Jumping Into the Twitter Pool

Leadership via 140 Characters

August 20, 2015
Jumping into the Twitter pool

Twitter is my favorite social media channel. By way of 140 character posts, it offers up a tremendous amount of utility. Having been on the site since 2007, Twitter is where I go to connect with my professional network, curate interesting content, and engage in self-directed learning about a variety of topics. While I joined Twitter in 2007, it took me a couple of years to develop the broad-based fluency with it that I have today.

Jumping into the Twitter pool isn't always easy. The site/app/channel has evolved over the years and it does take some time to "get better" at it. An investment of time in/on a social network is crucial to achieving understanding of its full value.

Leaders are often asked to actively participate with their communities/constituencies by way of 140 character posts on Twitter. However, it can take a few stops and starts before a leader finds their particular "voice." Here's a bit of insight into how one of higher education's brightest voices "got Twitter":

According to Twitter, Scott Jaschik, editor/co-founder at Inside Higher Ed, joined the site in January of 2011. Two years later, Scott posted five tweets. He was the first one to tell you that he didn't really use Twitter via his named account.

In 2014, he posted two tweets that seemed to indicate that change was afoot. Engaging in some Jaschik-esque banter with Inside Higher Ed staffers, Scott didn't tweet again until this summer. Full disclosure, I may have been encouraging my boss to jump into the Twitter pool ... gently, with thoughtful intent.

Fortunately for everyone in the Twittersphere who follows Scott, his level of engagement since July has blossomed into an account that is truly worth following. As you would expect, his tweets are a combination of link shares (with insightful commentary) to IHE stories, witty banter with other Twitter users, and thoughtful tidbits. With more than 130 posts, Scott is a great example of how a leader can engage, connect, and share on Twitter.

Here's a selection of Scott's tweets that showcase how he "gets Twitter":

If you're not already following Scott Jaschik on Twitter, I highly recommend taking a moment to connect with him.

Do you tweet? Let's connect. Follow me on Twitter.

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