- To get viewpoints from many nations: My follows include people on almost every continent (still waiting for some outposts at the poles to find me) who speak at least five languages. The ability to stream a world view's important to me, and gives me a richer perspective. And it means there's always someone to hear from, no matter what the hour is. In fact, I wrote this post while traveling in England in 2010. Way out of my normal time zone, I got to listen in on a completely different set of conversations.
- To find new ideas and out-of-my-box examples: I follow an odd mix of people, and I mean that as a compliment. My clients are always looking for ideas on using social media in their varied sectors, and the topics and people I follow on Twitter run the gamut--it helps me to fill my inbox with useful models.
- To get news, fast and furious: I'm used to having lots of news streams, but Twitter is hands down the best and the fastest. If a late-breaking item fits in with something else I'm writing or speaking about, I have it at my fingertips, no matter where I might be. I can dip into the stream and enrich my work with it instantly.
- To grow with an expandable universe: Many of my very favorite follows of all were initially surprises to me...friends of friends, or those retweeted by people I followed first, who kept, well, landing on my doorstep, so to speak. As for the colleagues I already knew in real life, some of them have surprised me, too, in this space. To me, Twitter's great possibility isn't about the numbers, but about the ability to expand a network of new thinkers in ways that make sense and surprise me all at the same time.
- To take a refreshing break: I may have my head down, focused on a deadline, or be forced offline on a plane for a few hours. But Twitter's always an easy break to bring me back into the varied world I inhabit online. Watching the stream go by, even for a few minutes, is bound to spark some ideas.
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