I started using Twitter for professional uses in mid September 2010. I have had a Twitter account since August 2008, but never posted (not once). Once I was introduced to the #sachat twitter world, I quickly became very interested. I realized this is a huge gold mine of opportunity for me to use as a networking tool. Part of this process has been working to ensure that what I put out there is:
a) authentically me
b) professionally appropriate
c) material that empowers others.
To that end, I’m conducting a Twitter Audit. I’ve used a free service called TweetCloud to ‘generate’ several ‘tweet-clouds.’ I’m going to share four clouds that I’ve generated.
First: The whole shebang: Sept 1, 2010 – March 29, 2011.
Positive: Love, Thanks, Awesome, Student, IUPUI (current institution)
Negative: Blog, Post
I say these two are negative because I feel like they are just advertising myself. Which is not my intention. However, the words do speak pretty loudly; I love what I do (on my twitter feed).
Next up: My first two months of using Twitter:
First, you’ll notice this image has a lot more words in it – I ran the cloud to pull more than the top 15 words. However, I see lots of positive in this image! Again, I notice the bit about ‘blog’ being the largest word – I know I was ‘self-promoting’ during NASPA just a bit…..
The conference experience for me was great. Lots of time spent meeting new people, encouraging them, and connecting individuals. I think my cloud demonstrates this.
So- first the reflective piece about myself. I wish my biggest words were things like ‘student’ or ‘passion’ (RIP dead kitten ala @irmapelt). I honestly should not beat myself up about the one word ‘blog.’ Instead, I should say “wow, I’ve used this thing for lots of good!” Which is how I actually feel. I’m really positive about using Twitter, talking about how I use it, continuing to use it, and encouraging others to engage by using Twitter. In fact, I was part of a presentation last week for my cohort introducing them to Twitter. I know at least two people signed up – one of them was even caught live-tweeting the #ACPA11 conference just yesterday!
After writing about 3/4ths of this post, I ran one more cloud. Two top words:
I think that’s pretty self-explanatory.
Now, the challenge to you: Go use TweetCloud & do your own audit. See if what you put out there is what you want others to really be seeing! Does it really share who you are?
The famous interview question: “If we were to ask your students about you, what would their top 5-10 words be about you?”
Brian Gallagher is a graduate assistant in Residence Life at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis.