It’s ubiquitous, isn’t it – I’ve been on Twitter, now, just short of a year and have passed the miracle milestone… the blog flows from the number just as my network of contacts flows from one site to the next.
So: this is the post where I reminisce, list what I’ve learned, whom I’ve met, the experiences, the expected and the unexpected that I’ve braved since the bird’s beak first bit.
Well, the first thing is the learning process is continuous, of course; the amphitheatre of information that surrounds the Twitter hub is ever-changing; there will always be something else to understand.
My personal victories have been small things – technical fixits, firing tweets and utterz from FP events into nothingness, dusting off knowledge from my long-mothballed degree and a recent magical moment when joec0914 sold Twitter, lock, ‘bot and global potential, to my sceptical partner with this.
There have been wonderful flashes when I’ve inspired a friend – or they me – and times I’ve been overwhelmed by the responses of my friends to the words ‘Forbidden Planet’. That first ‘what am I doing here?’ blog post is now quite charmingly naïve.
Dig a little deeper, though, and I catch a realisation like the early Twitter bird catches the worm: what I’ve learned isn’t a long list of little things – it’s one very simple one.
Why is it easier to motivate myself to do something for someone else? For five hundred someone elses?
To phrase it another way: how many of us cook a full dinner when there’s only us in the house..?
Every person who responds to my blind tweets from a Forbidden Planet signing is making my individual challenge easier to overcome – and if I expand that realisation fractally through the twitterverse, our amphitheatre is filled with a thousand thousand tiny motes of personal empowerment.
And each one carries someone forward to meet their own challenge.
Okay, okay, it’s pretty and it’s visual; it dazzles with my own Danacea-branded idealism… Putting my shades on for a second: this is still a ‘What I’ve learned so far’ blog post – and the bottom of those rising seats is a place we’ve all sat to navel-gaze...
Yep – fluff.
As Twitter grows, so the fractal pattern multiplies. And here’s one of the things I haven’t learned – why our community doesn’t fragment.
My ‘Viking’ past is known to some; the bonds that tied the friendships of my twenties together were enormously powerful and remain strong to this day. But ten years in re-enactment taught me that no group grows beyond two dozen people – it divides, cliques form, social stresses and power struggles begin.
Why is Twitter (largely) immune?
I don’t have an answer to this; I’m intrigued. Is it because there’s no single leader – people earn their own respect? Is it because our Twitter friends are three-quarters real; soft-focus, seen through the light of the screen? Is it because it’s self-policing, the follower/following bonds are organic and the flow of communication voluntary?
Or it is simply because we can turn it off when it gets too much?