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An Intern's Story: Twitter is not Facebook.

We have invited some of our interns to be guest bloggers about their experiences as an intern. 
This post has been hand crafted by Dominick Soar, ex Social Media Intern at Qube Media. You can find out a little bit more about what makes Dom tick on his soon to be updated profile page (Dom has been offered a permanent role with Qube - good work Dom!)

I signed up for Twitter almost a year ago. And then I gave up a few days later.

Statistics all over the web show how common this is, with a heavy majority of the 190 million users abandoning their profiles after only a handful of visits. What are these people missing that the millions of happily tweeting twitterers aren't?

Twitter is not Facebook. 

The first problem Twitter faces when trying to lock in its new users is one of identity. So many people migrate to Twitter from the familiarity of Facebook without realising how different the two services are. 

When I first got my Twitter account, I started following a few celebrities and a few mates I knew who had it. Predictably, this soon got a bit stale and I found it offered nothing that Facebook didn't. People I knew simply didn't use it as frequently, so it didn't make it sense for me to either.

Then half a year later, I sat in on a talk on networking by Wired Sussex's Community Manager, Andy Keetch, as part of a training day for the Sussex Internship Programme. He asked the group how many of us had followed the all too familiar path of Twitter abandonment I mentioned earlier and a decent number, including myself, nodded our heads. He then took the challenge of re-pitching it to us, promising that if 
approached in the right way we would soon find we couldn't live without it.

So then, what is it?

Three months down the line and I’m now a frequent (but not obsessive I might add...) Twitter user. The difference from before is that the way I use Twitter is completely separate from how I use Facebook - the people in my Twitter network are a very different bunch to those in my Facebook network.
There are loads of ways you can benefit from Twitter, but these are three of the things I find it best for:

1. Professional Interest - It’s the easiest place to find people in your industry, or one you are interested in, learn from them and engage with them.

2. Personal Interest – I follow my football team, artists and other figures I’m interested in; I even once found out about a secret gig purely because of Twitter.

3. News stream – Twitter is at its very best when spreading around interesting content to amuse or inform people. Plenty of people use it purely for this, by simply following selected sources from their fields of interest.

The number of things you can use it for will grow the more you use it and the more followers you attain, but simply starting off with these three functions in mind is a great place to start really getting something out of Twitter. 

About the author

Phil Jones

Hi, I'm the Director of Innovation and Projects at Wired Sussex, I deliver our portfolio of regional creative technology projects and support our innovation hub, the FuseBox.

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