The HR Juggler

(Just Like) Starting Over

Posted on: October 13, 2011


I have acquired a bit of a taste for experimenting recently and have set up a new Twitter account and blog that are entirely separate to my usual professional/personal Twitter handle of @AlisonChisnell and this HRJuggler blog. The subject matter is so separate that it really didn’t make any sense to combine them and there is very little cross-over in terms of individuals I follow or followers…the sum total of two people, in fact!

It has been fascinating to do and I wanted to share some of what I am learning here.

  • Starting over on Twitter is hard, even if you do know what you are doing…trying to tap into hashtags that group the information that you are interested in takes some investment in terms of time and effort
  • Not all topics have a ready built community.
  • Networks and engagement take time to build. It is relatively easy to find people who tweet out links of useful stuff, but far harder to identify people who are genuinely interesting, interested and keen to engage in conversation
  • Following is easy, encouraging people to follow back is sometimes trickier. If after a couple of attempts to engage in conversation, they don’t respond or follow back, then their content has to be really good for me to continue following. This has made me also re-evaluate how often I follow back on my main account and resolve to do so on the first contact.
  • Blogging is the same process, whether or not anyone reads what you write. When a post on the new blog attracts more than a handful of readers and any comments, I am genuinely delighted.  It makes me more appreciative and reminds me how far this blog has come
  • The experience you have in using Twitter is pretty much defined by the calibre of people you follow and those that follow you. The former generates interesting and thought-provoking content for your timeline, the latter is predominantly where engagement and interaction lies.
  • In order to keep improving my new user experience, I have been open-minded and proactive about who I follow, and also reasonably disciplined in unfollowing those whose tweets are not of interest to me, are overwhelming in volume or simply annoying
  • No surprise, the best source of new tweeps to follow comes from looking at the ‘following’ lists of the people who I enjoy following.

So, it has been and continues to be an interesting experience and one that I would recommend to anyone, not least because it helps to contextualise why many people are initially wary or unconvinced about using Twitter. And it is very good practice to go back to the beginning and start over…and see what else you learn!

Have you started over lately? I’d love to hear from you.

3 Responses to "(Just Like) Starting Over"

Am far too curious about your Twitter alter ego now. Thanks for sharing the experience.

Haha, I rather underestimated the curiousity factor. It’s not a secret, so if you would like to know more, by all means let me know 🙂

I also started over again with tiwtter not so long ago when I started my new job but had quite a different experience.

I felt I needed a more professional account with which to interact on behalf of my employer and TeenyTinyBean seemed somewhat childish. I could have just changed my handle but I have a personal connection and just couldnt bring myself to do that. So I started a ‘normal’ twitter account and began to follow some of the same interesting people I had met on my main account. I also started trying to find people who had connections to my new work environment to follow. The problem I encountered was that I felt I wasnt being authentic, wasnt being me. My interactions didn’t have the warmth and humour I like to think I have and show (albeit shyly) in my normal tweets. I did make a couple of contacts that I then started to tweet from my main account as I would forget where I ‘knew’ them from. Hootsuite seemed to be a confusing mess and I constantly made mistakes tweeting from the wrong account. Eventually I gave up. I followed everyone from my boring account on TeenytinyBean and within a week I felt better. So the name doesnt really inspire respect when I interact with scientific types… but then thats me. I am who I am and if people dont want to follow me because of my name thats their loss. I have made some great connections and am comfortable now just being me.

Thanks for sharing. Im curious about your alter ego…

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