Creative Strategies

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Tweet What You Eat: The Other Side to Over-sharing

Like many people, when I first joined Twitter I didn't have a clue what to write. I knew I didn't want to share my daily activities, as in a journal, because I didn't see the use of that. With many years in the Knowledge Management field, I understood the importance of getting useful information out, so that is the avenue I took. I looked down (and still do to some extend) on people who used Twitter as mass text messaging because I felt they did not see the true potential of the tool and were just producing babble.

But maybe I'm wrong.

Food seems to be a strong subject for many tweeters. Some want to share what they eat. Some want to know what others eat. Some what you to tweet with your mouth closed. Over-sharing and 'Too Much Information' is rampant on Twitter and I thought food fell into that category. I really don't care what you eat, I want to learn from you and converse with you to grow ideas and perhaps do business. Others want to know everything about whom they follow, celebrities or not. Where are they going? Who are they hanging out with? What's the inside scoop to their next show? And yes, even what they are eating.

And maybe that's OK?

A week ago I had a passionate discussion with a loved one about the etiquette of Twitter and what should or should not be tweeted. This person was new to the Twitterverse and was looking for guidance, but my guidance became a bit over bearing. And it made me think, "Am I being a hypocrite?" I was suggesting she not write things (that I had tweeted in the past) because I didn't see value in it for her followers. And then last night on a chat the issue of food and Twitter came up again. This time I found myself supporting the over-share.

Maybe we can learn from what we eat!?

I completely understand not wanting to know what some Social Media darling had for breakfast, but maybe there is something we can learn from it. The topic on the chat last night was musicians. For one thing, artists can find inspiration in food, so why not share? And for an artist on tour for the first time, why not want to know what other artists on the road are eating? It could mean the difference between an amazing performance or a boo off the stage.

Is there transperancy in food?

For people on diets, writing down what they eat and even sharing it with other people is a great motivator to continue losing weight. loseitorloseit.com is an example of a newer weight loss genre where you lose money if you don't lose the weight you want. Why not share what you had for dinner? Your followers are already your support group and will be there to encourage you if you fall off the wagon. I'm sure many people would like to know what Jillian Michaels and Bob Harper (the trainers from Biggest Loser) eat during a day. With other groups like ShareUrMeal, posting what you eat can also help feed hungry people.

Inspire others with what you eat.

Another obvious group to benefit from sharing are chefs. Why not inspire the next generation of master chefs by giving examples of what you create? This is knowledge sharing after all. There is a transfer of information, without having to open your mouth. So while I still do believe that the power of using Twitter is in the information that can be shared, I'm starting to understand where SOME sharing of unconventional knowledge is a good thing.

So what have you eaten today?

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