A lot of people have a narrow view of Twitter. They think of it as a marketing tool, a tool to socialize or goof off with, a way to keep in touch with friends. Yes, there are people who use twitter for marketing and it can be good for that. I’m much more interested in Twitter as your own personal hive mind.
Original thinkers are hard at work concocting new ideas, trying to figure something out. When you are in this mode in your knowledge profession, Twitter can be invaluable. Here are just a few unique ways to use Twitter to support your original thinking.
- Original thinkers need a community of interested peers. Specialists are the norm these days. An original thinker in a specialized area doesn’t typically have a lot of friends handy with whom to discuss his or her ideas. These ideas are viewed as esoteric and boring by those not in the know. Well, turn on twitter, find some virtual friends who do. Another amazing feature of online friends is that they can be spread across time zones so essentially cover you 24/7.
- Twitter is an incredible tool for finding kindred spirits. You can follow people who don’t know you. You can see who they are following and in one tap see what they are saying and thinking. If you find one kindred spirit on Twitter, check out who they are following. This trail of breadcrumbs is instantaneous and networked to grease the wheels of your quest for friends in passion.
- Your Research Associates. Your personally selectedÂ Hive mind will keep feeding you references and information on the subjects your twitter stream finds relevant. I take for granted that you have discovered, curated and built out a good stream that supports your passions. If not, get on it.
- No Writer’s Block. You can try out your new thoughts in tiny chunks or bite-sized publications (tweets). This 140 character, conversational output is about as procrastination-resistant as you can get.
- Original thoughts can be fragile. Innovators buck conventional wisdom. Our new ideas don’t always get along well with mainstream thought. As Jony Ive says, ground-breaking thoughts can be fragile. Hanging out in the mainstream conventional world may discourage your most original thoughts and creativity. Those fleeting glimmers and off-the-wall inklings of a new framework, perspective, design or invention need all the loving support they can get. Like-minded, knowledgeable colleagues will be more receptive and supportive of your brainchild.
- Energy. The energy generated from these passionate dialogs can incite your creativity. Your Twitter stream can be like a marinade for your incubating thoughts, supporting your otherwise invisible and not yet popular point of view. You can iterate and engage around your passion and come up with the insight you are looking for to crack open the latest conundrum.
Hopefully, Â I’ve suggested a couple new ways you Â can useÂ Twitter to support your original thinking. It can be fun and useful.