Equipping God's People to Create Missional Culture

All About Twitter

It was this past fall that I started to Twitter. Why? That is a good question. If I remember, a few people thought I should check it out. I did my first tweet on September 24th, 2008. I only know that because all my tweets are saved and I can go back and discover my first one.

I actually enjoyed typing my first tweet. I had to learn to use words sparingly. It has become a good way to develop a new skill. Some of the best speeches have very few words. Think about the Sermon on the Mount. I started to tweet because a number of people that I talk to like to know what I am up to. So tweeting keeps the congregations I serve informed a bit more, as well as other people who have an interest in my life. I also run my tweets through facebook, so that my facebook friends are able to know what I’m doing. Prior to Twitter, I never updated the “what I’m doing” section. Now it is updated regularly. Of course if you don’t use facebook, you can just follow me on Twitter.

I use Twitter for a few additional things now. I like to share short quotes, respond to other people’s tweets, keep updates on what is happening in the blogosphere as well as point out some good blog entries I see or write. So Twitter has many uses for me. I have tweeted about my travels and found that I have connected with old and new friends alike. Twittering has connected me to people I care about.

Twittering has only been happening since 2006, for that is the year is was founded in San Francisco, according Wikipedia. What started as an idea with a few people – Jack Dorsey, Evan Williams and Biz Stone – is now a company that employs 34 workers. Some have designated 2009 as the Year of Twitter, claiming that when Britney Spears, Shaq and Barack Obama joined Twitter, they threw kerosene on a micro blogging social network fire.

Whatever the cause may be, Twitter continues to grow in popularity in personal ways and of course businesses have started to use it as well. Just this past February Twitter has grown 1382%, according to Nielsen Wire. It has been the fasted growing social network of the year. Twitter is now the third most used social network, with Facebook being number one, and MySpace at the number two spot.

Not only can you follow interesting people on Twitter, but you can follow fake twitters. PC World in this post shares their favorite 15 Phweeters, a word meaning phony tweeters. And Jonathan Brink in this post points to a list phweeters of well known pastors, including a fake Shane Claiborne, a fake Tim Keller, a fake John Piper, a fake Rob Bell and others. Some of them are pretty funny.

If you want to learn the language of the Twittersphere (or Twitterverse), all about mistweets, retweets and tweets sent under the influence of alcohol “dweets”, then you should read the Boston Globe’s article. If you enjoy looking at the various kinds of Twitter birds, here is a collection of 20 plus designs of this new “superhero”.  And if you want to see the demographics of those who use Twitter here is the Quantcast Audience Profile.

And of course you can use twitter missionally. There are more ways to do this than I have space to write, just use your imagination. One twitter event that is catching some wind for Easter has been developed by a new friend of mine Raffi Shahinian over at parables of a prodigal world. The following is his idea.

He calls it Euangeli-on-Twitter: An Easter Idea

What say we flood Twitter with good news on Easter morning.

Here’s what I’m thinking…

At exactly 6 A.M. GMT on Sunday, April 12th, we flood Twitter with the following, simply, three-word tweet:

He is Risen

OK, here’s how we pull it off.

1. There’s a site called Twuffer. It allows you to schedule tweets for future release. Sign up.

2. Next, convert 6:00 AM GMT to your local time zone. You can use a time zone converter, like this one (remember, you’re converting 6:00 A.M. GMT to your local time, not the other way around). If you’re in the continental U.S., I’ve done the math for you:

Pacific: 4/12/09 6:00 A.M. GMT = 4/11/09 11:00 P.M.
Mountain: 4/12/09 6:00 A.M. GMT = 4/12/09 12:00 A.M.
Central: 4/12/09 6:00 A.M. GMT = 4/12/09 1:00 A.M.
Eastern: 4/12/09 6:00 A.M. GMT = 4/12/09 2:00 A.M.

3. Then go back to Twuffer and schedule your tweet for the appropriate time. That’s it.

Oh, and…

4. Tweet this post. Quickest way is to click the little blue bird at the bottom of the post.

That’s it. I figure if I can get 10 people to do this, and each one can get 10 of their followers, etc., on Easter morning, we can flood the twitterverse with the greatest news headline of all time.

So that is my long post on Twitter. I guess I need to go and tweet more, in order to use words more sparingly. So I will see you in Twitterville.  Or if Twitter is too wordy for you, then maybe you should try Flutter.

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