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Not a twit. Yet.

September 15, 2011

I am relatively new to the world of social media. I’ve only had a Twitter account for a couple of years. The same with Facebook. I started after I got laid off and heard that getting the word out about myself could help in landing a job. In indirect ways, the various services, including LinkedIn, certainly helped.

Twitter was the easiest to use, and it was fun for a while. But I have to admit that I quickly began to find it cold when compared with the world of Facebook, which has reunited me with people I’ve known from all the way back to high school, and it keeps me up to date with them no matter they live now. Maybe it’s because the design of the Facebook page is cleaner. Maybe because Facebook isn’t Baby Blue with dreary animated figures on it. Whatever the reason, I dropped out of the Twitter circle for the past nine or 10 months.

The tweets proved were either too self-centered, too advertising centered, too dull or too many (why the same postings on Facebook are more palatable is the subject of a doctoral dissertation and one that I don’t plan to write).

Yet millions of you use twitter. And thanks to #CMC11 and to some business-related work, I’m back to give it a fresh look.

Something that will help is an article today on the Washington Post’s website (http://wapo.st/nIdEWN) that features five questions with Clair Diaz Ortiz, who is in charge of social innovation at Twitter. She wants to change the world and for the better, and she thinks Twitter can be a part of that change. Learning to think differently, to see the world differently and to express oneself differently are all part of the process.

Toward the end of her interview, she made a great observation that offers a path to remember in our MOOC and life in general:

Like many professionals in our global economy, I travel all the time. I’ve lived on four continents, speak multiple languages, and married a man who visited the United States for the first time in his 20s. But rarely do I really immerse myself in new and different cultures on a regular basis. And that’s a mistake.

Innovation – at its core – relies on this.

Ultimately, we are only able to truly innovate when we surround ourselves with the unknown and then create something brilliant out of newness.

Notice, she didn’t say Twitter had to be used to accomplished that, though I’m sure she would appreciate its inclusion.

Innovation, though, is  scary to many of us who are sworn creatures of habit. Yet it’s true that every new day brings a world of unknowns and adventures. So, how do we juggle the desire for the new with the comfort and safety the patterns we’ve set for ourselves? I can’t just not report to work because I feel I could learn something mind-boggling in the great wide world out there. But I make sure I am constantly learning at work. That’s easy for me since the job is new, but I try not to stop when a certain assignment is finished. What piece of the greater picture have I just helped fit into place? How has a certain project related to others that have come through the small department in which I work? Asking questions like that has helped me make more sense of the philosophy that drives the business for which I work.

That may not lead to innovations tomorrow or the day after that, and I may not actualize something brilliant that would change the way I work, but any sort of progress, when added to the global reaches of the people I work with as well as the work in this class and the demands of my other jobs, help me to continue to grow, expand and hopefully improve. And if I can use that in any way to help just one other person (even in a tweet), then, yes, worlds can change.

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From → #CMC11

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