The Slappy Will Be My Shepherd: Steve Mynett Hands Down My Twitter Grade.

Hello, good morning, and welcome to the Saturday Morning News Post!

Readers, as you may recall, a few months ago I had the distinct feeling that there was just not enough Danderfer on the internet. Sure, you could visit my website, listen to my music, view my YouTube videos, befriend me on Facebook, and read my weekly blog, but I knew in my heart that Dander-fans were not fully satisfied!

Always ready to give and give some more, I hopped aboard the Twitter train. Only problem was, once aboard, I didn’t really have a sense of what to do. And so I consulted my go-to web-master/photographer/trombonist and all-around social media slut Steve “Slappy” Mynett for guidance. He then came up with a list of things to try out (which you can read here); 4 months later, drinking some extremely strong coffee at 49th Parallel, Mynett let the gavel drop and handed down some judgement, Slappy style

JD: Okay, let’s get down to brass tacks, what’s my grade?

SM: What do you think your grade should be?

JD: Really? ‘A’ for effort.

SM: (questioning stare)

JD:maybe a ‘B’

SM: (questioning stare)

JD: C … +?

SM: So what did you like about using twitter, what was a high point?

JD: It was entertaining and it’s immediacy gave it a certain energy, that was cool. Also, I tweeted about going to the Vancouver Archives one day, and afterwards on my way back home I had a twitter message from @VanArchives and we had a pleasant little twitter dialogue which I suppose wasn’t all that remarkable but to me it formed an oddly personal connection to an institution. That was very interesting. And since ‘following’ them, I’ve learned a few things from their posts on Vancouver’s history. Pretty cool actually.

SM: Okay, let’s talk about what you did well. Your authenticity is good. Occasionally you were tweeting for the sake of tweeting but overall there wasn’t too much bs. Your conversation was just okay. It’s always easier to converse with people you know but you never went out on a limb, you didn’t search anything jazz or canada jazz related. You were using it to keep in touch with people you know and that’s fine but you missed out on the discovery aspect which is a big part of what twitter is about. Different topics, positions, updates, news and other communities in general, twitter is a great way to discover these sorts of things and you didn’t really take advantage of that.

So what didn’t you like about it?

JD: It feels very distracting, like a barrage of information that I had to keep checking in on. I wasn’t even following that many people but so many people tweet so much. And while at first I appreciated all the succint, comic tweets, after a while I got really tired of everyone trying to be so goddamn clever all the time, it felt very “surface level.”

SM: If that’s the way you feel, if you’re not getting value from the experience, then you’re probably following the wrong people.

JD: I thought I was supposed to follow lots of people?

SM: Well, sort of, but you don’t have to read what everyone’s tweeting. You can separate them into ‘lists’ within twitter and then just check in on your list of favourites. Also, you gotta remember there’s a limit to the number of relationships we can maintain, it’s about a 100. So you can and should be picky about who you want to hear from and interact with.

In general, social media is like anything else, you only get out of it what you put in. If you just sign up for twitter, sit back and say “provide for me”, nothing happens. So? Do you want to keep working on this?

JD: Is it going to eat up a lot of my time?

SM: It doesn’t have to. 15-20 minutes throughout the day would be enough to start disovering more. Of course, the potential to be a time suck is huge, as is youtube, cooking, etc., etc.. You just have to manage it like anything else.

JD: Okay, I’m ready! Hit me!

SM: Here’s your assignment. First of all, stay true to authenticity. Be a bit more active, more conversations with the people you know. Step 2, establish lists such as ‘local musician’ ‘international musicians’ ‘comedians’ or whatever, then make up a list of the people you want to read updates from on a regular basis so as not to get overwhelmed with too much info. Step 3, find two other communities online that you’re interested in, follow some of those people and try to be a bit more active within those communities. It could be anything; cooking, politics, sports, whatever! Just try getting into the discovery aspect of this thing and see what happens.

And so this ol’ jazz clarinetist’s journey into the information age continues…

Thanks to Mr. Mynett for the social media coaching and thanks to you all for reading. Have a great week!