Why you need to be on Twitter
This post is part 2 of getting rid of my backlog of drafts. I wanted to write this after JSM in August, but a move to Chicago and starting a new job took up most of my time then. So here we are in October finally getting around to it.
Anyway, at this point in time, when someone tells me they aren’t on Twitter, my response is usually puzzlement followed by saying something like, “You’re making a huge mistake” or “Your loss”. People usually follow this up with, “well, I don’t care what you had for breakfast” (why is this the go to rebuttal to Twitter?)
Well I’m here to tell you (politely) that that is stupid. Twitter is an incredibly diverse community with an incredibly rich set of niche groups. You get to choose who to follow and you can create you’re own unique corner of the twitter world. I like sports (football, baseball, NCAA basketball), statistics, R, art, news, and humor. So I follow people or organizations that are tweeting about those things. What you like is different than me, and you can create your own corner of twitter.
Other people, who have similar interests to you, will also tend to follow the same accounts and sometimes you get to start conversation with these people. And then sometimes you get to meet this in person. This past JSM in August of 2014 I was lucky enough to get to meet one of these interesting people from Twitter. Sean Taylor, a member of Facebook’s data science team and the guy responsible for these awesome NFL fandom maps, contacted me via direct message to join him at a bar on evening. So, @statsbylopez and I met him (and Hadley Wickham and some other stats people) and had a fantastickly (is that a word?) interesting conversation with him. All because of twitter. And I assure you that we never talked about what we had for breakfast.
Still not convinced. I actually met @statsbylopez through twitter. We have similar interests and have, since meeting, collaborated (and won) a kaggle contest and written an academic paper together. He also recently came to speak at Loyola about overtime incentives in hockey. All because of twitter. (Side note: I picked him up from the airport the day of his talk, and we had a fantastic breakfast somewhere in Lincoln Park. I mean this breakfast was so good I want to Tweet about it. Wait that’s not my point!)
Twitter. Do it.