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Negotiating the learning curve

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I've spent an interesting month researching and getting a feel for the three major social media sites I wrote about in this month's feature story. And yeah, even though I've worked on computers since the early 1980s, there was definitely a learning curve when I started navigating my way around these sites. For me, the problem was tthreefold: learning how to use some of the apps embedded in the sites, and getting over the uneasiness of sharing so much of me and always being connected to the world. The worst for me was Twitter. Yeah, I signed up and I posted one little Tweet. Somebody followed me right away. Spooky. Unlike Facebook and LinkedIn, which are fairly straightforward, I still haven't figured out how to use Twitter to help me out in my work or personal life. But, according to Gordon Snyder, whom I interviewed for my feature, I'm not alone. He said there is actually a famous influential marketing blog that has outlined this learning curve as the "five stages of Twitter acceptance." "The first time people hear about Twitter, the think it's stupid," Snyder said. He said the second stage is establishing a reluctant presence. "They don't know why people use it, but figure they should create an account," Snyder said. The third stage, he said, is acceptance. People just start posting random comments. "The fourth stage is conversing, when you start to have some authentic one-on-one conversations with people interested in the same things," Snyder said. "The fifth stage is microblogging, when you use twitter to publish useful information and people are talking back to you." I'm at stage two right now, moving toward stage three, as I have time. You can look for me on Twitter @primeeditor. I promise to Tweet at least once a week for now. Debbie Gardner PRIME Editor dgardner@reminderpublications.com