Twitter turned 10 years old, and I, like many others, have been reflecting on what it means to me.
Twitter tells me that I joined it in July 2008. I remember the day, vividly. I was following a thread on an online forum, where academics were sharing experiences of using Second Life, Facebook, Twitter, etc… and I thought I had better check it out for myself.
Using Twitter has had tremendous impact in my work. For instance, I used it in the classroom. I ‘met’ a fellow academic with whom I later co-authored a paper on social media crises – we have yet to meet face to face or, indeed, talk on the phone. Moreover, I have researched Twitter’s potential in segmentation, customer service, and word of mouth. And I wrote about the challenges of collecting and analysing twitter data.
Twitter also had tremendous impact on how I see the world. These are some of the key moments in Twitter’s 10-year history.
The best of Twitter, though, are the people.
So, in honour of Twitter’s 10th anniversary, I compiled a list of 10 really interesting tweeps I met on Twitter. Some of them, I went on to meet face to face. Others, remain a virtual connection. Every single one of them offer a peculiar view of the world. Here they are, in alphabetical order.
@AdelePrince – I first met Adele, a visual artist based in SE London, via #janathon. Janathon is an initiative to get people running in January, and when I started following Adele’s janathon’s adventures, she was struggling to run a couple of miles per day. Today, she has completed various races and triathlons, and inspires others to run.
@AnamariaLeonte – I came across Ana-Maria through the #FinTech hashtag. I was following discussions about an event dedicated to the role of technology in the financial sector, and her tweets kept coming up. As it turns out, technology is not Ana-Maria’s only talent. She is also an actor, who played Dasha Promenti in Star Wars – The Force Awakens.
@arjantupan – I met Arjan via #TTOT, a community interested on travel topics. He often posted about the people, rather than the places, which I found very interesting. He is also a poet who, in 2012, wrote and posted a poem everyday. He now lives in Germany, and tweets about entrepreneurship and start-up issues.
@dirkvl – Dirk is an academic, with a particular interest on museums and arts. I don’t remember how I first came across him. After interacting on Twitter for a while, Dirk contacted me to co-author a paper on social media crises. We did – and while I know one of the other authors, personally, I have never actually met Dirk face to face.
@iagdotme – Ian is the most recent connection, on this list. I started following him because of a personal recommendation. He is digital marketer, based in the UK, and he is very active on various channels. I find him very generous – sharing his experiences, what he reads, reacting to what you say… And, of course, I am learning a lot with him.
@keith_wilson – I am not sure how I first came across Keith. I think it was around the time of one of Apple’s product launches. At the time, he was a PhD student, in philosophy. He has since graduated, married, moved to Glasgow and had a child – not necessarily in this order. He muses on politics, technology, academia and life in general, with typical British humour. Probably, Twitter’s king of hashtags.
@LetaHong – Again, I don’t remember how I came across Leta. Maybe through the #AcWri community. Through her tweets, I have learned a lot about gender issues in China and, in particular, about gender inequality and how single women are portrayed in the media.
@markwschaefer – I remember how I met Mark! He started following me. I checked his profile and I really liked his content. These were the early days of Twitter, and I found his content extremely helpful in terms of making sense of what was going on, and what all of this meant for marketing. Mark is a famous blogger, author, consultant and speaker. He also has a great podcast, called the Marketing Companion, which I recommend to every marketer I come across.
@MirandaKeeling – I came across Miranda because a colleague retweeted some of her tweets, and they brightened my day. Miranda regularly tweets observations about daily life – excerpts of conversations she hears, comments about a commuter’s posture… She turns the mundane into poetry, in 140 characters. Check her Lost Lectures talk, here.
@mystudiouslife – Jenn is a computer science academic, based in Malaysia. I met her during the first #acwrimo initiative (academic writing month – inspired by #NaBoWriMo), when she was studying for her masters’ degree. We share a love of coffee and use of technology in teaching. Oh, and husbands who love gadgets.
I have certainly met many bright minds and kind hearts on Twitter. What about you?