Jeremiah Owyang posted a tweet today saying that the trick to success in social media is “add value.” I’d say that’s good advice, but it’s also an old principle of success just dressed in the new clothes of social media. Buckminster Fuller said “I believe you can get everything you want out of life if you help enough other people get everything they want out of life.” Or was that Zig Ziglar? Well, it was one of those two crazy-named dudes, but it doesn’t really matter which one, it’s just true: the path to your success leads through the success to which you lead others.
Twitter can aid you in your strategy to achieve your success by helping others find there’s. And one tool that I’ve just used today for the first time is particularly useful in this regard: it’s TwitThis and it can sit at the bottom of blog posts or articles just like the Digg This link or the Save to Del.icio.us link. With TwitThis, you add links to content to your Twitter stream without having to go to the multiple steps of copying the URL, producing a shorter version at sites like TinyURL, logging in to Twitter, composing your message and pasting the link. True, that all doesn’t take very long, but it’s still multiple steps and nobody likes multiple steps, right?
It is a guideline of introducing social computing tools, at least within a business context, that to increase the odds of adoption, the tools should replace onerous processes with fewer processes or easier ones and that users should experience, first hand, a value in using them. TwitThis fits the bill on both points. Click on the TwitThis link, login with your Twitter login credentials, select from a drop down exactly what notice you want to post — do you want to tell people to “Check out” the link; do you want to indicate that you’re “laughing at” the link; or do you want to post the link as an @post directly to another user? Then just click the “Twit this page” button and the link and your notice appear in your Twitter stream. Perhaps the best thing about TwitThis, though (because, let’s face it, you don’t absolutely need a special tool to post links to Twitter) is that when you click the “Twit This Page” the tool returns a list of links to the Twitter feeds of other users who have posted the same link. So as you use TwitThis to add value through your twitter stream, TwitThis delivers value to you by connecting you to other users you might want to add to your network in the context of what you have in common: your mutual interest in the content you’ve just chosen to share.