From Twit to Tweep: A Groundling in the Twitterverse

Yesterday, I participated in an odd, one hour, “web session” with the Twitter Small Business advertising team where you submitted questions beforehand in anticipation of getting real world answers you could use to promote your small business on Twitter.

Instead getting helpful, direct, answers I was pricked back in time to the beginning of my blogging life and the excellent startup FeedBurner service.

Do you remember this fiery, iconic, logo?

I thought the Twitter seminar would let me ask pinpoint questions and get precise answers — but it didn’t work out that way.  I was pretty much given ordinary, ad hominem advice that amounted to anonymous Twitter employees giving me URLs to information I’d already devoured and I was basing my questions on that information in the primary effort of asking.

The height of my frustration — after not getting answers to why I can spend $5.00USD a day on Facebook Page advertising and come away with 100 LIKES, while spending $11.00USD a day on Twitter averages me FOUR Follows; and when we will be able to advertise to the entire world and not just the UK, USA, Ireland and Canada — was near the end of the session when one of the Tweeps told me I needed to “engage my Followers more regularly.”

Welp, I’ve been online and feeding readers and followers online since 1993 or so — and I update my Social Media streams of Twitter and Facebook and LinkedIn and Google+ at least five times a day seven days a week — and to be so generically talked down to by a company I’m paying for a specific advertising result did not sit right, and I was immediately tossed back in time to my old FeedBurner days in July 2005 when current Twitter CEO, Dick Costolo, was the head fireman at the burn.

I know Dick Costolo has no memory of me or my early blog — but that doesn’t matter — because I remember him and his kindness and his direct helpfulness in getting a sticky RSS matter fixed.  He wasn’t shy.  He didn’t press away responsibility.  He brought in people to get everything right and running.  I remember him for that personal touch and for making my blog work right when nobody else appeared to care.

I mention Dick Costolo now because it makes sense he’s now running Twitter.  He’s a problem solver and a direct disciple of how to provide technical support online. You ask Dick a clear question and you get a transparent answer.  That blunt, time-saving, truth is missing these days online and I wish Dick were involved in the Twitter seminar yesterday because he doesn’t prevaricate or presume to know.  He finds out and answers once instead of pushing you away to a web page with dead content.

As I was murmuring in the afterglow of my Twitter experience, I was reminded that Twitter co-founder Ev Williams is, like me, a good son of Nebraska:

A serial entrepreneur who previously sold website Blogger to Google in 2003, Williams hails from Clarks, Neb., which has a population of less than 400 people. The son of a farmer, Williams attended the University of Nebraska, Lincoln before dropping out to pursue entrepreneurial ventures.

I find it vitally amazing that Ev is a brother of mother earth — and I don’t mind invoking dramatic, specific, memes of the field because I understand them in the groundling way of North Loup – just as Ev, after me, cottoned the sod from Clarks.

Ev is now fully into Medium, and since I missed the Twitterverse as a Tweep, I should not be a Twit and I need to dare to invest more time and insight into exploring his latest divining of what should be planted.  Ev’s track record of being right ahead of the curve is outstanding and sometimes the best way to Follow is to just give in and get along.

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