Wednesday, September 16, 2009

How Twitter is like Purgatory (Dante's Inferno - style)

Back in the ole college days I read Dante's Inferno and since then I have had a very clear image in my mind of purgatory. Thousands of souls ~ with the face of Edvard Munch's The Scream looking up out of a red, foggy, boiling pit...moaning and moaning for attention and release. Sometimes that's what twitter feels like to me. Bits upon bits of information looking up out of a pit moaning for my attention, and ultimately release via the click through. My vision of purgatory has slightly changed recently with the addition of the souls holding Blackberrys, but I digress.

So how do you wade through the lost souls and get to content that is meaningful to you or your company? Here are the 2 methods I find most helpful:

1. Third party tools: If you're reading this blog, chances are you're an information junkie like me. I am constantly struggling to control my urge to read EVERYTHING. New third party tools are born everyday, but the twitter tool that I have been using for a couple of months is hootsuite. Hootsuite (@hootsuite on twitter) allows you to organize your searches with intuitive tab-based columns. Some of mine are process controls industry related info, Hobbies & Interests, Mentions and DM's, and competitive research.

2. The game plan: This is a critical step for me. I absolutely must work "social media" time into my daily plan, otherwise it can easily take over. I'm pretty old-school about my game plan - I still write it down in a notebook. You can use your smart phone, outlook, or your company's calendar or any scheduling program...whatever works for you. As long as you stick to your daily game plan you won't be sucked into twitter purgatory.


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