I get a lot of things wrong. And with something as weird as Twitter was one year into its existence, I didn’t see how it would fit in to what my day-to-day life and my work. I was pessimistic of its success.
In March 2007, during SXSW Interactive, I was pacing in the upstairs lobby of the Hampton Inn in Austin. A reporter from the Wall Street Journal, Andrew LaValee, had called me a few mintues earlier just as I stepped off the hotel elevator. He noticed I had written about Twitter and wanted to get my take on the service. I was more than pessmistic as I found the constant stream of updates distracting.
“I probably started removing people the first week,” said Ryan Irelan, 31, a Web developer in Raleigh, N.C., who began using Twitter last year. “This constant dinging of updates,” he added, “it really just became totally overwhelming. I don’t see how anyone could get anything done.”
I said a lot worse things than that during the interview, including that I saw Twitter as a social tool for teenagers, not for adults who were busy with work and life. Like most journalists who write these types of pieces, Andrew had his own angle he was trying to tell. Fortunately, (for me) he didn’t include in the final article some of the most pessimistic views I shared.
Of course I was wrong. Twitter, while still overwhelming at times, has been important to me for establishing professional and personal relationships, and spreading the word about my training materials at Mijingo.
Twitter is still the first way I promote something new I create and the response on Twitter is usually a good measure of its future success.