Tag Archives: twitter

Twitter Is What You Make of It

TwitterThe end of Twitter? Nice title, but Twitter isn’t in trouble if it sticks to, and evolves on, what makes it essential.

Joshua Topolsky’s piece on the New Yorker triggered responses from various users pointing out why Twitter isn’t dead, what it could be, what it isn’t and some fact checking.

It really frustrates me that people keep comparing Twitter to Facebook, and that it’s failing because it’s business doesn’t look like Facebook’s. If everyone wants Twitter to be like Facebook, then Twitter has a long way to go and most likely is in trouble. But Twitter isn’t Facebook, and shouldn’t be Facebook.

That’s the fundamental problem with Twitter: it’s trying to be like other social networks.

Twitter is different, and that’s what makes it great. How so?

Does the Internet Inspire Or Stifle Creativity?

Here’s an interesting question, does the internet threaten creativity or nurture it?,

It depends on how you look at it. When we think about the internet, we think of many things: websites, blogs, social networks, social media, etc..

All these components of the internet let us express ourselves in one way or another, connect with people we know, meet strangers, learn from others and create with others. But, while all this is great, the other side of what makes us human also makes it onto the internet.

Really, the internet both inspires and stifles creativity, here’s how…

How the Internet threatens creativity

Creativity, by it’s nature, is about bravery. So, to think creatively is to challenge the status-quo. Great!

One of the common benefits of having access to so much information and people is that we can find answers rather quickly. But this benefit has immediate consequences when we stop paying attention to human nature, for people will congregate around the same ideas on social networks which eventually leads to group-think.

What does that mean?

A few years ago I wrote a piece on how social media is group-think on steroids because it puts critical thinking to sleep. Critical thinking and creativity go hand in hand, but the megaphone that is social media turns people into lambs drinking the same kool-aid; making critical thinking irrelevant.

Where all think alike nobody thinks very much, and thus the status-quo stops being challenged.

See, the internet doesn’t make us more stupid because, in general terms, we’re stupid and shallow to begin with. But it may help some of us to become dumber and more shallow faster and more efficiently.

Simply put, the internet (if we let it) doesn’t eliminate human bias; it amplifies it.

How the Internet nurtures creativity

Not all is gray, for many great things happen because of the internet. I, like others, have used the internet to solve problems by collaborating with people from around the world. These connections came about because of serendipitous exchanges on Twitter and other mediums; the type that fuels innovation.

The advantage of the internet is open communication, so the simple act of sharing a thought on Twitter can become a conversation. Same goes with blogging, it brings like minds together. This is a good example of how the internet nurtures creativity. Beyond my immediate family, I’ve met all the most valuable people that I know through the internet.

My take is that just like innovative businesses understand that group-think is an enemy of innovation and thus create mechanisms to counter it, if we understand how this dynamic applies on the internet, we can counter it.

It’s important that we do because the future of work will be much more digital and collaborative than it is today; I guarantee it.

Bottom line: The Internet has the power to both bring out the best and worst in us. I foresee we’ll be debating whether or not technology make us stupid well into the future, but let’s put it to rest right now: Technology doesn’t make us stupid, it makes us smarter.

Serendipitous exchanges fuel innovation

twitter innovation networkWell, well, well…someone finally mapped out on Twitter what we intuitively know about how innovations happens:

The more diverse a person’s social network, the more likely that person is to be innovative. A diverse network provides exposure to people from different fields who behave and think differently. Good ideas emerge when the new information received is combined with what a person already knows.

It’s really simple, interactions, not individuals, drive breakthroughs.

The case for discovering what business you are really in

General Assembly 2013

General Assembly 2013 (Photo credit: Paradise Nazarene)

What business are you really in?

Most can’t answer this question. And if they do, it is a rather functional driven answer such as: we make vacuums.

How meaningful and memorable is that?

I was reading through a note about General Assembly, a co-working space, and how it is shutting down it’s co-working services for entrepreneurs and instead focus on education:

backup your tweets

Useful Familiar + Useful Familiar = Value

For those of you who can’t find a fast, easy and reliable way to backup your tweets, my friend @dscofield alerted me to a very useful tool:

Here’s how it works:

backup your tweets

Are you applying as fast as you are learning?

A few weeks go, Bill Taylor (@practicallyrad) asked: Are you learning as fast as the world is changing?

Next question is: Are you applying as fast as you are learning?

Here’s what I’ve noticed for awhile since I’ve been on Twitter, but became a little more obvious to me in the last few weeks: Those of us who spend time on Twitter, are a lot more cognitively accelerated than those who are not.

Case in point: My Mix group I told you about. They are interesting people, and have a lot of things to talk about. But none of them have a Twitter account. Or a blog. And it dawned on me that by only meeting once per month, that this isn’t going to change anytime soon.

For example, One of the Co-Founders of Serena Healthcare, who also in the group, provided me with another insight. Here’s a guy who takes mindmap notes on his iPad as you are speaking. And if he doesn’t have his iPad, he takes notes on his laptop as you are explaining things to him. But you know what? For all his note taking abilities, he doesn’t have or want a Twitter account because he feels overwhelmed by its fast paced nature.


This guy’s mind moves fast. But apparently not fast enough.

So does that mean that we, ‘The Twitterati’, are a special bunch? I know some people who think so. They tell me that Twitter is for intellectuals, not for the lazy minded. Twitter is a fire-hose of knowledge no doubt (if you filter it becomes even more apparent), but that’s not where the discussion should stop.