To Twitter on Its 5th Birthday

Twitter celebrated its 5th birthday last week. Unlike the five year old in my house, I’m fairly confident Twitter’s party didn’t have an Optimus Prime pinata and a Autobot cake… Twitter’s loss.

Milestones always seem to me like a good time to reflect and ruminate. Of course, I wasn’t there on day one, but I’ve been on Twitter for a while (just over 4 years), and it’s certainly had a big impact on me. A few things that stand out in my mind:

  • I joined in April 2007, but didn’t really start tweeting regularly  until June 2008. Like all applications, it takes time to find your groove, figure out how it fits into your work flow. Does it make life easier/better/more satisfying? My rule of thumb for new Twitter users is to give it 30 days and try to follow/be followed by about 100 people.
  • I’ve sent almost 20,000 tweets in that time. As of today (July 18), I have 5100 followers and 2,690 friends. I learned long ago that these stats had to be about my experience with Twitter and not arbitrary rules about follower ratios or similar nonsense. No, Twitter is not “all about me,” but if the tool doesn’t bring value, then why participate?
  • I average about 15 tweets a day. That’s probably pretty “noisy,” but many of my tweets are connecting to people, not just blabbing for the sake of blabbing. I’m not going to lie, there is definitely blabbing. The @’s and RTs dominate. In fact “rt” is my top word in my tag cloud, followed by the very optimistic sounding: thanks, great, new and good.
  • Twitter, for me, is my go-to platform. It’s the one I use the most and provides the most return on investment for me. Besides, I learned about four of the last five dead celebs from Twitter – now that’s value!

Check out this stellar infographic chronicling Twitter’s history. And share! What do you love (or hate) about Twitter?

by visually via

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  • http://TheProfessorIsIn.com Karen Kelsky

    I love this post! And I love this graphic! I didn’t know about a lot of this. I started tweeting my jewelry side business but couldn’t see the point. Now I’m tweeting my main business, academic advising, and it makes total sense. i can instantly reach people all over the country and world who are preoccupied by the same things! We can all share interesting new updates instantaneously! I used to be a hater. But no more. Twitter rocks!

  • Kelli Matthews

    You’ve seen the light! It definitely takes time and it takes the right topic to make sense. The beautiful thing about social media, generally, is that you can “fail fast.” If one approach doesn’t work, try another! Thanks for the comment, Karen.

  • http://jennastarkey.wordpress.com/ Jenna

    I love this post too, Kelli. And I feel very similar to you about how Twitter has impacted my life. I can definitely agree that it took me some time to get into the swing of it – I think for me it was about six months until I really figured it out. I would have never guessed the platform would become has revolutionary as it has proven to be, and that timeline really showcases it! …Also, I kinda love that your son and Twitter were born the same year. It really emphasizes how, in such a short time, the way we operate day-to-day can shift and change significantly.

  • Kelli Matthews

    Thanks, Jenna! You’ve definitely found your groove. It’s really amazing how much things have changed in just five years.