“How can you possibly communicate anything meaningful in 140 characters or less?” It’s a question I asked myself while being prodded to check out twitter and one I am often asked now.
Boy am I glad I didn’t let my skepticism stop me!
Not only have my interactions on twitter been meaningful, but I consider myself the fortunate recipient of so many gifts given to me throughout the year in 140 character packages.
In the spirit of the holiday season I’d like to share with you 10 ways a simple 140 character tweet can be a gift.
1. The Gift of Sharing and Learning. Whether it is a link to a blog post or article a tweet can be a link to a whole new perspective, knowledge, resource, etc. that you may never have discovered, but are so glad you did. Through twitter I have discovered wonderful authors and bloggers who continually teach and inspire me, as well as enrich my thinking and provide incredible support and motivation.
2. The Gift of Appreciation. Expressions of thanks and gratitude are a common practice on twitter. I am continually reminded of just how powerful “thank you” really is.
3. The Gift of Acknowledgment. Whether it is a private acknowledgment or delivered publicly, letting someone know they provided something of value for you reminds them they matter. One of the most powerful ways we can acknowledge someone is by letting them know we really listened to them. For those of us who blog it can be the fuel that keeps us going and willing to do the hard work of putting our voice and ideas into the world.
4. The Gift of Spreading Your Ideas Around the World. As of this writing I have visitors to this blog from 15 countries. I would venture to say that would not have been possible without people on twitter sharing my posts with others.
5. The Gift of Hope. While 140 character may be the intro to a post or article I have discovered so many stories of hope and am continually reminded of the the power of the human spirit through other people’s tweets.
6. The Gift of Inspiration. Every time I sign on to twitter there is at least one tweet in my stream that is exactly what I needed to hear at that moment. Sometimes it is a quote of someone famous and sometimes it is just words of wisdom delivered by an everyday person willing to take the time to make a difference for others.
7. The Gift of Support and Encouragement. I joke that twitter has become my virtual water cooler. But instead of commiserating I find there is a continual stream of support and encouragement. Sometimes I just show up and listen and am always struck by people’s generosity with each other.
8. The Gift of Friendship. Many people ask me how can you possibly create a meaningful relationship based on the exchange of 140 character tweets. Yet it is amazing how following someone’s tweets can tell you something far more meaningful about who someone is than you would ever learn through chit chat at a cocktail party. Twitter is a great way to connect with people, but of course real friendship gets created in person to person interaction. I talk, skype or meet in real life at least one person I follow on twitter every month. Those connections have led to treasured friendships and trusted colleagues. The tweets were simply the introduction.
A very special thanks to Mike Henry (@mikehenrysr), Erin Schreyer (@eschreyer), Shawn Murphy (@shawmu), Tara Alemany (@eandtsmom), Monica Diaz (@monedays), Anne Perschel (@bizshrink), Kat Tansey (@kattansey), Jane Perdue (@thehrgoddess), Dorothy Dalton (@dorothydalton), Chuck Musciano (@cmusciano & @effectivecio), Jennifer Miller (@JenniferVMiller), Rick Ross (@rickross10). I truly appreciate how generously you have shared your support and wisdom throughout the year.
9. The Gift of Collaboration. For me personally the best example is The Lead Change Group. Through Mike Henry’s inspiration and leadership a wonderfully diverse group with shared values has self organized and is generating great content, learning from and supporting each other. A few are now even now working together and new possibilities for collaboration continue to be explored. You can download the e-book we created on the sidebar to the right on this blog.
Also, check out this month’s Leadership Development Blog Carnival – Special Holiday edition hosted by Jane Perdue this month. Many of these folks met on twitter.
10. The Gift of Partnership. I began this year with an adventure into Online Radio with Lolly Daskal (@LollyDaskal). It was a great experience from which I learned so much and met amazing people. Although we decided to put the project on hold, in the process I gained a treasured friend in Lolly, a woman whose story is a testament to the resilience and triumph of the human spirit.
I end this year having begun forming a new business partnership, @Polymash, with Robyn Stratton-Berkessel (@RobbieCat) and Juergen Berkessel (@JuergenB). POLYMASH offers a set of digital tablet publishing services and technologies for content owners and authors.