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Posts Tagged ‘wasting time on twitter’

The Social Notwork

Are you using Twitter and Facebook productively, or are you just goofing around?

There is no right or wrong answer – you can use these technologies in any way you choose. That’s kind of the point. So go ahead: waste time.

But that’s only okay if it’s your time. If it’s your boss’s, or your colleague’s, or mine, then we have a problem. And if we have a problem, we need a solution. And fast.

So ask yourself some questions: how can I use Twitter more productively at work? Can I use Twitter more productively at work? What does ‘productive’ even mean? And if I figure all of this out, will my boss be okay with it?

These are problems only you can answer. But let me leave you with this: if you’re minimising or hiding away your social networking activity each and every time your boss gets even a little bit close to your screen, you’re already in trouble. Despite appearances, he or she is not as stupid as they seem. In all likelihood, they’ve already noticed, and it’s only a matter of time before you’re called out. So quit the nonchalance, and do the work.

Or you can just shrug your shoulders and carry on goofing around. Hey, it’s worked for you so far. And after all, they’re only the people who sign off on your paychecks.

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I Don’t Have Time To Tweet – Is Twitter Still Useful To Me?

Absolutely. I’m pretty confident you read lots of newspapers, websites and Wikipedia pages in which you don’t make any contribution to the content. Or regularly check an RSS reader but don’t actually have (or update) your own blog. Why should Twitter be any different?

Each individual Twitter account has two information streams – the data that they send out, and the data that they receive. There’s a ton of value in the former (especially for brands), but the latter is more valuable still.

  1. News (big or small) breaks faster on Twitter than anywhere else
  2. Twitter Search allows you to receive real-time updates on any subject 24/7/365 (which you can review at your leisure)
  3. Even tapping into your network on an occasional basis (with specific questions and help queries) can reap significant reward

All you have to do is make sure you are following the right people. This is a relative term – what I mean is the right people for you. This doesn’t mean friends and family. It means clients, competitors, newspapers, blogs, brands and anything else that has an account on Twitter that complements your business or niche.

Keep it optimised and up-to-date, and that data stream is extremely valuable. If you do it all half-hearted and follow any and everybody, then you should expect that value to diminish accordingly.

Think signal over noise. Brace yourself for a couple of spectacular clichés – the more you put in the more you’ll get out, and on Twitter something really is better than nothing. Yes, like anything useful it takes work, but it can all be done in less than 30 minutes a day, ideally over 2-3 brief visits.

I’m busy, you’re busy, everybody is busy. You don’t have the time? Find it. Trust me: the payoff is worth giving up something else.

"Clearly You Have Too Much Time On Your Hands."

This one is a real bugaboo of mine.

Some questions that may sound familar:

  1. How can you spend so much time on Twitter?
  2. Where do you find all those links?
  3. Don’t you have anything better to do?

There’s really no need to justify passion, but here’s your answer: because it interests me. Because it interests the people I care about. Because I see the value. And when something is interesting and valuable, then it’s fairly easy to make that extra effort to accommodate it into your life.

If you don’t see the value, or simply are not willing to, then it’s never going to be important. You’re always going to see that effort as ‘wasted’.

Either find the time, or do not. But please don’t criticise other people because they’re prepared and able to do the work and research that you’ve shown you’re incapable of doing yourself.