I recently Zoom-bombed a panel of AV industry-focused social media AVTweeps to talk about whether we’d pay for the right to use Twitter—and what sort of repercussions that could have both within AV and for Twitter as a platform for delivering and sharing news and not-necessarily-the-news.
Although I was a newcomer to Twitter when I started at CI in January 2011, thanks to then-editor Tom LeBlanc urging me to join in on the social media fun, I’ve come to appreciate Twitter for everything it is as a news-sharing and communication tool, as my 305,000-plus tweets and retweets would attest.
And, as active as the people are in the pro AV space on Twitter, it’s always a surprise to me when I learn that a person I’ve met or a company I’ve written about doesn’t have a Twitter handle. Given the way this community shares and spreads news, it’s a huge missed opportunity for those who aren’t there.
I understand those who look at Twitter as a cesspool of negativity, but I can’t think of a better way to get all the news (and entertainment and sports) I want in one place. As Caster Communications’ Kim Lancaster noted, you’re in charge with Twitter. You can curate your feed the way you want it.
I’ve never had a Facebook account and, for years, that was a source of ridicule among my friends, who wondered how I could possibly live my life missing out on knowing what my aunt ate for breakfast or what my former high school classmate who I hadn’t talked to in 30 years was doing this weekend.
It seems on Facebook there’s much more pressure about who’s connected to whom and being friends with someone, even if you never were friends with them and truly don’t even like them. On Twitter, I don’t follow some of the people I’d consider friends and they might not follow me.
I say “might” because I honestly don’t know. I know there are people who focus on their follower counts and get especially upset if someone decides to unfollow them, but I follow the accounts I find interesting and informative and don’t give it a second thought.
About 3,500 people think I’m worth a follow—and I only know that because I looked to write this sentence. My approach to Twitter is to share interesting things with the people who follow me and get the word out about those interesting things to the people who I think should see them.
Why Twitter is a Must for #AVTweeps
Maybe I’ve been spoiled with Twitter in being part of the #AVTweeps community. Since I only joined the fray when I started with CI, I don’t know if other communities are as active on Twitter and focused on making connections with each other, even if they disagree with something another has said.
I’ve made some great friends and formed some lifelong relationships that I expect will survive long after my time with Commercial Integrator is over—and, no, that’s not my way of saying I’m going anywhere else. Sorry, but you can’t get rid of me that easily.
My philosophy with Twitter has always been to find news and information that’s interesting to me and to pass it on to my followers, who might also find it interesting. I’ve had people stop following me because of my penchant for the retweet and that’s OK, because it’s their feed, not mine.
I’ve only had a few people block me on Twitter as far as I’m aware and it wasn’t for my tweets being offensive. I try to think before I tweet or retweet anything whether it’s something that could come back to haunt me at some point. I’ve yet to make the wrong decision in that regard and hope that continues.
In short, I would definitely pay for the right to continue using Twitter until and unless I decide the pay version of the platform doesn’t deliver the same value and satisfaction to me that I get from it now. That could happen depending on how many others are willing to fork over the cash to use it.
There are certainly plenty of people and companies in the industry who don’t find Twitter to be a valuable tool for them and they’re less likely to venture into the paid Twitter world, so that could certainly affect what I and others get from it and will surely determine its long-term future.
While there are definitely some uncertainties about whether Twitter will start charging, how much it will cost and the pricing structure, one thing is certain: If I’m paying for Twitter, I better get an Edit button.
Here’s our full conversation from the recent AV Nation special: