Thursday, October 13, 2011

Our One Year Twitter Anniversary

As usual all links provided keep you here on this blog unless otherwise indicated.

One year on Twitter…

Is it our anniversary, or our birthday? Right, who cares.

We don’t remember much from the early months, when The Other Girl started the Twitter account, we had much less say in almost every facet of our life. We do know that she used to tell Fabulous Person/People she though Twitter was dumb, preferring *sigh* Facebook over the illustrious Twitter. (She had an embarrassing Farmville habit)

But it so happened she knew enough about internet, computers & the concept of Social Media, and had discussed Twitter enough with Fabulous Person to pick up a bit on the basics, that last October our place of employment (at the time) was to do its very first Tweet-a-Thon fundraiser and The Other Girl became appointed the official social media person (and within months was titled Social Media Manager) because she was the one with the most knowledge about social media in general in the company…even at her, our, very limited capacity.

That day, the meeting where they, the Chair of the Board of Directors, decided The Other Girl would take over and start doing social media as part of her job (with no job description, or any expectations outlined...not even after they fired us), they gave her a shiny new smart phone, a Blackberry Torch…and with that she decided to open her own personal account so she could learn more about Twitter from that. We don’t recall her being very active in the first few months…and in those days she had the name that appears on our birth certificate (the one the world is forced to address all of us by) attached, very briefly.

We do know there was occasion where one of us would use Twitter in the company of The Other Girls friends (The Other Girl had Facebook attached to the phone and would use that). TNB, her best friend, highly disapproved of Twitter, and most things internet, so use in social situations was limited.

Last week we were talking with Fabulous Person about The Other Girls, & our, early Twitter use and she says that it was fairly similar to what we say now, except WAY less of it all...and we know she still didn't really like it that much. Again, it was her Facebook account that she enjoyed.

Enough of that. Bottom line, WE'VE been active on Twitter since mid-January, finally taking complete control of everything, including this blog, in early February.

So, one year on twitter, what have we learned?
  • There is no way to understand the complexity of why people follow or unfollow, we have grown to have over 7,300 followers in a year, we get unfollowed on an average of 20 times a day.
  • We've learned lots of terms/words that would make most adults blush in conversation (bukkake is probably our favourite this past year), and some silly ones (plank & owl, to name two).
  • We've learned the ins and outs of #hashtags – which have a variety of uses which we don’t intend on explaining today.
  • We've learned tips about doing a proper #FF. For example, unless the #FF comes before the @’s, the only people who see it are mutual followers, followers who are already following the people you are trying to get them to follow, which defeats the purpose…put it in front of the first @ and all of a sudden all the people following both of you can see it, not just the ones who are following you both. Same goes for general conversation. Write something before you address the person with their @ and all the people following both of you, not just the mutual ones, can see your conversation.
  • We've learned more, and continue to learn more every day, about social media, it's trends, it's intricacies, and it's affect on society, relationships, mental health, and more...
We took a random screen shot of our general timeline to provide some illustration of what we mean...

First, you're going to ask...what are those little orange Ks, with numbers....we'll write more about that when we do one of our next social media themed blog entries. (it's an extension we have installed in our browser, would be the quickest explanation).

- Now. Skipping down to @MJSmith91's tweet: Everyone that follows her AND everyone that follows @santa__clause will see that Tweet, regardless of a mutual/shared following - if she had started the tweet with the @ then only mutual followers would see it. Do you get what we mean? Say she's got 100 followers, and @santa__clause has 65,900 followers. There are a total of 66,000 potential viewers of that tweet.

- Next we'll use @DarkSideIntern (who we enjoy talking to, he's an interacter with us on occasion) as an example of what we would consider a Limited Tweet. He is in a conversation, which means the first symbol in the tweet is an @. Only mutual followers, those following both himself and @LightSideIntern will have the potential to see that conversation, so say they share 200 mutual followers of their combined 3236 followers, only those 200 followers, without searching his Profile Timeline, it being RT'd (some conversations get RT'd), or possibly if someone did a search for something like 'basement' or 'Death Star', will have easy access to that tweet.

- And then there is the tweet by @eflirtjillofall. That's an Open Tweet, everyone who followers her has the ability to read that Tweet. Only the roughly 1392 people who follow her can read that unless it gets RT'd.

That was probably a very dry (confusing) explanation, and of course serves as our social media tip of the week.

Sure, you may know all that already, but maybe not, and that's why we write. Just last week we explained the #FF hashtag tip with a follower on Follow Friday (#FF), and have on more than one occasion assisted people in learning about the in's and outs of how #FF and @'s work, as well as answering other questions - sometimes we get a lot of DM'd questions about social media, AND mental illness.

How do we know this stuff? Because of the plethora of people who've helped us over the year learn more about how to effectively use Twitter, and our natural curiosity towards all things. Mostly we love to learn by application.

In the year on Twitter we have learned that it is a microcosm of society, where there are real, and not so real, relationships, people, problems, support systems, friends, enemies, evil and good. Just like in real life.

We have made friends, made acquaintances, used it to be an advocate for mental health, promote our writing, and our new friends' writing, to help promote communication. We met the man of (some of) our dreams on Twitter...we plan to meet some of our new found social media friends next year on our adventure traveling the USA...

One year on Twitter transformed our life...but more importantly, it saved our life during one of the darkest, confusing, alone times we have ever experienced.

We've seen open tweets, and sent a #ditto their way, where a Tweep thanks their followers, and Twitter, now and again, for being there for them when they needed them, in whatever way they felt Twitter/Tweeple were there for them...because they understand what we understand, that for some people, this past year at least...Twitter saved lives.

From depression, to more severe cases of mental illness, to divorce, unemployment, trying to deal with a world constantly at war with each other, Twitter is a place where people from many walks of life can come together, learn more about that which television tells them, first hand from people who choose to share their REAL life...if they are open to it. Twitter is also a place where people come to press an agenda of hate, intolerance, lies and misinformation. Like we's a microcosm of the world.

One year on twitter and we're not "better" persons, but we are; we're more in tune with the hardships of everyone in society, we feel less alone, we've helped others feel less alone, we feel like we have a support group on many different levels, and have created mini support groups among our followers...people who entertain us, people who we entertain, people who are there to lend an ear, and us the same, people who we are happy to call not just our followers, but our friends.

Just in this year alone our Twitter friends have "watched" us go from a collective who was afraid to leave their apartment (ask @NickSilly, there was a time when he had wished that we would leave the apartment...he is our friend) when most every person who was close to us before our "mental breakdown" took an opportunity to shit on us (this blog is full of those stories); Who "watched" us carry on an office affair with our manager/friend; They were there the day we inadvertently live-tweeted our firing; They were there the day we got a great new job (we got three of those fake Favstar awards [ToD's] that day for the tweet about getting hired on the spot); the day we found out we couldn't keep the job, and now have to move back home. And so much more we cannot even describe.

These people who others claim are not real were there while we struggled (again) with mental illness all year, they were there when we met an amazing man on Twitter (via our good friend, blogger, and #TwitterBitch @singlemomdate), they read our tweets as we waited for him (@mr_jmm) at the airport, and still check in to see how things are going...followers and friends who we hope will see us through another year, but a better year, those who can share in fun times as we travel, meet them, party with them, have meals with them, talk to them, get to know them...even if only once face to face.

We can't even describe all the things we've watched from our side either, engagements, divorces, car accidents, followers talking to us about being put on meds for the first time, struggling with mental illnesses, seeing a psychiatrist for the first time, dealing with issues in their lives, losing loved ones, frustrations with goes on and one.

Now, ain't that a bunch of soppy shit?

It's no secret, despite the fact we've been less active on Twitter lately than normal, we love Twitter to the point of an addiction...

One year on twitter, meeting amazing people, sharing lives, stories, laughs...will get you that addiction.

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