How Many Dimensions Do You Have?

Posted on August 5, 2009 8:00 AM by Joel Comm

Twitter divides people into two camps. To those who use it, it's a whole new Internet. There's the Web of pages and content, and there's the Twitter of people and connections. Both are valuable and both are enjoyable, but they do different things and they do them in different ways.

To people who aren't on Twitter though, the service looks completely bizarre. It's a place where people go to tell strangers what they had for breakfast and what they're about to have for lunch. They can't understand why anyone would want to read the sort of banal posts you can often find on Twitter time-lines.

They just don't get it.

To dismiss Twitter because so many people like to say what they're eating or watching on television or reading at the moment is completely wrong. It's like refusing to watch Indiana Jones movies because they're about a guy who doesn't like snakes.

It misses the point.

When the Indiana Jones writers created their character they put his fear of snakes into the script for a reason. It gave him an extra dimension. It made him more human. Indiana Jones isn't an action hero who fights Nazis and digs up hidden treasure. He also acts like a real person and has the kinds of fears and phobias with which we can all identify.

That's what those apparently "banal" tweets in your time-line do. And that's why I include random thoughts in my time-line.

Sure, I'll post tweets about marketing, about tweeting and about my company's news. But I'll also post plenty of tweets that reveal what I'm thinking about and what I'm doing right now. By themselves they aren't interesting at all. But for the people who follow me, they reveal my personality -- and they help to build a human connection.

And that's what Twitter is all about.

It's not about content - although that's important. It's about relationships, and relationships are always built slowly, one brick at a time, by revealing small details about our personalities and our lives.

There's no such thing as a banal tweet on Twitter. All your tweets say something about you.

10 Comments For This Post

  1. Martin Canchola Says:

    It's very important to add the human dimension to you tweets.Don't just use auto tweets if any at all because it takes away from the human element. Be a real person behind your tweets so people can fell genuinely connected. Build relationships not followers!

  2. Sherrie Rose (The Love Linguist) Says:


    The title grabbed me (I talk about sexual dimension in my courses) so "How Many Dimensions Do You Have" piqued my curiosity in social media.

    Since we have met in person, I can say you ARE a multi-dimensional man. You wrote, "I'll post tweets about marketing, about tweeting and about my company's news. But I'll also post plenty of tweets that reveal what I'm thinking about and what I'm doing right now. By themselves they aren't interesting at all. But for the people who follow me, they reveal my personality -- and they help to build a human connection."

    I've met your son. I have not met, Mary, your wife, but feel I have come to "know" her through her tweets and the passions she has shared.

    Dimension comes in three basic forms: Public, Personal, Private. Mari Smith wrote about this recently. What you reveal does create a more human connection which is something we crave. Many people sit behind their computer screen or tap on their iPhone because of the lack of close human connection in their lives.

    Years ago I explained to a rather young woman that I could send a file to New York via modem. She was excited and in awe. She exclaimed, "It's like God, being everywhere in an instant." That's the dimension of social media - everywhere at once.

    Thanks, Joel.

    Sherrie Rose
    The Love Linguist

  3. Cyndy Says:

    Conceptual Age, enter stage right (brain)! Do people really care about what I'm having for a snack at 2 in the morning? The answer is yes, and if they really care, they will follow me. Do I care that my twitter colleague is doing the same? I do because it relates to me. Forming a behavioural pattern creates a sliver of demographic, a commonality, a bond. As Joel mentioned, a relationship. Hooray for this. Being a gen -"X"er, I have seen the human character sucked out of business relationships during the information age. I remember my Dad shaking hands to seal a deal; making a promise, and delivering on it. Where did that go? The age of information has all but removed the nuance of face-to-face meeting. Computers can not mimic human interaction, thank God! We are on the verge of a return to values more precious than material. Hallelujah!

  4. Bryan Quinn Says:

    An excellent post that will perhaps give readers a little more insight into twitter and how it can be used.

    In my case, a general tweet prompted a reply from someone that later led to an email chat on Facebook, an exchange of telephone numbers and a discussion about a mutual business venture and the possibility of a JV partnership.

    This is only one example showing that a simple tweet can have a knock on effect and lead to opportunities that otherwise would have been missed.

  5. paul Says:

    Well said Joel. I like the reference to Indiana Jones.

  6. nyegik Says:

    is my first time to visitign here, wow ur blog is so very very nice...and ur articles to, i'm glad to be here and i think maybe i found something to learn in here....thanks my friends

  7. free online adventure games Says:

    I think being on Twitter itself also says something about our personalities. But besides that, I wonder if it also means leaving out those who are not on Twitter? What if the group we're targeting as part of marketing also involve those not on Twitter? While at the same time non-Twitterers may dismiss the service as meaningless, would there be some way not to dismiss these non-Twitterers from marketing efforts?

  8. William Livingston Says:

    I agree with you about Twitter.

  9. Brian J Cody, author Says:

    What you comments say about Twitter is true. Feel free to review and comment on my articles on Twitter on my blog=>
    "Why is blogging and Twitter so popular?"
    "How do you become a leader on Twitter?"
    Comments are welcome, followers are welcome, Follow me on twitter

    Thanks for your article Joel.

  10. Chris Peterson Says:

    It would be profitable to you to note that:
    You understand your followers. A great depth of insight in way you percieve & explain them. But it's a real & amazing insight to notice that you understand those outside your niche, somehow, due to personal experience or lack of it. Unbelievable to see that you know them so well too!

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