There is a divisive topic on the Internet. People are facing off and choosing sides. They want to know: Are you for it or are you against it?
No, we are not talking about the passionate debate surrounding Health Care Reform. We are talking about the apparent scandal known as Twitter. A scandal so scathing that on August 25 USA Today ran a half page story under the headline "Twitter haters see no point in tweeting." Twitter irks some people so terribly, they become hypercritical of a service they do not even use.
After reading such off-putting remarks as Twitter is "look-at-me technology" or "stalkerish" there is only one way a self-confessed Twitter-holic can respond. Who do you follow? That simple question solves everything for me.
Twitter is not one single entity, it's a vast collection of voices. If you find no value in a particular user's tweets, then choose to not follow them. On Twitter, you are solely responsible for your own sources of information and entertainment. If you are not enjoying the experience, rest the blame squarely upon your shoulders and please do not project it on the greater Twitter community. Trust me, the Twitter community-at-large is not following anybody who is "mundane" or spouting "pointless babble." They are following people who are funny, clever, insightful and have the inside-scoop.
So, who are some credit union people worth following?
In the spirit of sharing, we offer a list of twenty Twitter users that we follow with our account, CreditUnionsCom. These users frequently bring a smile to our face and sometimes a bonafide LOL. They often impress us with the stories they are able to dig up on topics relevant to credit unions. Each of them puts forward a unique take on current events. Some are cheerleaders, others are critics, but they all are worth tuning-in. Even though we numbered our Twitter Twenty list, they are truly unranked and all of equal significance.
If you would like to suggest that we follow a Twitter user that is credit union relevant and not on this list, please leave a comment below with their Twitter username. Don’t hold out on us if you know somebody else worth following! We’re always looking to expand our credit union community network. Enjoy our first Twitter Twenty!
UPDATE: 09.10.09, The Power of Social Networking
The response to this article from the credit union community on Twitter was stronger than I imagined.
As an example of the power of social networking, the article attracted around 500 page views, 10 ratings and 6 comments in less than 8 hours after it was first mentioned on Twitter. This large response made it one of the most popular articles on our website for the week. These results make clear to me that the phenomenom of the credit union movement using Twitter has matured and entered a new phase that demands attention.
Not only does the credit union social network on Twitter now command large amounts of web traffic, they also provide opinions and reaction to credit union relevant news. Since their commentary is built upon a wide array of voices each with their own opinions, it is a leading indicator for the overall credit union industry. If the credit union community on Twitter likes it, chances are the overall industry will like it, too.
As an example of how social media affects traditional credit union marketing, this very article ended up being published in a recent newsletter from the Credit Union Association of New York (CUANY). This development speaks to the power of social networking since our Twitter Twenty article is still waiting to be featured on our website's front page. So, Twitter and social networking are solely responsible for all of this attention.
In an attempt to improve this article further, I included comments on why each of our Twitter Twenty was selected in the list below the multimedia display. The comments are all copies of congratulatory tweets sent out via creditunionscom.
UPDATE: 09.23.09, A Better Way to List the Twitter Twenty
After collecting feedback from the many readers of this Twitter Twenty article, I realized I needed to clarify my intent. The main obstacle many readers encountered was that I numbered the list of twenty twitter accounts I recommended to follow. This created some confusion in that many readers thought it was a top twenty list of credit union mavens to follow. This was never my intention.
With the list, I attempted to highlight a wide sample of the credit union community on twitter. A mix of early pioneers to the platform, industry experts, credit union advocates, core organizations, vendors and innovative maketeers. I wanted to share some of the most popular twitter accounts as well as gain exposure for those who offer a valuable contribution but do not have a large list of followers.
There is a growing world of credit union focused twitter users and that is what I am trying to illustrate. I could write a Twitter Twenty article everday next month and not highlight the same account twice. The credit union movement has adopted twitter and everybody in the industry should take note.
With this feedback in mind, I reorganized the list of twenty to follow. Instead of ranking them by number, I put a gold star next to their tweets. The gold star is inspired by the way your save your favorite tweets on twitter, by clicking a star symbol in the top right corner of a tweet. I hope this will be a method of listing the Twitter Twenty that is more in line with my intentions. If you have any other ideas, please share in the comments section.
The last important topic to cover are the dangers of catching the twitter bug and becoming twitter-pated. Symptoms include a glazed look in the eyes, slack jaw from over-stimulation, and mild dizziness with visions of birds dancing around your head. In short, you will look like me below. No, twitter does not cause baldness, that came naturally! Thanks for reading!