I’ve been using Twitter (a social media micro-blogging site) just like I used my undergraduate experience at Stanford. I play a lot, meet cool people, build relationships, and do a little networking here and there – but only in that it will help me meet more cool people.
This dawned on me today as I was playing "sabotage the oil drillers" by posting silly tweets and appropriating the "#dontgo" hashtag, which was being used by the GOP in their discussions on drilling off my coast. Was I on Twitter to protest and to be political, to position myself as a professional marketer/technologist, or was I on there for fun?
For me, college was all about the experience, not about the hard academics and pursuit of a big payday job. I would spend tons of time in the dorm common areas playing Trivial Pursuit, eating pizza, avoiding doing Physics and Calculus homework, and drawing pictures on the new Macs in the computer center. I was in Ballet Folklorico for two years, even performing across California, I did tutoring for several programs, was active in tons of organization, especially political ones, and drank like a fish, ahem, from time to time. And, I met the love of my life in our Freshman dorm.
There was a slightly more serious side to me as I went after cool jobs like research positions in science and engineering, participated in a research exchange programs at an Ivy League school, and was exposed to many influential VIPs.
So when I see Twitter users and wonder who is doing what and why. I see the A+ students, carefully building a case for their social network careers or the next consulting/keynote speaker gig. I see hardcore marketers, practicing their craft and using consistent and persistent tweets to lead people to their web sites, to events, or to position other network mates. And, there are also others who like to frolic through the Twitter and make people feel good and cheer folks up. They are the people who turn your $hit day into a $hit day with at least one happy ray of light.
But I’m not judging anyone. Everyone has their reasons for doing things. It is not up to me to divine those reasons.
And when it comes down to answering the tough question, "What are you doing now." I don’t know and not sure if I care. I just am.
I’ve had some really great experiences on Twitter including meeting cool peeps, helping Guy Kawasaki break into his own bike at midnight, and messing with Congressman John Culberson’s agenda on Twitter and on QIK.
I’ve also worked on developing my skills in filmmaking, writing, and philosophy. Those are on my Top Three All-Time Dream Jobs list. So I’ve actually been working on those. I built and just launched a kick-ass site for filmmakers/film lovers (www.makethatflick.com), created numerous micro vids, and have blogged consecutively for over 35 days.
So do I feel regret for not being straight-laced and focused on building a business or on displaying a perfect persona, no. Just as I don’t feel regret for spending endless hours in the Stanford Library AV room watching Fellini, Woody Allen, and Bergman films while a few dorm rooms away my college cohorts Jerry Yang and Dave Filo were busy starting an empire on the other side of campus.
Ok, it would have been nice to have started Yahoo!. But then, maybe I wouldn’t have had the chance to get to know all of you.