vegetables?
  6. Brad Currie knows how to drive a forklift?
  7. Monica Burns loves the National Park System?

People are nice

5. People are nice. Yep, that’s my last one – people, in general, are really nice. They give their time and energy to you when you need it, you just have to ask. I’ve reached out to a lot of people via twitter for a great many things and from people that have very little extra time on their hands. From the majority of them I’ve heard a resounding “yes, of course”.

So, if you’re not on twitter, get thee there straightaway!

If you are on twitter, what have you learned?

Adnan Iftekhar