You’ll Find Your Golden Retrievers as the Twitter Parade Goes By

Charlotte has a great St. Patrick’s Day Parade. It’s festive and cold and windy and green. The reason I was actually thinking about the parade today is that when my English setter Henry and I were out walking, we passed by Gracie and Birdies’ house. Gracie and Birdie are two golden retrievers and they are in love with Henry, and he likes them okay for girls.

It’s a cold and windy today, too, which I guess all combined to make me think about the last St. Patrick’s Day parade. My husband Chuck and I took Henry uptown, got a place in the crowd on the sideline and I cried a little because parades, not weddings (although sometimes weddings), make me cry. Anyway, down the parade route, we saw the Golden Retriever Club of Charlotte. There were maybe a hundred goldens, each with their own look, but each, well, pretty much, golden. 

Even Henry looked at them with uncommon canine calm. I’m sure he might have been overwhelmed by their sheer numbers and forced into submissive quiet. They passed on and on, one golden after another. But suddenly, Henry stood up, wagged his tail, and looked intently in the direction of, well, more goldens. Only to Henry, it wasn’t just more goldens –  it was Birdie and Gracie. And they saw Henry, too, and broke from their pack and rushed into our sideline crowd to say hello to Henry. They are in love with him.

Which made me wonder – is this uncanny, almost intuitive ability to pick out best buds from a long string of parade clowns, bagpipers, Shriners in tiny cars, politicians, queens and princess, and golden retriever clubs a little bit how social media works?

I use Facebook mainly for keeping up with personal friends and acquaintances as well as a few business associates. But this weekend, two friends, one I lost touch with many years ago and have missed a lot, and another I was fearful I was going to lose touch with, showed up on Facebook. My Birdie and Gracie. I was so happy to see them that is was as if they had jumped out of the crowd and joined in my parade. Strike up the band!

My Twitter parade is themed, but diverse nevertheless. In my Twitter network there are friends I have known since whenever, and there are new friends. And some of those new friends, even some I had never met before, seemed to jump out of their parade to greet me and I was, of course, so glad to see them. Whether from their profiles and bio’s, a personal direct message, an @reply that was friendly, helpful, or a virtual fist pound – despite all that Twitter marching band noise –  we spotted each other. On Twitter, those with complimentary careers, kindred spirits, like minds, common beliefs, or common purposes meet, and jump out of the parade to greet you even as you happily wag your tail on the sidelines. Almost makes me cry.

I will say this, while I find FaceBook and Twitter equally user-friendly, not everyone does. It takes a while to build up friends and followers. Consider what you want the sites to do for you, and create your network based on that purpose.  Corey Creed at Hippo Internet Marketing has a how-to Twitter e-book at http://tinyurl.com/6keusp. If you go willy-nilly accepting friends and following back, you might end up trying to march in a perpetually out of step band.

You’ll find a lot more sophisticated, scientific, mathematic, and probably informed analysis on social media. I’m sure I could look at my Twitter network right now and pull out several other links. But so can you. 

And that’s just what I’m saying, to friends, business associates, clients, future clients, and even the Future Farmers of America (love that blue and gold parade banner). Try it if you haven’t already. Yes, it takes time out of your day and it’s an all day every day parade that no one can watch every moment. But maybe you’ll stop comfort eating, smoking, or looking for business on quiet deserted streets because you won’t have time for that anymore. You can join by watching the parade from the sidelines for a while. Then, you will see someone you know, and you’ll be glad you were at the parade, and they’ll be really glad you to see you, too, and you’ll meet and greet and it will be so beautiful.

I need a tissue, please.

Henry (far right) with friends he met on Twitter.

Henry (far right) with dudes he met on Twitter. They were so intrigued by what the Golden Retrievers were doing they decided to form their own English setter Tweet-Up.

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One Response to “You’ll Find Your Golden Retrievers as the Twitter Parade Goes By”

  1. michael gibbons Says:

    April well what to say — glad to have you in the blogosphere – you clearly have a way with words, you’ll be amazed as your blog style develops –I find the best way to hone your style is to read other blogs –blogging is unlike other writing — some write pithy posts , some write more like a journal and others simply point to other blog posts –ideally some mix of this is best —

    if I had one constructive suggestion on this post dont bury the lead – as I started reading I thought Oh mostly April is going to write about her dogs, more of a personal journal -which is fine but you might lose the very reader interested in your take on social media -it’s fine to surprise the reader just make sure they’re still around for the punch line! My title might have been “The dog days of twitter” something like that – keep it up and welcome

    her are two fantastic sources on blogging
    my favorite http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/
    awesome http://www.copyblogger.com/

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