This is one in a periodic series called “5 Questions,” where we ask industry, thought and academic leaders about the latest in innovation.
1) What is the most innovative use of Twitter you have seen so far?
I’m lucky that, in my line of work, each day brings with it new stories about an individual or organization using Twitter in a unique way to make a difference in the world. That said, I have a particular fascination of late with the way one African social enterprise, R Labs, is using Twitter in South Africa and beyond. In brief, Marlon Parker, founder of R Labs, has been running a series of “twitter schools” in South Africa’s Cape Flats. The schools have allowed them to teach former gang members the tools of Twitter and provide them with valuable work opportunities. As Parker describes it, hearing an ex-gang member in South Africa brag that he now has “more followers” on Twitter than he ever did as a local gang leader showcases the positive result of using the platform in a fresh way.
2) Regarding your TWEET five-step framework, can you describe what your process was in creating it?
I’m a knowledge junkie. I read 100 books a year (mostly all non-fiction). I listen to Tony Robbins and motivational speakers with the same regularity that I watch “The Real Housewives” (read: a lot).
I’ve spent years attending conferences as a participant and have (in more recent years) transitioned to being on the stage. On both sides, however, I have noted the same problem about knowledge consumption whether it is at conferences, in books, or in life: It’s hard to get anyone to remember anything.
I have spent hours prepping for a presentation, only to find that an audience member forgets most of it by the lunch break. I have often read a business bestseller only to come away unable to relate much beyond a few salient points. Obviously this is part of a larger discussion on personal productivity that you’re not asking me about, but I’ll summarize and simply say that I developed the TWEET framework for one reason: I wanted people to be able to instantly come away from a speech, training session, article or book with an implementable, tactical plan to help them succeed on Twitter. Even better, I wanted them to actually be able to remember said plan.