Archive for 'Social Media'

Coffee with social media consultant Toby Bloomberg

Posted on 06. Oct, 2010 by .

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A friend recently connected me with local social media expert Toby Bloomberg. Toby is probably most well-known for her phenomenal marketing & social media blog called Diva Marketing which was listed by Forbes.com as a “Top 20 Best Marketing and Social Media Blogs by Women.” Toby now consults with companies, non-profits, and individuals regarding marketing and social media.

I met with Toby over coffee to discuss SM & marketing from a corporate perspective. It was super informal but I took a page of notes and thought some of you might find them interesting. Toby said I could share them with you guys…

  • Find ways to take one piece of content and format it for many different channels (ie a blog post could be spun into a Youtube video, Facebook contest, etc.)
  • Your social media goals and objectives should inform everything you do.
  • “It’s not social media first; it’s goals first.”
  • Your online presence is an asset. It must be promoted! “They will not come unless they know you’re there.”
  • Ask customers what they want re social media.
  • Blogging is still incredibly relevant. The value of blogging is that it’s YOURS.
  • “You can’t really position yourself as a thought leader on Facebook/Twitter.” Blogging is much better.
  • Email lists are still important.
  • “Dell is currently the poster child for corporate social media use.”
  • Relevant voices in the SM space: Shel Israel (Naked Conversations), BL Ochman (whatsblognext.com), Scott Monty (Ford Motor Company).

I also must recommend an unbelievable FREE resource that Toby has produced called Social Media Marketing GPS. It’s a free 91 page pdf composed of interviews with 40 thought leaders in the SM/marketing space. It’s jammed full of good content so be sure to check it out.

Enjoy!

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The closet and the spur

Posted on 10. Feb, 2010 by .

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Facebook stumbled upon something special when they gave us the status update a few years ago. I remember when it first came out. A box at the top of my Facebook page that simply said, “Brett is ____________.” How weird, I thought.

But Facebook knew that humans love (big surprise here) talking about themselves in front of their friends. Twitter quickly capitalized on facebook’s discovery and launched a service that made talking about yourself in front of your friends its lone function. And (big surprise again) it exploded.

I’ve been right in the middle of the micro-blogging madness. I love it. It’s fun. It gives me something to do when I’m in the bathroom…or at a wedding. And yet

I’m irked.

I’m irked because I think both Facebook and twitter can be nothing more than a way to showcase our awesomeness. Look at what I did, where I went, who I hung out with. And in the Christian world, it turns into a showcase of righteous acts.

“But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.”   – Matthew 6:6

The King James version translates “inner room” as “closet.”

“Go into your closet” Jesus says, as opposed to parading around in the streets so that everyone can hear your fancy prayers. And he says the exact same thing about giving in verse 4 and fasting in verse 18. This was the very thing Jesus got so mad at the Pharisees for. Jesus would rather you practice your loud spirituality in a cramped dark room with ski jackets, musty shoes, and 1980’s baseball cards. Hmmm….

But that’s not why I’m irked.

I’m irked by Hebrews 10:24…

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.”

I think Twitter and Facebook are the absolute best platforms at spurring (encouraging) others. But you’re not going to spur anyone to anything holed up in your closet. Encouragement happens out in the open, where people are. When my friend Billy tweets that he’s finished reading 10 books so far in 2010, I know that it’s not to showcase his righteousness. It’s to celebrate a personal victory and to spur on others. And, if my attitude is right, that’s exactly the effect that tweet has on me–a swift bootspur to the buttocks to remind me to stop watching lame reality TV and go read something.

The closet and the spur.

Can the line get blurry? Of course. Will I screw up sometimes, showcasing my righteousness when it would be better kept in the dark? Yep. Would the Pharisees have loved Twitter? Yeah. But I think Jesus would have too.

But there’s grace for me, and you, and our Pharisee non-closet moments.

So put on your cowboy boots and start tweeting. You encourage me more than you know.

What do you think? Do your friends on Twitter/Facebook make you better?

(P.S. – Way back when this blog was just an baby–last August–I wrote an article about Twitter as Mentoring Machine. It’s called “My 100 Twitter Dads.” You might want to check it out.)

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Twitter Week winner announced & other news

Posted on 12. Oct, 2009 by .

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Congrats to Beth Peele from Atlanta who won the TRAPPSTR.com Twitter Week contest! She’s won herself a custom-designed Twitter background. Beth retweeted some TRAPPSTR posts like a mad woman and for that I am extremely grateful. Thanks to everyone of you who helped get the word out about Twitter Week! Honored!

In other news, I’ll be trekking up to the Blue Ridge Mountains in north Georgia for a solo creative sabbatical. I’ll be staked out in a cabin and no I won’t be shaving :). I’ll be spending most of my time thinking about Booster’s story (Booster is the company I work for). I’ll be working on a brand new plan to better tell Booster’s story to the world. I can’t wait! So thankful for company leaders who recognize this introvert’s need for uninterrupted, focused, creative time (yes, I’m an introvert). Of course I’ll be writing some as well.

I mentioned a few week’s back that I have a big TRAPPSTR.com announcement coming up. I’ll be breaking the news to my email subscriber list first. If you want the inside scoop, this is your last chance. Sign up now on the right sidebar. SO EXCITED about this news!

Go out and make something happen this week. Have a great week friends.

-Brett

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7 ways Twitter can rock the church

Posted on 05. Oct, 2009 by .

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It’s Twitter Week at TRAPPSTR.com! 5 days of Twitter madness! Whether you love Twitter or think it’s hot garbage, check back each day for a fresh look at the state of the Twitterverse. If you haven’t signed up for Twitter, DO IT NOW! You can find the TRAPPSTR on Twitter right here. If you like something you see, pass this article along by clicking on the SEND THIS POST TO A FRIEND button at bottom.

Also, I’m having a contest for a free, custom-designed Twitter background! You can learn about that here.

If you light a lantern on a warm summer night, bugs will appear instantly. New technologies, like a lantern, always attract the creepy crawly things. The spammers, porn-hustlers, hackers, and scam-architects have a knack for quickly filling the space created by new innovations. Twitter is no different as they continue to fight the hoodlums of the Internet.

Unfortunately, the church is usually the last to the party. We look at the lantern in the distance with a skeptical eye. We criticize it. We prefer our dimly lit little neighborhood. Instead of grabbing the lantern and launching out into the darkness, we sit back and wait for the world to validate it. Only then will we venture close.

I’m not sure the church fully understands the opportunities Twitter is offering right now. The longevity of Twitter remains in question, but for the time being, it is one of the most dynamic new technologies that the church should not miss out on.

Here are 7 ways church leaders can quickly harness the power of Twitter and channel it towards the Gospel:

(Note: Some of these are relevant for individual believers and some can be utilized by local church congregations.)

1. Twitter as Affirmation Megaphone – I’m a huge believer in the power of affirmation, using words to champion someone else. God calls each of us to encourage and affirm other believers. Private affirmation is one thing, but when you affirm someone in front of hundreds or thousands of followers on Twitter, your words become so much more meaningful to that person.

2. Twitter as Townsquare – At the core of church is community. At the core of community is communication. What church bulletins, print newsletters, and phone trees were for churches in the 1990s, Twitter will be for the next decade. Twitter is free and much more nimble than previous methods of communication. Tons of churches are already using Twitter to make announcements, send out prayer alerts, and unite a community of believers separated by distance and distractions.

3. Twitter as Wisdom Amplifier – To me, Proverbs is the Twitter of the Bible–free-standing snippets about life and God, stacked one on top of the other. I love it when Christians use Twitter the same way. Every day I’m encouraged by the Bible verses and great Christian quotes I see on Twitter.

4. Twitter as Prayer Multiplier – I’ve seen this one used many times on Twitter. I can’t think of a better way to quickly get a large number of people focused on one prayer effort.

5. Twitter as Discipleship Machine – I wrote about this a few weeks back in a post titled “My 100 Twitter Dads.” Basically, I explain the impact some men of God have had on my life through Twitter. Check out the post as I explain how “Twitter can be a very low level of discipleship.”

6. Twitter as Transparency Tool – Growing up, my dad was the pastor of a large church in a small town. He always struggled with the weird way people looked at him, viewing him as a super-religious “man of the cloth” and not as a normal, every-day guy with problems. Twitter is the single best technology I’ve seen to help Christian leaders be transparent in front of their people. It’s extended their influence from an hour in the pulpit each Sunday to a 24 hour ministry where the Gospel gets beautifully woven together with kids’ football practices, Friday night at the movies, and life stress.

7. Twitter as Gospel Revealer – While I don’t think Christians should turn Twitter into an online version of a Gospel tract, I do believe it can be a great way to introduce people to the Gospel.

I’m not an advocate of “Christianizing” Twitter. But if the world is having a great conversation, believers should humbly but boldly jump in.

What other ways can the church use Twitter?

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Full disclosure: Imperfect person behind the tweets

Posted on 01. Oct, 2009 by .

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It’s Twitter Week at TRAPPSTR.com! 5 days of Twitter madness! Whether you love Twitter or think it’s hot garbage, check back each day for a fresh look at the state of the Twitterverse. If you haven’t signed up for Twitter, DO IT NOW! You can find the TRAPPSTR on Twitter right here. If you like something you see, pass this article along by clicking on the SEND THIS POST TO A FRIEND button at bottom.

Also, I’m having a contest for a free, custom-designed Twitter background! You can learn about that here.

My mind has been stuck lately on this question, “What is the distance between the real me and the me I put online?”. Let me be honest, the majority of my online time is split between Facebook, Twitter, and this blog–3 social galaxies that usually revolve around the axis of: Me.

Sure I love watching others, but it usually comes back around to me in some way. My pictures. My opinion. My image. And have you ever noticed how everyone looks great on facebook? Bad pictures of us always have a way of disappearing into cyberspace with a quiet poof.

I’m amazed at the many ways people use Twitter, but they are usually self-centered and self-promoting. Truth be told, I’m the same way. I spend more time managing my online image than managing my spiritual life. I worry more about sanctifying your opinion of me than letting God sanctify my heart. I try to make others think I have it all together, when all I’m really doing is building a prettier mannequin.

Sometimes I think we all need online disclosure statements–something reminding the world that we aren’t perfect people. We are, rather, as the Gospel tells us, desperately wicked at heart, broken, insecure, flawed, self-consumed, dead, and without hope. And only through Jesus–not smiling pictures and happy tweets–are we able to bring anything of value to this world.

There’s nothing wrong with talking about our lives and our thoughts on Twitter. But we marginalize the Gospel when we don’t let others in on our struggles and issues.

“Humility and the fear of the LORD bring wealth and honor and life.” Prov 22:4

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.” Phil 2:3

What do you think? Does Twitter/Facebook encourage narcissism?

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6 tips for writing red-hot tweets

Posted on 30. Sep, 2009 by .

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It’s Twitter Week at TRAPPSTR.com! 5 days of Twitter madness! Whether you love Twitter or think it’s hot garbage, check back each day for a fresh look at the state of the Twitterverse. If you haven’t signed up for Twitter, DO IT NOW! You can find the TRAPPSTR on Twitter right here. If you like something you see, pass this article along by clicking on the SEND THIS POST TO A FRIEND button at bottom.

Also, I’m having a contest for a free, custom-designed Twitter background! You can learn about that here.

Let’s be honest, 140 characters isn’t much real estate. If you want to be a good tweeter, you’ve got to maximize minimal space. Here are 6 quick tips for writing red-hot tweets:

1. Use fiery images – I wrote a few weeks ago about communicating with vivid images. Abstract words and phrases just don’t work well when it comes to communication. Using images paints a powerful picture in the mind of the reader. Here’s a great example:

“Jerry Rankin: A rat-meat eating, Jesus-loving, gospel-preaching field missionary who helped focus the IMB on church pltng. Worthy of honor.” – @JimmyScroggins, 5:53pm Sep 16th

Jimmy could have said, “We honor today Jerry Rankin, a missionary who tirelessly labored in the field for the cause of the Gospel.” No! He told us that he ate rat meat! Wow! What an image! Can’t you just visualize Jerry huddled inside some grass hut in a far-away land with a Bible in one hand and a blackened rat skewer in the other? Jimmy communicated an entire man’s life sacrifice with one powerful image.

2. Tell campfire stories – Everybody loves stories. They are the best vehicle for human communication. You might think 140 characters isn’t enough to tell a story. I’ve actually seen it done quite well on Twitter. Check out this tweet from my friend Matt:

“Uneventful flight. Picking up the rental car and finding my way to Franklin, LA. Dodging gators and snakes along the way. Humidity at 200%.” @MattWright24, 11:22 AM, Sep 8th

Matt puts you right in the middle of his story with this perfectly crafted tweet. He is finding his way to Franklin which tells you he is a little los. He doesn’t see alligators and snakes, he dodges them which paints a picture of some sweltering highway littered with reptiles. It’s not just humid; he exaggerates the humidity. 200%! Matt took us on a journey from the airport to a sweltering Louisiana swamp with 139 characters. Perfect.

(Also, check out one of my favorite storytelling Twitter accounts @VeryShortStory.)

3. Warm up with a vulnerable/tender tweet People love honesty, authenticity, and vulnerability. I love it when people share life’s special moments. They are my favorite kinds of tweets, yet they are the most rare. Here are some of the best I’ve seen:

“‘This is just one of the ways I know you love me,’ said Nick when I fixed his Lego for him.” @challies, 7:31 PM, Sep 18th

“Nurse told us to say a goodbye to each other in case they didn’t succeed. Never seen andy so pale. Said it all with our tears and eyes.” @saritagirl, 12:26 PM, Aug 3rd

awesome…there’s a 6th grade girl taller than me.” @jaredtaft, 12:36 PM, Apr 15th

“I just put on a jacket. Its getting colder. The sun has set on this day. One day closer to you.” @mattskeller, 8:02 PM, Sep 29th

Don’t be afraid to show the real you. Twitter is a great place to admit mistakes, reveal insecurities, and laugh at yourself. Don’t miss those opportunities.

4. Light our minds with wisdomThe greatest value Twitter offers is as a giant switchboard for wisdom. People love posting quotes on Twitter which I’m a big fan of. Consider this tweet from my friend, Guy:

“‘A little boy can slay a giant but it won’t be his first kill’ -@barrydrice #HIS09@guywalker, 9:16 PM, Sep 14th (to be fair, Guy was actually quoting Barry Drice)

But don’t forget, you have a lot of wisdom to offer as well! Think of the expertise you’ve gained as a mother or a bank teller or a teacher! We want to hear it!

5. Ignite our funny bone with a funny observation – You can sit around all day trying to cook up funny, clever things to say on Twitter, but most of us don’t have time for that. I’ve found it’s much easier to just open my eyes to the hilarious things that happen around me every day. Here are a few examples I’ve seen:

“Just passed a kid texting with both hands while ridding his bicycle down the middle of the road. No shirt. No shoes. No Brain.” @andystanley, 6:45PM, Aug 14th

“I attract cops lk no other.dude.I know I look lk I might B bad,but all ur gonna find R PollyPockets.http://twitpic.com/f3zij@loswhit, 11:14 AM, Aug 24th

“The hotel where I am staying in Tampa is hosting a bodybuilding convention. Sweet providence, I am right in my element. These are my people.” @albertmohler, 5:07 PM, Aug 8th

“Of all the fence options for a new ATL kids’ bike path, barbed wire is an odd choice. Unless a fence made of scorpions was the other option.” @prodigaljohn, 4:22 PM, Sep 13th

People love to laugh and be entertained. You encounter funny situations every day and the Twittersphere needs to know about it!

What kinds of tweets do you like best? What other tips would you offer?

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The TRAPPSTR.com A-Z Twitter Guide!

Posted on 29. Sep, 2009 by .

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It’s Twitter Week at TRAPPSTR.com! 5 days of Twitter madness! Whether you love Twitter or think it’s hot garbage, check back each day for a fresh look at the state of the Twitterverse. If you haven’t signed up for Twitter, DO IT NOW! You can find the TRAPPSTR on Twitter right here. If you like something you see, pass this article along by clicking on the SEND THIS POST TO A FRIEND button at bottom.

Also, I’m having a contest for a free, custom-designed Twitter background! You can learn about that here.

Here is everything you need to know about Twitter from A – Z

A – @ symbol – On Twitter, you can publicly reply to other people’s tweets using the @ symbol. However only those who also follow that person will be able to see your response. When you put the @ symbol in front of someone’s username, it turns their name into a hyperlink that will take you directly to their Twitter profile.

B – Bio – Twitter allows you to write a 160 character bio on your profile.

C – Celebrities – An active celebrity presence has done a lot to fuel Twitter’s explosive growth. You can easily find them on CelebrityTweet.

D – Direct Message – A direct message (also called a DM) is a private message between you and one other Twitter user. Think of this as the email of Twitter, under 140 characters of course.

E – Emergencies – One of the surprising uses of Twitter that has emerged is in times of emergency. I saw this firsthand during Atlanta’s recent floods. People were posting images and flood updates using the #atlflood hashtag. More famously, we saw Twitter’s emergency usefulness in the summer of 2009 when it became a big part of Iran’s controversial elections. The U.S. government even asked Twitter not to do routine maintenance so they could continue to monitor the situation. Twitter to the rescue.

F – Favorite – Twitter allows you to star memorable tweets which stores them in your list of favorites so you can go back and read them anytime.

Followers – On Twitter, you have followers, not friends. Narcissists and egomaniacs love this feature.

G – Goodies – Twitter’s official list of “goodies” can be found here.

H – Hashtag – The hashtag symbol (#) is used to create searchable hyperlinks within Twitter. For example, recently I issued the Hasselhoff Challenge. I used the hashtag #hasselhoffchallenge. That way I can click on that link and quickly see who else is talking about it. For more on hashtags, read this.

I – Images – Twitter is great for quickly posting images from your cell phone. Most Twitter cell phone apps will have a third party client that posts pics (Twitpic, Tweetphoto, etc.)

J – Jack Dorsey – The guy who created Twitter back in 2006. Pretty interesting story.

K – Kutcher – As in Ashton Kutcher. This guy helped put Twitter on the map back in the spring of 2009 when he and CNN had a very public race to see who could be the first to 1 million followers.

L – Links – People love posting links on Twitter. This has set off an avalanche of handy URL shortening services like bit.ly.

M – Microblogging – Know this term. This is what tech geeks call Twitter, Facebook statuses, etc. Toss this word into the conversation next time you want to sound real cool. As in, “Microblogging is red hot right now.” Yep, that’ll get you a date.

N – Ninety % – That was the shocking stat that came out of this Harvard Business article a few months ago. “The top 10% of prolific Twitter users accounted for over 90% of all tweets.”

O – One-hundred forty – 140 is the max number of characters you can squeeze into a tweet. Gotta keep it short. That’s the point.

P – Protected Tweets – You can actually set up a Twitter account with “protected tweets.” That means you get to approve or deny who sees your tweets. Assuage your paranoia.

Q – Quotient – As in Twitter Quotient

R – Retweet – Like an email forward but much cooler. When you see a tweet you like, copy and paste it with an RT in front of it. FYI, retweeting without giving attribution = bad form.

Reply – Using the @ symbol (see above), this is how you publicly reply to someone.

S – Search Twitter

T – Timeline – This is the official name for a user’s stream of tweets.

Trending Topics – A list of the top ten most popular “trending” words on Twitter at that exact moment. I wrote about this yesterday.

U – Username – Your username can be 16 characters max. Quick, go get yours before someone else does.

Ubertwitter – My preferred cell phone Twitter app (only for Blackberry). I’m a HUGE fan.

V – Volume – As in TweetVolume, a cool site for seeing how often words/phrases show up on Twitter.

W – Wow! – As in, “Wow, I can’t believe Twitter is really worth $1 billion!” If Twitter is a billion dollar idea, there is hope for all of us!

X – eX – As in ex-Twitter user. Twitter has a lot of em. 60% of Twitter users quit within the first month. Not sure why that is. I think that is changing.

Y – YouTwit – A sweet site that plots your tweets on a map.

Z – Zero – As in, “You have a zero percent chance of winning the TRAPPSTR.com Twitter Week Contest if you don’t retweet this post ASAP!”

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TRAPPSTR.com Twitter Week Contest!

Posted on 28. Sep, 2009 by .

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It’s Twitter Week at TRAPPSTR.com! 5 days of Twitter madness! Whether you love Twitter or think it’s hot garbage, check back each day for a fresh look at the state of the Twitterverse. If you haven’t signed up for Twitter, DO IT NOW! You can do that here. You can find the TRAPPSTR on Twitter right here.

It’s contest time! Twitter Week is upon us, so that means we’ve got a sweet giveaway for one lucky TRAPPSTR.com reader! I’m giving away a fully customized Twitter background for you or your brand! Here are the rules:

1. You must have a Twitter account.

2. Winner will receive a customized Twitter background for you or your brand. You tell me how to design it. 3 revisions max. I will not design anything that is pornographic or profane in any way. This is totally up to my discretion.

3. To enter, you must retweet that day’s article from TRAPPSTR.com. Simply click on the lime green Retweet button at the bottom left of the TRAPPSTR.com post. This will post a link to that day’s article to your Twitter account. Submit it. Bam…you just entered the contest once. Of course you can also retweet the article from your phone when I post it each day.

4. Readers may enter up to twice a day each day Monday Sep, 28 – Friday Oct 2. So maximum number of entries = 10.

5. I’ll randomly draw one winner from all the entries on Sunday, Oct 4 and announce the winner here at TRAPPSTR.com.

Good luck!

-Brett


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So you think Twitter is stupid and it’s just like a Facebook status

Posted on 28. Sep, 2009 by .

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It’s Twitter Week at TRAPPSTR.com! 5 days of Twitter madness! Whether you love Twitter or think it’s hot garbage, check back each day for a fresh look at the state of the Twitterverse. If you haven’t signed up for Twitter, DO IT NOW! You can do that here. You can find the TRAPPSTR on Twitter right here. If you know a Twitter hater, pass this article along by clicking on the SEND THIS POST TO A FRIEND button at bottom.

Also, I’m having a contest for a free, custom-designed Twitter background! You can learn about that here.

Unless you’ve been living on one of Saturn’s moons for the last year, you’ve heard of Twitter. The original concept was shockingly simple: People logon and answer the question, “What are you doing right now?“. That’s it. The catch is that the question must be answered in 140 characters or less. While that’s how it started, it has evolved into so much more. Twitter’s growth has been staggering.

I remember the first time I read something about Twitter, I thought it was a ridiculous idea. I had already been a Facebook junkie for several years. Using facebook was like driving a Hummer while Twitter seemed like riding a bicycle. It was too simple…like technology going in reverse. After all, the internet is supposed to make things fancier and more sophisticated. Right?

As it turns out, no. The beauty of Twitter is its simplicity. The Internet clutters our lives with a thousand voices squawking for our attention. The founders of Twitter marched right into the junkyard of the internet and planted a Garden of Eden. Quieter. Simpler. Easier. It’s no wonder people have been flocking to it ever since.

Simply put, if you haven’t joined Twitter, you need to! Here are 7 reasons why:

1. New, interesting people – On Facebook, it’s taboo to friend request strangers. On Twitter, it’s encouraged, and no one thinks you’re a weird pyscho. The beauty of Twitter is in one way relationships (see below). With Twitter, I can listen to @RickWarren encouraging fellow pastors. I can see a picture of an NFL wide receiver running with a kid who challenged him to a footrace (@OGochocinco). I can message back and forth with my favorite authors (which I’ve done with @DanielPink and @KeithFerrazzi). At the same time I can see what my fellow co-workers are doing with their families all around the country.

2. Twitter is NOT like a facebook status – It’s not. A glass of Sprite and a glass of water look the same, but they couldn’t be more different. Same with facebook statuses vs. tweets. 90% of the people on Facebook use the status just to tell us what they’re doing. That’s fine, but it’s not always that interesting. People on Twitter use tweets to post interesting links, funny quips, amazing pictures, emergency updates, observations on life, and of course updates about their day.

3. One way relationships – When I logon to Facebook, I’m flooded with statuses, most of which I find uninteresting. But I’m not going to defriend people (aka stabbing my friends in the back). The beauty of Twitter is in the one-way relationship. That means that I can follow anyone’s tweets even if they aren’t following me. If I follow someone on Twitter and they bore me, I just unfollow them (and I don’t feel bad about it :)). Start out by following lots of people and then progressively removing those who aren’t adding value (entertainment, motivation, humor, learning, etc.). After a while, you’re left with a totally customized Twitter stream from people who interest the heck out of you. The crap gets zapped and the gold gets told!

4. Easier to access – Twitter is the perfect social networking platform for cell phones. While Facebook has created some great mobile apps, Twitter is WAAAAAAY better for people on the go. 3rd party Twitter apps have sprung up all over the place. My personal favorite is ubertwitter for the Blackberry. These mobile phone clients let me read and update twitter with one click. Being able to instantly post pictures, video, and geolocation is simply amazing.

5. Twitter is real time – At the end of the day, Facebook is bogged down with tons of static information–stuff you’ve already seen and don’t care to see again. Twitter is completely real-time. That means that everything you see is fresh, new, and hot off the presses.

6. Trending topics – When you login to Twitter, there is a list of trending topics on the right sidebar. These are the top ten topics receiving the most worldwide chatter at that exact moment. When in human history have you been able to get an instant pulse on current events? Wow!

7. It makes your brain grow! – The learning opportunities on Twitter are endless! I follow a ton of business owners, authors, pastors, and other experts whose insight into the world is fascinating. What are you interested in? What are you passionate about? Odds are, there are people on Twitter offering a geyser of of information on those things. Jump in and soak it up!

Are you on Twitter? If so, tell us what you like/hate about it in comments!

What are you waiting for? Sign up for Twitter now! And be sure to look me up!

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My 100 Twitter Dads

Posted on 13. Aug, 2009 by .

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I fight the battle at least twice a week now–someone telling me Twitter is stupid, and a waste of time, and blah blah blah. But every day, I think Twitter is better than the day before. Tons of reasons it rocks, but my latest revelation is Twitter as a Mentoring Machine. I lost my dad when I was 19. Thankfully, I’m surrounded by Christian men who push, pull, and punch me every day to make me a better man.

But I’m also impacted by my “Twitter Dads”–Christian giants on Twitter who I’ve never met but let me in on their every day lives. I’d only be able to watch from a distance in the past. For example…

  • @MichaelHyatt, CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers, who shows this single guy what it looks like to love your wife. He and @GailHyatt go for walks in downtown Franklin, TN, several times a week.
  • @AlbertMohler, president of Southern Seminary, who you normally see debating Christianity on CNN. He tweets about fishing with his son.
  • I follow @EdStetzer, missiologist, for Lifeway who has a hilarious sense of humor. He also tweets about losing weight (he’s lost 125 lbs in the last few months).
  • @ShaunAlexander, former NFL MVP, led a kid to Christ in Waffle House a few weeks back. Pretty cool.

These are just a few. Say what you want, but they impact me every day…

…They really have.

I wonder what it would mean to a kid who grew up without a dad?

Twitter can be a very low level of discipleship. The grand Twitter conversation is a hot mess most of the time, but if you listen close, you can hear the sound of iron sharpening iron. I wonder if the church will notice.

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