Twitter – Are you all of a flutter? Or still sitting on your perch?

Twitter turned five in March 2011

Twitter

It was 3 years before the billionth tweet was sent.

Today, a billion tweets fly through the Ethernet every week :)

While nearly half a million people sign up for Twitter every day, only 21 million are classed as ‘active’ Twitter users, meaning they follow 30 people (or more).

I joined Twitter two and a half years ago, then spent the first six months sitting on my perch observing – but as any little bird would know, you don’t get any worms up there.

Journey Jottings on Twitter


Twitter is a global village

– You pop down the Main Street and bump into different people each day depending on who is out and about – As in any regular social street encounter you make passing comments. You hear highlights of news… personal problems… soaring triumphs. Over time these little conversations add up until as in real life, relationships develop and you become part of Twitter’s global community.

As in any community some relationships flourish and deepen, whilst others remain more superficial. That’s a reflection of life.

I’ve developed some fantastic relationships with people that don’t occupy my local neck of the woods so my engagement with them simply wouldn’t have been possible, if not for Twitter. This has led me to:

lakeandcaravan Twitter

 

Connecting with holiday and tourism related businesses from as far afield as Cape York in Queensland to the Spa region of Victoria, and who we’ve gone on to supply with our Map Journals and Mail-It Maps.

 

NancyGeorges Twitter

Engaging with fellow businesswomen, resulting in meeting face to face at Tweet Ups when I’ve travelled interstate, where we’ve got to hear each other’s voices and the sound of our laughter.

 

Kirsty_Wilson Twitter

 

Meeting with Tweeps on holiday when they’ve come to Queensland – and with whom the relationship has then solidified so I’ve engaged them to supply services to my business.

 

 

rockytravel Twitter Michela Fantinel

Connecting with holidaymakers and travellers who tell us when and where they’ve bought, or used one of our maps ~

@rockytravel Michela Fantinel

@journeyjottings ‘oh yes, I’ve got a beautiful Australia-Map!’

And then to make contact as they pass on their travels around Australia. to say ‘Hi’  :)  [I wrote a post about meeting up with traveller in Australia: Michela!]

Annie Payne

@annie_histheart Annie Payne

@journeyjottings “Used your map to chart our journey from Perth to Adelaide, Linda – a great memento to keep.”

 

kelvinlls Kelvin Lim Twitter

 

@kelvinlls Kelvin Lim

@journeyjottings “I saw your products sold in Uluru airport and shops at the resort! Pretty neat! I collect fridge magnets & got one of yours”

 

Unlike a village (or shopping centre) encounter

– On Twitter you join in any conversation with anyone.

Where IRL (in real life) you’d be eyed somewhat warily approaching a previously unknown person and engaging in a conversation – this is where Twitter comes into its own

Gary Vaynerchuk was the first I heard of expounding how he searched for people on Twitter talking about wines (his interest) to which he’d join in their conversation offering advice, help, assistance and so engage with potential customers.

I use the Twitter Search function to see who is talking about ‘travel’ in ‘australia’ and if I can bowl in with a suggestion of where to go or what to do, I will – I was recently contacted by a tweep in Melbourne who was moving to Brisbane and wanted to know if there was a cycle way crossing the Gateway Bridge – Within minutes he had an answer :)

Twitter turns the world into your oyster

- with the ability to chat to anyone, I engage with:

Fellow businesswomen, travellers, travel destinations and tourist attractions both here in Australia and from around the world.

I group my interests together into ‘lists’ so, to name a few, I have created a:

As numbers grow (I currently follow over 3,000 tweeps and have 5,000 following my antics) it makes it easier to see who is saying what in my various areas of interest, and is also a way of sharing with the wider community of Twitter users the connections that I’ve taken the time to make, so they can simply follow these lists if that is where their interest lies.

It’s fun the number of travellers who are using Twitter, and who are blogging about their experiences on the road. I get the impression many use Twitter as a pool for launching their blog posts, so Twitter is virtually a ginormous RSS feed. What a brilliant resource.

There’s also Travel Talk on Twitter #TTOT

– a Twitter get together for travel lovers.

Go onto Twitter on any Tuesday at 9.30am and/or 9.30 pm Greenich Mean Time and you’ll see 5 questions based around the weekly theme – a travel topic or region – which are posed every 10 mins during the hour, using the hashtag* #TTOT.  (*No matter who you’re following, the #hashtag allows you to see any question or answer that contains this search mechanism: #TTOT). It’s therefore possible for anyone and everyone to follow the fast moving stream of conversation.

If you’re not already on Twitter go to Twitter Search and enter the search term: #TTOT. You’ll then see this week’s question and the myriad of answers that flow in from travellers around the globe, all purporting their views and suggestions on the topic –  Previous topics have included Oceania, Travel Photography, Round the World Travel, Wildlife Travel, Problem Solving on the road… Go to http://search.twitter.com and see what information you can glean from those on the front line.

#TTOT Travel Talk on Twitter

Editor’s Note: There’s also a #expchat on a Thursday! Click #expchat for details :)

But, like any village, Twitter is a transient place

- people come and people go.

Its strange when you’ve been conversing with someone you’ve been seeing around the traps (or in Twitter speak ‘in the stream’) and they ‘disappear’, and you’re left wondering….  It seems I’m not the only one who worries!

Jack McClane, of A Blog About Nothing… Much put up a post last month asking did anyone know of the whereabouts of an active Tweep who last September ceased to post with a ‘final’ tweet saying:

“Sometimes being sick, lasts a long, long time. I haven’t had much energy to keep on things lately. I am getting better though!”

Having interacted with her I too was left thinking was she OK? How is she now? It’s interesting how deep a relationship can become through the Ethernet and in 140 character bursts ~ You’d think on Twitter one’s connections would be merely a fleeting tweeting passing in the stream relationship but real friendships are formed.

Twitter is a village on a global scale where you meet people beyond the confines of your geographic area, and are able to directly approach anybody from any echelon, without any fanfare (with 140 characters to play with, things have to remain concise and to the point).

It’s a place where trials and tribulations are shared, frustrations vented and successes celebrated.  It’s a place where links to quirky facts and interesting items can be universally enjoyed and shared. Twitter is a place that reflects the diverse spectrum of lives and interests from across the world.

Twitter relationships are slow to develop and require gentle nurturing to maintain

- As they are in real life!

On the face of it, Twitter may appear to be a stream of instant messaging, but instant messaging doesn’t equal instant friendships or acceptance into the fold. Relationships whether face to face or in the Ethernet require constant work – They can never be taken for granted.

Today, the fabric of traditional ‘village’ life is being replaced with sprawling suburbs and characterless shopping centres. More and more people are working from the confines of their homes where Twitter is a way of connecting, communicating and spreading the word. It’s a global village of gossip, which in some cases spreads like wildfire (or in Twitter speaks ‘goes viral’) or is left to quietly flow down the stream to be lost at sea.

Twitter is the 21st century’s version

of plain old fashioned word of mouth  :)

If you want to know the global ‘gos’ – Twitter is the place to be!

Are you on Twitter?

Who have you got to know?

Leave your Twitter handle in the comments below

so we can get to know *you* :D

Rainbow visions for 2011

Its New Year’s Eve!

An evening of optimism and anticipation ~

New Years Eve is like a rainbow ~

No matter how dark or stormy the end of year may be, a glimmer of sunshine always filters through to create a streaming arch of colour lifting you up, and over, and who knows, maybe to that elusive crock of gold awaiting on the other side!

Irks from the last year are shed, and possibilities for the new year planned ~

What dreams and aspirations lie somewhere over your rainbow?

Here in Queensland we’ve had wild weather over the festive season ~ In fact we saw record low temperatures in November, record rainfall in December and our dams that were dangerously low (down to 20% capacity) are now overflowing. But with that comes sights like this from our office window :)

What lies at the end of that rainbow?

Will 2011 be the year we find out? ;)

Keep me posted in the comments below!

My Artist’s Date

At times the world seems quite manic.

Family life feels fast and furious, business gets busier and there’s a constant race servicing the needs of family members, business colleagues and company customers.

With so much energy pouring out of the pot (solving other people’s problems) one can’t help but cry

“What about ME!!”

In her series of Artist’s Way books Julia Cameron refers to the risk of your ‘well’ being sucked dry… not good for your family, your business and of course most importantly YOU!! ;)

To ensure the well gets replenished she talks of making anArtist Datewith yourself where you go on:

“A solitary expedition with your ‘creative self’ into new, interesting, and expansive territory. Expeditions do not need to involve ‘high art’. They might be a trip to an aquarium store, a concert, a used-record store, a drive in the country – anything that ‘fills the well’ – for you. Artist dates are undertaken alone.”

I love my ‘Artist’s dates’ so, on Saturday I went to GoMA (Brisbane Gallery of Modern Art), which always re-hydrates me!

I chose to leave the Valentino retrospective for another day ~ And headed to the upper gallery where some beautiful indigenous works caught my eye ~
Here  is a detail from a work by Angelina Ngal portraying an ethereal landscape  of her grandfather’s Arlparra country in the Eastern Desert:

Arlparra Country (detail) 2006 by Angelina Nga

A stark contrast to Robert Macpherson’s hardware paintbrushes demonstrating how inspiration can flow from anything ~ even down to formulating the colours used and matching their proportions ;)

I couldn’t help but be attracted to this with its global map projection appearance ~

And it always amuses me when does a straight line become a curve ? ;)

While most of the galleries are enclosed, there are some beautiful large windows that connect the inside art with the outside world ~

I loved this view of a futuristic feeling sculptural work that hummed at various electronic frequencies depending on your proximity to it juxtaposed, out of the window, against a classic pioneering Aussie icon the wind mill to one side and what seems to be becoming a modern day city icon on the other, a ferris wheel!

Past, Future & Present

Past… Future… Present

And looking out the other way towards the William Jolly Bridge an image of  merging cultures.

William Jolly Bridge, Brisbane

On the river-side of the gallery is the new walking bridge that links South Bank to the City, offering a short-cut up to Roma Street Parklands ~ Called Kurilpa Bridge, the word Kurilpa was a term used by the original Aboriginal inhabitants in the West End Area meaning a ‘place for water rats’.

Feeling replete from the absorption of fresh new sights and sounds, and inspired by all manner of concepts taking my thinking bouncing off at tangents, I’m feeling fired back up and ready to burn ;)

You got to burn to shine!

You Got To Burn To Shine

John Giorno

Tell me in the comments below…

Do you make and take Artist’s Dates?

What do you like to do, or

where do you go to replenish your soul? :)