Note: If you’re reading this by email, and possibly by RSS, you may want to click this link to read this directly on the blog. I have some screenshots that may not come out well otherwise; screenshots that are central to what I want to share.
It’s a frequent activity, albeit uncommon, for people to create secondary Twitter accounts. As the linked story indicates, their reasons vary. In some cases, two are not enough and people create thirds and fourths and fifths.
If you’ve followed my recent exploits and explanations both here on my blog and in Twitterville, you already know why I unfollowed 7,000+ people and organizations and have an inkling into what I’ve done since.
One thing I’ve done a lot–and the subject of face-to-face conversations with Mike Langford and Jeff Cutler, GoogleTalk messages with Danny Brown and Alexander Howard, and Skype chats with Kneale Mann–involved building what-if scenarios to create a new Twitter account and start fresh.
The what-if scenario is now built and has a solid foundation. I’m going to use Twitter in a way I’ve never done before. Want to come along for the ride?
It’s not easy to change the status quo. You need to change your mindset.
I’ve tried. I’ve tried to challenge life, tried to construct my own path through the woods. I’d like to think it’s made a difference. I’d like to think I’m a better man because of my questions, because of my curiosities.
Ditto with online media. Ditto with Twitter.
My Twitter strategy changes right here, right now–for the better. (Or so I hope.) Neal Wiser, bless his soul, profiled me earlier this week on the right way to unfollow with class. He may be inspired to write a follow-up on the right way to reinvent yourself online.
To understand why, look at my first two tweets.
My first tweet was at 10:35 p.m. on April 5, 2007. Two years, one month, and 10 days later–earlier tonight–I wrote my second tweet:
How’s that? you may ask yourself right now. How has Ari only tweeted for his second time when he’s been blogging about Twitter since last summer and sharing screen shots of notable tweets left and right?
A very good question that is answered with four words:
Look at the username.
For all intents and purposes, I joined Twitter on the date above although 99.99% of my Twitter followers and blog readers never knew it. I signed up for Twitter specifically to follow the Sunday Night Film Club when I used to live elsewhere. I followed the SNFC to learn about movie times and dinner venues in case I was running late. Sean Graham controlled it, before he created his own account.
Its purpose–and my purpose–soon changed and I stopped tweeting for nearly a year.
Enter Kim Woodbridge who suggested I give the microblog another try. She said it was less about telling people what you’re doing and less about following updates and more indicative of marketing and communications, more personable, more friendly; and worked differently as it was no longer restricted to the website and mobile phones.
I heeded her advice and created @ariherzog, representative of my personal brand.
And my first account, named the same as this blog’s name, itself named after my old email address that I once had in 2001 when I worked as a freelance writer? I left it inactive and edited its bio to point people to the second account.
Fast forward to now
If you look at my Twitter bios–both of them–you’ll see updated language. Here are the screenshots:
It will take a few days of adjustments until both accounts are configured and used the way I intend, but, like the bios indicate, one of my Twitter accounts will include a lot of broadcasts:
- Blog posts I write here
- Blog posts I write elsewhere
- Blog posts other people write that I think you might like
- Blog posts that I comment on that I think you might like
- Websites that inspire me
- My activity on Digg, StumbleUpon, 12Seconds, Yelp
- Things I create on FriendFeed
- Music I listen to on Blip.fm
- Retweets of things people write that I think you might like, too
That’s not all. There’s going to be a big change. It may not be immediate, but in due time, I won’t reply to you from there. I won’t talk to you from there. I don’t think so, anyway; if anything is constant, it’s that life and change are intermingled. The way I am building this in my head, I will use that account–the one I’ve been branding myself with for the past year–to continue to learn from you and share myself and others with you.
If you want to engage with me–if you want me to reply either publicly or by direct message–you’ll need to adjust to contacting me through the one I’m not linking to anywhere on this page other than by textual reference in the screenshots.
One account will be my branding and sharing channel.
The other account will be my communications and customer service channel.
If I can’t find the strength in me to delete @ariherzog (which many people suggested I should have done when I unfollowed them), I will do the next best thing.
I will use this reinvented account to talk. Really talk. Have deep conversations, using the full character limitations of Twitter, to engage with people where my goal is to make money. If I can’t make money tweeting, then I’m sure as heck going to try to make money as the result of tweeting. I’m willing to bet there are people out there in search of my consulting, speaking, and/or writing experience. I’m willing to bet there are people I can talk to who I don’t know yet because I’m following the wrong people.
So, I will follow certain people and organizations from @ariherzog to learn from in an effort to better brand myself and share myself and learn from them; and pass those lessons to you. But I will engage people for networking and collaborative relationships–the fodder beyond branding and into strategic communications–from the other account, the reinvented account, the account where from I will write. Do you grasp the relevance of the name of this blog, now?
My Twitter foundation is built. The next phase is to build my house. But two years, one month, and 10 days later, I think I know how to do it: tweet by tweet.
Photo credit: badboy69