Response to Nancy Giles about Twitter


Nancy Giles is a regular opinion contributor to CBS Sunday Morning. Normally she has very witty, funny opinionated pieces as part of the show. This past week however I was disappointed. My disappointment was not in that she was taking a jab at Twitter…there are definitely ways to take clever jabs at Twitter and the people who use it, but Nancy Giles didn’t take that route. My disappointment was that she clearly didn’t understand what makes Twitter so powerful and obviously had not used it. Here’s a link to her opinion on YouTube:

Her usual quick and witty opinion piece was about as blunt as a rubber mallet. Here’s the big point you are missing Nancy:

It’s about community

The Monday morning after this aired I went to an event (aka a TweetUp) organized by @AaronStrout in Arlington MA at a little coffee shop called Jam N’ Java at 8AM. I drove an hour in for this event. There were over 75 people who attended this event…all organized through Twitter. Yes Twitter is online but many people in the Twitter community actually like to get together at events as small as this or as large as SXSW. Here’s a picture of @JimStorer @ayemoah @alexa @esangenito and @AaronStrout at the event. photoSome people were networking for their business, some were meeting new people socially, some were continuing conversations they had started online. A few attendees were recently laid off and were there looking for potential employment opportunities or simply just for moral support and great conversation. The conversations were about everything from potential job opportunities in the current economy for a few to my conversation with @srdill about the finer points of vegetarianism.

It’s not about “What you are doing?”

Yes I understand that’s what the Twitter website says but if you actually take a minute to engage the community on Twitter you’d learn it’s less about the mundane “What you are doing?” and more about “What interesting article did you read?” or “Do you think the bailout plan will actually delay economic recovery?” Maybe even helping someone with a flat bicycle tire find a bike shop.

So Nancy Giles while your usual opinion pieces are spot on, this one…frankly was a dud. If you’d learned what Twitter is all about you’d know it’s about making connections, about conversation, it’s about engagement and most of all…it’s about community.



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