One morning my good friend Kevin Mullett (two L’s two T’s) tweeted, “Searching posts to engage w/on Twitter: Promotion, overused quote, promotion, big bucket of nooope, animated gif…” I replied with, “Good morning what do you want to discuss?” I wondered aloud if we posted the hashtag #ChatChat if we could start a conversation on THE Twitter. We could, and we did.
Here’s What Happened Next
A1 Seems to me that Twitter has largely been relegated to promotion and consumption. @kmullett
There’s worthwhile conversation in the stream, but you do need to swim past the garbage –@quickmuse
The beauty of Twitter is that what we choose whether we collect “garbage” (except for spammers, whom we block and report). @JohnWLewis
I’ve often thought that there should be a “tax” on social media polluters! @quickmuse
Q2 Can social interaction be revived on Twitter or is it too late? #ChatChat
The part that baffles me is when people are having a difficult go at interacting on Twitter, as if it’s any different. @ideabloke
A2 I suspect it has to do w/ the inability to be brief, succinct, to the point, you know, to stop rambling on & pay att. @kmullett
I run into the same challenges at live networking events, sifting through promotional pitches. @quickmuse
Q3 What can anyone do to promote conversation and sociability on Twitter? #ChatChat
A3 Look for opportunities, then act on them. Such as you did this morning which has yielded unexpected results. @kmullett
A3b: It’s funny that people expect others to do what they themselves are not willing to do, i.e. chat, retweet, comment, engage. @kmullett
A3: For starters, they might want to refrain from automating their tweets/posts. @ideabloke
Just sayin’ Automated DM’s are THE worst. – @randyclarktko
Such as, “Hi, we just connected, and this is crazy, but here’s my pitch, buy my crap maybe?” @kmullett
Q4 How, when and where have you found conversation on Twitter? What’s your best advice? #ChatChat
A4 I’ve had limited success with Twitter polls, and daily questions. The best way is to reach out and answer others questions. — @randyclarktko
A4: Chats bring in willing, like-minded–to subject or purpose anyway–people. That and answering other people’s questions. @kmullett
There was More
Four more questions in fact, but you get the idea. A few other friends joined in, and Kevin and I made new friends who were like-minded about putting the social back in Twitter. Our question was answered. Should we accept a Twitter that’s all about as Kevin put it, “Promotion, overused quote, promotion, big bucket of nooope, animated gif…” The answer is no.
What started as a casual question became a conversation among peers. There was little promotion, one quote, a ton of interesting thoughts, and it was funny. There were a couple of GIFS, but who doesn’t love Cartman?
So What’s the Point?
The point is quit gripping and go make change happen. If you believe there’s too much promotion on Twitter, stop following folks that only self-promote, start looking for people who have something to say. Answer questions, like and retweet, start a Twitter chat. Be the change you want to see. It has to start somewhere, doesn’t it?