Anyone who works with fast moving technology knows that there is always a new shiny tool that gets all the attention. It tends to change every few months and anytime you start to use a new tool, you do secretly wonder if it will be around all that long. By any measure, Twitter has passed these boundaries. It has been around for several years. Every day more and more people discover it and it’s usefulness in their personal lives. New stories of the business potential of the tool are also coming out, such as Dell’s recent report that they have made more than $1 million dollars through their DellOutlet Twitter account. Small business superstars like Gary Vaynerchuck (@garyvee) declare it the #1 most useful promotional tool in their arsenal. Clearly, Twitter isn’t just the new shiny tool on the block anymore.

Yet many of the people who declare themselves "converted" and have opened Twitter accounts aren’t getting the best benefit. Until recently, I was one of them. I started thinking about this after getting some feedback to my recent blog survey that people were not finding my Twitter feed (@rohitbhargava) very useful or interesting. Until that point, I had been using it as a place to write all the things that I didn’t consider important enough to blog about. I hadn’t yet accepted it’s true influence. So now I’m trying to revise the way that I use the tool. I retweet other’s posts more often. I share links to things that I didn’t write, but found interesting. I have been experimenting with playful posts like a "word of the day" feature. All this is to try and find a better rhythm so that I am approaching what I would call a Level 5 stage of acceptance with Twitter. Here’s a graphic I created to describe how I see those stages:


Feel free to link to this image, grab it for use in your own presentations or blog (click to see a bigger version that you can download).

UPDATE 2: Check out my follow up post, "9 Ways To Make Twitter More Useful For You."

UPDATE: Thanks to those that pointed out I didn’t share my Twitter name in this post. It’s @rohitbhargava.