I am on Twitter (@amanda_pants). Yesterday I sent out my 10,000th Tweet.
That is no major accomplishment or anything. I know lots of people who have tweeted much more than I have. Much like birthdays though, I found coming up on this number I was very reflective on Twitter itself, how my life has changed being a social media nerd and about some of the amazing people I have met on this cyber-journey.
And in case you have not figured this out on your own yet – I know, I think way too much.
So coming up on this Twitter milestone, I started thinking about why I joined Twitter and the people I met in the beginning. In this post I am going to quickly tell you my story and then I asked a handful of other people that influenced me on their thoughts on their early days of Twitter.
Why I signed up for Twitter
I signed up for Twitter in April of 2008. At the time of me writing this I have 3,358 people subscribed to my Twitter feed. When I joined I had just left my job at the radio station and was starting at my new job at Hall. I was sad to leave all my good friends at the station but I was really into nerdy stuff like web design, email marketing and helping people promote themselves on things like MySpace (oh yea, I said it). I knew the internet was what I wanted to be working with and the station just did not have the opportunities available that I needed to grow.
I was told to join Twitter by my friend and recent ex-coworker, Jeff Parsons. I thought, if nothing else, it would be a good way to geek out with Jeff online now that we wouldn’t be in the same office.
In the beginning…
When I started I had no idea what I was going to use this for (sort of like this blog). My original username was amnewell22. That changed after I realized a) this was getting kind of big b) trying to tell people in person my username was challenging and c) an impending marriage (and last name change) was going to make it make no sense.
I slowly started to connect with people in my area and some people that were just saying some interesting things. I did not know then, that some of those relationships I made then were going to change the next few years of my life.
Since joining and being active(ish) on Twitter I have met some amazing people. Some from right here in town that I don’t know if I would have met without the cyber-introduction and others from all over the world. The people I have met have asked me to come to invite-only conferences, to write for them, to share ideas with them or just to meet for a drink to talk about an opportunity.
What I use it for
I use Twitter to hear other people’s ideas, to laugh, as my primary news source, to connect with new people and get to know some people better. I use it to share my thoughts, what I am working on, events I have coming up and ideas I may have.
It is fun and it is easy to do. I can go days without tweeting and some days I tweet 20 times a day. It doesn’t matter. It is a stream of information. If I dip my toe in the stream, I collect some information and talk to some people. If I don’t, no harm – no foul.
People that influenced me in my early Twitter days
I asked some of my early Twitter friends who got them to join Twitter and to share someone that influenced them early on in their Twitter days.
I of course have to start with Jeff Parsons, morning show DJ (and a bunch of other things) for WJBQ who was the one who got me to sign up for Twitter. He also was kind enough to have me as a guest on his podcast ‘Word on the Tweet’ in those early Twitter days.
Jeff Parsons | @jeffparsons | Joined Twitter December ’07 | 1,848 Followers
Next I asked DJ Waldow, the Director of Community for Blue Sky Factory. Before his career at BSF, I remember catching up with DJ around a bunch of topics, including when he was selling his house on Twitter. DJ is a great example of someone using a new tool like Twitter to just extend their personality – in his case his helpful and social traits excel in this space.
DJ Waldow | @djwaldow | Joined Twitter March ’08 | 8,425 Followers
I was VERY skeptical at first. VERY. Dylan certainly influenced me to join. I’ll never forget also getting an @ reply from Guy Kawasaki shortly after I joined. I was thrilled, shocked, amazed, humbled…and HOOKED from that point forward.
I also asked Rich Brooks, President of flyte new media. I had known of Rich for awhile. I really admired the work they were doing over at flyte. From the beginning of my Twitter experience you can always count on Rich for some good tips on internet marketing, a joke or a zombie reference.
Rich Brooks | @therichbrooks | Joined Twitter Nov ’07 | 7,209 Followers
Who got me into Twitter? Blogworld in general, Dave Taylor specifically. However, I saw how stupid it was and stopped using it almost immediately.
Six months later Des Walsh from Australia told me how he helped broker a business deal between someone in Texas and someone in China, and I realized I had missed something, so I went back and gave it another try.
I don’t know who “influenced” me per se, but besides the people already mentioned, Twitter for me got really interesting when I started talking to local people
who I might not have otherwise met.
Keith Luke, Chrystie, Jaica, Justin Ellis and you all come to mind.
So in my early Twitter days I met all these cool people and we were getting really nerdy-excited about all these things we could do online. It was helping us find reviews, new businesses, drive traffic to our websites and more. There was even a little company trying to take all these principles and make them standard and teaching other companies how to do the same. That little company was Hubspot. Hubspot CEO, Brian Halligan, was a huge influencer for me.
Brian Halligan | @bhalligan | Joined Twitter June ’08 | 8,763 Followers
I remember exactly who got me into Twitter — it was @ellieeille. At the time, she was one of our junior marketers and is now working in our product development department. I remember it well because she came to my desk and said something to the effect of “HubSpot and you specifically need to get into this Twitter thing, its gonna be huge.” I said, “Cool, can you show me.” Ellie showed me her latest tweet and it said, “my feet hurt from walking to work in my new shoes.” My response, “Twitter is BS.”
Two weeks later, I was hooked! ( – :
Not bad! So here is to another 10,000 tweets and hundreds of more new friends, experiences and wherever this nerdy social media life takes me.
How about you? Are any of you using Twitter? When did you start and can you remember who got you to start? Did you think it was a joke? Do you still think it is a joke? I would love to hear more stories. I loved just these few I was able to get together!
Photo credit: ryan2point0