Why I Use Twitter: Reason #6

godvertiser —  2009/12/06 — 2 Comments

You’re either in or out. Excited or confused. Optimistic or a party-pooper.

People always ask me why I use Twitter. Without getting into the usual “no, it’s not about broadcasting the flavor of my toothpaste, or any other mundane details of my daily living” conversation, here’s one concrete example that hopefully helps give a better picture for the power of Twitter.

While I know that we’re not to make idols of men (or pastors of really big and successful books for that matter), but to illustrate the point, I’m sharing with you that I recently received a Tweet from none other than . . .

twitter-rick-warren

Yup, it was Pastor Rick Warren himself tweeting me about one of my latest web projects (more on that in other post soon, I promise!).

Twitter, and social media in general, has collapsed the 6 degrees of separation into 1.

You are now able to connect and collaborate with almost anyone else imaginable that’s relevant. It’s not that I tweeted back and forth with this person in particular. It’s the fact that just a couple of years ago, being able to connect, exchange, collaborate with someone like Rick Warren directly would take a lot of energy. Even if he tried to be as accessible as can be to people outside of his network (i.e. people he’s never met before), getting to him when I’m on the east coast, and he’s on the left coast (or somewhere else in the world) just isn’t that practical or easily done. I’ve emailed his “rick@purposedrivenlife.com” email address listed in his books and website before. I’ve been to Saddleback worship services several times before. I’ve called the PDL team when our church launched our own 40 Days campaign before. I’ve gotten what I’vee needed from his ministry organization each time, but getting a chance to interact with Rick Warren directly himself wasn’t really feasible.

Today, with social media, things have completely changed: The friction of access and connection is infinitely reduced because of social media. If you are proactive, purposeful and pleasant (don’t discount that last one!), the possibilities are plentiful.

It’s not just Rick Warren. Whether it’s Leonard Sweet or David Pogue of the NY Times, or even YOU that I’ve tweeted with . . . the fact of the matter is that 6 degrees of separation has become 1.

That’s why I use twitter. What about you?

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2 responses to Why I Use Twitter: Reason #6

  1. great article . . .

    twitter does feel like the early days of email – when you could find people's actual email addresses and get them to respond.

    any thoughts on the shelf like on that?

  2. @Rich – Yes, it definitely feels like that. But unlike email which hasn't really evolved, I think Twitter & co. have some evolving down the road that we'll see. For example, currently social media assumes that you have one identity outward facing to any and everybody. One side fits all. But the truth is that we manage many identities based on the different communities we interact with – family, church, work, friends, friends of friends, customers, bosses, alums, etc. Being transparent to all by default ain't the best route all the times. Facebook provides some level of control – although most don't use it nor know about it. Twitter ignores it. That's why some people have over a dozen different twitter accounts. That's not optimal.

    So I hope that we'll see some new features develop as we continue to learn how to best use and manage our social media platforms to connect with others.

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