Small Talk

Many people who don’t actually “get” Twitter find it easy to dismiss it as a bunch of not-very-social people exchanging useless trivia with fellow avatars.

We know better, of course. But the fact is, that we DO often share a lot of stuff that is, in itself, seemingly trivial. And here’s why I LIKE that:

We’re simply doing what friends, neighbors, and co-workers have done forever. It’s small talk. And it helps build relationships.

SmallTalkYou see, I’m involved in these networks, not just to mine professional information (in which case the discussion I just had this morning about eggs for breakfast would be noise rather than signal), but to build relationships. To pre-meet people. To do what normal people do every day and everywhere – talk about their day, share a picture, rate the wine they just tried, share an amusing story about their dog or kids…whatever. This small talk is the glue that binds us together in humanizing relationships.

It’s great to share links and other resources, and I do it all the time. Twitter is wonderful for that. But I’m building a network of colleagues and friends. And that doesn’t happen without small talk.

Anyone connected to me knows that I upload photos, make bad puns, share personal anecdotes, and seek to be pretty transparent on-line. The reason is simple – I’m not an information machine. I’m a person. And so are you. I like the glimpses into your life, because when I finally meet you, I feel like I already (partly) know you.

For those of us who are solo entrepreneurs, Twitter IS our water cooler. My network of people is my surrogate pool of office-mates. Most people have no clue how valuable it is for me not to be “alone” on a daily basis as I build a business, learn, grow, and explore the world. Yes, I have my “real-life” family and friends right here in NJ, but (because I really hate that distinction) I have my “real-life” network all over the world, and it’s been an absolute pleasure pre-meeting and then meeting many of you.

So, next time someone disses Twitter, simply let them know that they tweet all the time. Just in a smaller pool than you do.

I do wish I was having eggs this morning…

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About Steve Woodruff
Steve Woodruff is a blogger, a Connection Agent, and a consultant in the pharma/healthcare industry. He specializes in helping people and companies make mutually beneficial connections.

5 Responses to Small Talk

  1. @StetsonClowes says:

    Timely post. I think a lot of the twitter bashing is driven by two things: 1) the media has always been rather catty when covering other (competing) media outlets so you get potshots taken at twitter all of the time, and 2) of course everyone is looking to the next thing whatever that is going to be.

    Personally I enjoy knowing what big media minds like Jarvis, Shirky, Kawasaki, Brogan & co are thinking real time and twitter is a terrific medium for that. But it makes it more fun and richer to overlap that with other tweets from people who may be outside of the media business and or outside of the US. I also enjoy following my kids–getting a tweet from them while I am at work gives me a little unguarded slice of their day that I would not have received otherwise.

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