This week you turned five years old. Marketing scams, iPad & baked bean bots and Beliebers army aside, you have become the single most useful and important tool in my life. I’m not referring to you keeping me in the loop within my industry, but the human connection and the opportunity this has afforded me from being a loyal user over the years.
Do you remember how we met?
In Jan 2009 I attended a seminar at the London Southbank University. The seminar was recommended to me by good friend and former boss at @OrangeRockcorps, @TheoLuck. ‘Luca, you’ll like this’, he said. It was at that seminar, Twitter, that someone finally mentioned you. It was @andrew_davis, who without batting an eyelash responded to the ever-present question, ‘What social media tools will blow up next?’. ‘Watch out for Twitter’, he said. That was all I needed to sign up.
Fast forward to March 2011 and look at you today. Not only have you redefined the way we consume information, but you have also helped highlight the uniqueness of your experience as a leader in the social media sphere.
Because I am one of millions, I want to tell you a little about my special relationship with you. In late 2009 I was an unemployed graduate with a vision, i.e. a bum. I’d been using you (oh, not like that!) for the best part of a year, publishing my music/events related blog posts and networking with fellow like minded people. I was happy with my progress but like a lot of graduates, I had no income.
A series of tweets and DMs later, a new world had opened up for me. ‘Intern wanted asap’, I once read on your shiny, sky blue timeline. That was the sassy @chantellefiddy who at the time was the editor of a magazine named @CtrlAltShifthq. Some persistence, a few emails and meetings later and I found myself finally learning my craft in the ‘real world.’ The experience you helped me acquire resulted in my personal growth and that of my online persona. But my journey wasn’t over. As 2009 ended, I left Ctrl.Alt.Shift and jumped into the world of freelance. Unfortunately that translated to ‘unemployed but arrogant’.
Yet, I continued to learn from you Twitter. I learned about personal branding and what it takes to be recognised as somebody within the digital realm. You introduced me to my new media hero, @garyvee. From him, I learned the true meaning of the word ‘hustle’. It was @garyvee who coined the phrase, defining it as the one who wants it most. I knew what I wanted, but I was still learning, and I didn’t know how to achieve it.
From working with some really intelligent people in both the digital and music scenes, I became increasingly more confident in my ability to sell. You were a priceless tool in this learning curve. The curve that taught me the skill and importance of selling. Marketing yourself as an invaluable product. I knew I was this product.
By mid 2010, I had advanced from the music technology major who was formally running an events management business into a digital professional with experience within some of the world’s best known brands. University lectures, corporation strategies, board room presentations – all these had become part of my path to my personal and professional success.
And I wrote, Twitter. I wrote post upon blog post, documenting my journey, discussing business fundamentals and building personal brands to achieve, all the while trying to reach out to others who still hadn’t discovered their and your full potential, as I was simultaneously trying to reach mine.
Summer 2010 had pretty much ended along with most of the projects I was working on. With unsteady money coming in from freelance projects, and an unwell pup needing constant and expensive visits to the vet, I turned to you once again.
And then it happened. One bright sunny afternoon, the smell of opportunity in the air, and a staff bull terrier nuzzling at my feet, regular tweet buddy @JamesProud alerted me to a message that had gone out from @Mazi, then head of social media for Sky, re: ‘Digital Marketing Analyst for Chelsea Football Club’. And just like that, the heavenly chorus resounded, champagne fell from the skies and I knew I had to have that job. Lucky for me, and thanks to you Twitter, James and Mazi were actually well acquainted. This is what happened next:
DM, DM, DM, email CV, DM, interview, call back, job, send DM saying thanks.
Not once did the words recruitment agent, job agency, recruitment consultant, LinkedIn escape my or anybody else’s lips during my employment process. You, Twitter, young in age yet wise beyond your years, you have been the one constant in my never ending journey to pay the bills. And personal growth and all that of course.
Now, while you have been a great networking and professional tool, we both know what you’ve done for my personal life, Twitter. Let’s be honest, by enabling me (and all of you readers) to follow our interests and source those who are similarly intrigued, does this not at least form some sort of foundation for personal relationships, or dare I say it, dating?
Because it worked for me.
I know people may chuckle that I met my beautiful girlfriend through you, Twitter, but both her and I are proud of that fact. She saw in me a confident, budding, handsome (her words, not mine) man from whom she has learnt the social and new media ropes. I saw in her similar interests, culture and a breath of fresh air. What’s important is that because we followed each other, tweeted similar opinions and shared similar interests, it proved how compatible we were. We pursued it and here we are today.
Over a year later, we are still going strong, and we still speak through you every single day. Although we text, speak, chat, Skype (catching my breath) you remain very special to us. We discuss ideas on the public timeline that we think others may be interested in, aide each others paths in the professional realm and constantly take both enjoyment and experience from you. At this point we would also both like to say how sorry we are for abusing our DM inboxes, ahem.
Thank you for introducing me to my love, @iamsilverfox.
Thank you for the friends you have afforded me, including bright talents like @teamsupremelee, @theevilfrog and @danielmclaren. Thank you for chow down friends like @max_hepworth, idea machines @iamelliot, @imjustmike and conversationalists @dannywhitehouse and @garf_richards. Thank you for bringing people across the pond closer to me, like bubbly @arianna and the classy @MarcusTroy. Thank you for the laughter via @djhotpoint, @jschoftraining @adonisdemon, @studiopixie, @DavidAclass, @loudmouthmelvin @_KevinGeorge, @cyberdees, @bluechampion and @iamayo. Thank you for inspiration like @liamtootill of @sbtvonline and @whatleydude. Thank you for thought provoking personalities like @peterlitchfield and music lovers like @djcable. Thank you for kindred spirits, old and new, like @djgrind aka @theswamps and @mazherabidi. Thank you for allowing me to keep up to date with some of my older friends such as @andrew_davis, @seanwebber87, @kieran_yates, @ThisIsChaz and @ErlenMasson.
Thank you @Twitter.
“The best way to discover what’s new in your world.” Guaranteed!