Turf & Rec

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Tweeting my way into the 21st century


October 9, 2013
By Mike Jiggens


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Well, I guess I’ve officially entered the 21st century now that I’m on Twitter. Twitter was the one social network I had avoided like the plague ever since it was up and running a few short years ago. In my mind, it was something that appealed more to kids. I had no interest in wanting to know what someone ate for lunch or the latest book he or she had read.

This was the picture of Twitter I seemed to have in my head. As far as I was concerned, Twitter was for twits.
Then I opened my eyes or, more correctly, they were opened for me, and I began to see some value in this form of social networking.

Once I realized that many of the key movers and shakers in the industry were on Twitter, that was the fire lit beneath me to get me on board as well.

Getting to know all the ins and outs of Twitter is still a work in progress for me. No doubt there’s a book in the “Dummy” series that perhaps I can study to get the real hang of it.

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For now, it seems to be working. I have a handful of followers at this time, and I am following several others. Fortunately, they’re not telling me what they had for lunch. The information shared is mostly useful and interesting.

As an editor, I appreciate good spelling and grammar. Twitter seems somewhat counter-intuitive to that in that one’s “tweet” can contain only so many characters. Thus, short cuts are used which compromise any attempt at proper spelling and grammar.

I guess I’m going to have to learn to separate what I read on the printed page vs. that of the electronic screen and not get too flustered at poor (albeit not intentional) English usage.

They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. I don’t exactly consider myself an old dog, but I’ve managed to catch onto a number of new tricks over the past dozen or so years. I’ve learned such things as website maintenance, a few new computer-related skills and now Twitter.

It is amazing to think that in only the course of the two decades I’ve been associated with this publication that networking has become this instantaneous and far sweeping. Nothing like this existed 20 years ago. If one individual in the industry needed a particular bit of information, he would call another person and another and another until he got the answer he sought.

Now, it’s a quick mass tweet and hundreds will get the message. Responses will come back by the dozens in no time. It’s a little impersonal, perhaps, but it does get the job done.

One day in the not-too-distant future the next big thing will come along, and it will be a new learning process. What that will be and what it will do is a mystery, but, at the rate the computer world is moving, it’s likely to be soon.

For now, I’m not going to get all uptight about what’s on the way. I’m going to devote my time to learning all I can about the tools which are currently available, and that includes Twitter.

I can be followed on Twitter @MikeTurfRec .