10 Billion tweets

The 10 billionth tweet was pushed out today. It was in Chinese and the Tweeter has a locked profile but, talking in billions is big. I was keeping an eye on the GigaTweet counter all morning. I turned away for a second when my boss returned from a meeting and said “oh look!”. So I turned to look at him and he was pointing at my screen, “ten billion tweets!”.

Yes, I missed the moment it clicked over but managed to capture a screen shot shortly after.

10 billion tweets

I am not one to keep watch of my follower numbers or tweet numbers but thought this would be a good opportunity to make a note of this day. My contribution to the 10 billion tweets stands at 11,035 tweets. I follow 1,524 people and 1,558 people follow me.

The value of Twitter for me has been one of surprising levels of greatness. Not only have I connected with many wonderful people and was recruited into my current job but it is where I keep in touch with friends and discover news from across the globe.

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Operation Relocation to Melbourne – Day 6 (Twums, Taxis, Theatre)

Inspections: 9, Taxis: 20, Cooked dinners: 5, new friends: heaps. This is where I stand on day six of Operation Relocation. Having been through enough apartments to now make a more informed judgement of their online descriptions I am still looking but with hope and not cluelessness. The decision is to head back to Sydney to pack and return to a short-term lease whilst I continue to look for something permanent and so I can begin working and living in Melbourne.

Whilst hunting down somewhere to live I have been lucky enough to have found some fabulous Melbourne locals who have been more than generous with their friendliness, local knowledge, advice and welcoming open arms. On Thursday night I finally met the wise, experienced and knowledgeable Trevor Young and David Park before heading on to TweetUpMellers where I had the good fortune of matching personalities with avatars and meeting some new Melbourne locals. On Friday I finally met the fabulous Kristina (aka @TinainMelbourne) for a coffee and cake at her local Pheast84 in Armadale. It turns out she is even more delightful in person.

Twitter time has translated into the face-time world with great success. Thus far, I can report that all the Tweeple whom I have met face to face have been far from disappointing and I am blown away by their openness and welcoming charm. On the way, I have also picked up a mini-bus full of exciting new Tweeple whom I am yet to meet when I get a fixed Victorian address.

I will head back to Sydney tomorrow knowing that I will return to a city of possibility and opportunity, not to a lonely and isolated beginning that can accompany relocation to a new place. And I am very much looking forward to it.

Window of opportunity

Window of opportunity

Will Twitter prove to be the valuable social network it seems to be?

With Operation Relocation well on the way to becoming ‘case completed’ it seems that I will also be putting Twitter to the test and finding out if it really is a valuable social networking tool when translated to the physical world. My current status is that I have met one person who is currently living in Melbourne (my cousin/friend type person who I’ve known forever but not technically a cousin) but I have virtually connected with many more, at least two hands and one foot worth of counting, via online social networks. Twitter has been the star of the show thus far. So the question is, will my many wonderful online connections carry into the physical world in an equally wonderful way?

I don’t want to put pressure on any of the great tweeple whom I have great tweet with, but it will bring to light whether or not my appreciation/addiction of social media will prove to be as valuable in the physical world as I believe it will be. And it will give me a measurable case study of the value of online social networking for building a brand, me. The scale is:

  • 1 = continuing our online communication with no change.
  • 3 = improved relations from face time.
  • 5 = all my wildest dreams come true.

Whether or not it does open actual doors of opportunity or just keep the virtual gates ajar, one thing is certain – the online connections I have already made are with interesting, brilliant and beautiful people and I have only gained from participating in social networks.

To those who are still to be convinced of the value of social media, guess what, I’m getting tired of trying to convince you. Let me show you how it has already been good to me.

*Note: I must acknowledge in particular Trevor Young, Kristina Kukolja and Kimberley Santos for being such lovely and supportive Tweeple who I can’t wait to meet in person. Thank you.

Is online social networking causing a social divide?

It has become apparent in the last few months that there are three categories of opinion when it comes to online social networking – those who love it, those who are critical and disapproving of it and those who have opinions but don’t really know enough / engage enough to have a valid opinion. I love it. If you are reading this, chances are you love it too. But those who don’t feel the same way often see my wonton Twitter ways and blog references as geeky (not in the good way), anti-social and trivial.

This difference in opinion is, of course, absolutely normal and perfectly fine and I appreciate everyone’s experience and view of online social networks, but I do feel it has the potential to be troublesome. There are times when I feel the desire to share an experience with my Twitter friends but those in the physical situation who are not keen Tweeters do not welcome Tweetie to the party (so to speak). I respect this and Tweet discretely, sometimes almost guiltily, but I will not stop sharing with my online social circle no matter how many taunts I am subject to.

I value my online social networks in a way many of my face-time friends will never understand and I do believe it is a topic that can divide a room. I will continue to ‘socialise’ with my online connections whilst participating in the physical and I refuse to believe it is killing the ability to have a face to face conversation. If anything, I believe it presents the opportunity to explore so many more face-time connections.

Sneaky Twitter pic of Friday night (an act that evoked disapproval from my colleagues)

Sneaky Twitter pic of Friday night (an act that evoked disapproval from my colleagues)

Personalised Facebook URL – got it but will it do me any good?

So I’ve just registered my personalised Facebook URL – http://www.facebook.com/kimberleyl – because I could. But, given the surge of Twitter and my recently ignited affair with tweeting, my Facebook time has dramatically reduced. Actually, I lie.  My decreased use began about a year ago when I decided I didn’t want to post personal photos of myself online or to be a victim of tagging, update my status which remained so until I bothered to change it again (the static nature of the status often became void the minute after I posted it) and yes, I do believe in conspiracy theories.

I promptly deleted many photos and asked friends not to tag me in any pics. Realising the selfishness of this request I just didn’t appear in any photos, removing myself from all photo oportunities and whilst this has worked for the most part, some do still creep through. And I know the pics I deleted are still in the FB system somewhere but I know I am not significant enough for anyone to bother digging them out of the trash.

Then, I put all but family and very close friends on limited profile disabling their ability to post on my wall. I re-set all privacy settings to ‘paranoid freak who thinks people actually care enough to stalk me’. And I think I have achieved a ‘she never does anything/go anywhere’ status by having such a neglected profile. Does this mean I’m a bad social networker?

To explain why I still actually have a FB profile, I have kept in closer touch with relatives I would otherwise see on special occasions only (pretty much just Christmas) and friends overseas. It has also been to facilitate my admin status on my workplace’s Facebook page (WordStorm PR) and the PRIA NSW New Media Group Facebook group. Facebook does still have a function and use for me but this has become quite specific. I still pick up the phone and have face to face time with the people closest to me and I still much prefer this kind of relationship.

The great things about having a FB profile are that I know what’s happening around town via event listings and invitations, I am reminded about birthdays (not that I would ever forget them) and I still get poked. On Twitter, I have developed many great new online connections (thank you Iggy Pintado) with people I would not have otherwise had access to. I have also developed my LinkedIn profile, signed up for Scribd and kept up with this blog so maybe I’m not such a bad social networker after all.

I do have an online presence that is significant in my everyday life. In my social networks I have a speaking part and I am not just a tree in the backdrop (obviously school plays were not my forte). My ‘personal brand’ is growing and developing each day with more Tweets and posts and comments I leave. My online footprint is becoming more visible through my identity as KimberleyL and Kimberleyjl when the former is not available.

So,  to answer my own question (which I am known to do from time to time), yes, having my personalised Facebook URL http://www.facebook.com/kimberleyl is a value add for my online identity. I just may become a more active Facebooker (did I make that word up?) once more if a situation calls for such activity. Having my own URL makes it easier for people to find me which I’m sure, is not a bad thing…

How is your relationship with Facebook thus far?