Saturday, March 19, 2011

Find your expression in 140 characters or less.

My love affair with Twitter started in 2008. Now many many followers and ten thousand plus tweets later, I can’t even begin to explain what Twitter is capable of.

Imagine standing in a room full of thousands of interesting people. Then imagine that everyone can hear everything everyone else is saying clearly and effectively. Imagine being able to choose who you want to listen to, who is just plain faffing, and who just said what you were about to say. Imagine finding resonance with hundreds of people on topics that you always thought were outlandish or specific only to you. Imagine getting up to an email saying, “His Holiness The Dalai Lama is now following you.”

A lot has been said about Twitter that is subjective. So I’ll keep this factual and simple. I started Twitter because I had moved to Gurgaon and didn’t have any friends and we started meeting up quite a bit. Restaurants on Twitter would offer discounts if we met up at their places. We would be abreast of the latest happenings in the city, and the latest news in the world. Free invites to concerts, brand launches and a direct line to any celebrity/author/tycoon/your ideal as an equal was quite an experience.

Twitter soon got me a new job, a better apartment, a supercool roommate, numerous professional assignments, a support system of thorough-bread, self-made professionals who also became friends for life, and a place to opine unusual ideas and embrace a thousand point-of-views.

In early 2010, I quit my job and offered to handle Facebook and Twitter accounts for a few startups while traveling. That gave me bread to survive for over 6 months. I soon moved to Goa for work and everywhere I went, I had tweeple waiting to hang-out with.

In 2010, I joined the editorial team for a design magazine. Experience and influence on FB and Twitter helped us make the magazine popular in design and advertising circles and saved us immense marketing dollars. I had decided to move to the best ad school in the world at Germany for higher studies, and looked up many students of the school to speak to them of their experiences. This told me if I would fit, and if it was the right choice.

A lot of people come and tell me that they tried Twitter and it didn’t work out for them, or that it’s become a dating site. In recent times, due to rapid publicity, the quality of conversations has definitely been on a decline. But Twitter is like the rest of the world, where you meet all kinds of people. You have to find your kind of crowd and find people that you connect with. A lot of wisdom and insights are still to be shared on Twitter, you just have to find the first few interesting tweeps, and find your expression in 140 words, or less.

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