Tonight, I clocked up my 50,000th tweet. It looked like this:
It’s no secret that I REALLY dig Twitter. It solved a whole lot of online communication questions for me when I found it. I cut back on my posting on forums, and eventually even deleted the forum on my own site in favour of encouraging the regular posters there to head over to Twitter and talk in a more democratic environment.
I loved the fact that I was no longer stuck in a subject-specific space, or one where I people had to sign up to be in my gang before joining the conversation. It’s not my conversation, after all, it’s a global free-for-all.
Except it isn’t. I mean, technically it is, but actually the only bit of Twitter that concerns me at all is the people I follow and the people who follow me. And occasionally the people who tweet using a hashtag I happen to be following.
I am, as the 50K Tweets would suggest, a power-user. I document my life in this way. I use it to:
- Talk with my audience in a way that has replaced my email list,
- Talk with musicians in way that has replaced myspace,
- Talk with my family in a way that has replaced email,
- Talk with my colleagues in Amplified in a way that has replaced wikis
- Talk with anyone who’s interested in a way that’s replaced chatrooms/generic forums.
…and by ‘talk with’ I mean all the myriad forms of communication that go on there – chat, debate, encourage, learn from, teach, swap links, post news… anything that’ll fit in 140 characters.
It’s clearly an open, messy, FUN way of communicating that I love. I don’t have to keep track of loads of different websites – I do have 10 different twitter accounts, but most of them lie dormant at the moment. SoloBassSteve is where pretty much everything happens, and for some unknown reason there are (currently) 4836 people who have seen fit to follow me. Some may be spammers, but I’ve blocked and deleted AT LEAST 3 times as many followers as I’ve allowed to stay. Any spam accounts I cleared out… I’ve definitely had well in excess of 12-13,000 follow notifications, I just didn’t want either a misleading amount of followers, or to leave those accounts without some registering a ‘spam’ click next to them…
But, in the last 3 years, most of the good things that have happened for Lobelia and I have happened through Twitter.
- We’ve met some of our best friends
- We’ve planned tours
- We’ve organised recordings
- We gleaned information
- We had support and congratulations on the birth of our baby
- We shared our holidays
- We found people to help us move house
- and We had LOADS of work, new listeners, and – crucially – amazing people willing to talk about what we do as musicians time and time again.
I spend a lot – most – of my time on Twitter talking about other people’s music, encouraging and connection musicians to eachother, helping people get their heads around this brave, heady new disintermediated world we’re in. I’m trying to model the way I think the distruptive awesome internet of the future should work. Cos the future is now. We’re in it, it’s great, and Twitter is quite possibly THE game changer.
Youtube was big, Myspace was big. WordPress was big. Bandcamp is HUGE. Soundcloud is awesome. But as the glue that makes all of them workable, manageable and connected, Twitter for me is THE killer app. The reason the internets was invented.
So, 50 Thousand Tweets on, I’m still all about it. Here, if you’re interested, is my twitter-list of people I chat to, day in, day out: The Awesome Squad.
This evening someone asked me (on Twitter) which was the classic Steve Lawson album. So I asked my friends (on Twitter) to answer. So far the answer has come back, overwhelmingly, Grace And Gratitude. Which is fitting. Because I’m hugely grateful for all the good things that have happened through the amazing people I’m connected to on there. Please have a listen, and feel free to download it – don’t feel obliged to pay for it, but if you want to pay whatever you think it’s worth, that would also be hugely appreciated:by