Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Twitter And Kneejerk Reactions

“The foolish and the dead alone never change their opinions.”
~James Russell

Yesterday I was interested to read an article about a work-from-home business owner on the trouble they were having getting into the whole Twitter thing. The article was interesting enough as a sharing of perspective but what interested me even more was the comments that followed.

Now I've seen this happen other places, but as the day progressed and more and more comments rolled into to my email notices, I was struck by two things.

The first... at how successful this article was at generating 'heat' from the community in the form of comments. There is a lesson in that and I might have to ponder that a bit more to isolate what that lesson is. Secondly, how willing people are to form opinions - and share them! - with the most scant information to hand.

Now I'm all for people choosing the networks and applications that suit them, but let's be clear here. We don't pick up many things straight off the bat. And less often do we do things very well, without gaining some experience. We try, we stumble and we keep trying and get better at it. If that were not true, we'd none of us be wearing shoes with laces, or even walking for that matter. And yet I don't see many 30 year olds crawling to work on their hands and knees.

Twitter may or may not be something that you need. But here's what you do need. What we all need. A mind that is open to explore and understand, before making snap judgements. It's been said that opinions are like ... well things we all have. That doesn't mean they need to be shown in public.

All this reminds me that Iggy Pintado's book Connection Generation is critical reading for anyone who is engaging in today's community in any way at all. Techie or technophobe, read it to understand some of the people you'll find around you on any day.

What do you think?

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