Gini Dietrich

A Stroll Down Memory Lane for the 10th Birthday of Twitter

By: Gini Dietrich | March 22, 2016 | 
63

Twitter 10th BirthdayBy Gini Dietrich

The scene was Cabo San Lucas. It was June.

It was the annual Counselors Academy conference. Most of the workshops were held outside, but it was so hot, we ended up meeting in the pool (I seem to recall they never scheduled outdoor workshops again after that).

Robert Scoble was a keynote and I remember watching him speak about this thing called Twitter.

He had three large screens behind him with the world projected on it and little light bulbs across every continent.

Every few seconds, one of light bulbs would go off and he would exclaim, ‘That is someone tweeting!”

I remember leaning over to the person sitting next to me and saying, “This guy is the world’s biggest dork.”

Little did I know that this dorky (but super lovable) guy would be so right about Twitter.

Twitter in 2007

Even thought it was strange to think people could tweet instantaneously, I decided to put aside my feelings and try it out.

I was BearsFan07 and I only tweeted during the football games.

There was no such thing as an app, a desktop manager, or any sort of scheduler.

Back then, tweets came in to your phone as text messages and it was totally weird.

Sure, people could text you from around the globe without having your phone number, but people could text you from around the globe without having your phone number!

I would tweet what was happening on the field that TV didn’t cover and vice versa.

I remember a player got hurt and we didn’t know what was happening in real-time, but the Twitterverse knew and I was soon updating my seatmates before they announced it in the stadium.

People were astounded that kind of information was coming into my flip phone.

Even though I was still totally weirded out (and didn’t see a use for it other than football games), I was intrigued.

What the Heck Was Ping.fm?

In December 2008, I dropped the BearsFan07 and took on my name.

My very first tweet under my name was this:

Gini Dietrich First Tweet

I’m kind of bummed someone else has BearsFan07 now because First Tweet shows his first tweet from 2010 versus the very first tweet of the account.

But it is kind of funny that I was testing posting to multiple sites as my very first tweet on this account.

Poor ping.fm wasn’t long for this earth, but it had to have been one of the very first sites that allowed you do that.

Some of Your First Tweets

In honor of the 10th birthday for Twitter—which was yesterday—I thought it’d be funny to look up the first tweets of the people we have highlighted in the Spin Sucks Inquisition this year.

In no particular order…

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Screen Shot 2016-03-21 at 4.41.47 PM

Screen Shot 2016-03-21 at 4.45.32 PM Screen Shot 2016-03-21 at 4.45.05 PM Screen Shot 2016-03-21 at 4.44.50 PM Screen Shot 2016-03-21 at 4.44.10 PM Screen Shot 2016-03-21 at 4.43.48 PM Screen Shot 2016-03-21 at 4.42.11 PM Screen Shot 2016-03-21 at 4.42.36 PM Screen Shot 2016-03-21 at 4.43.03 PM Screen Shot 2016-03-21 at 4.43.26 PM

And, even though he lives with me and listens to me preach social media, this is Mr. D’s very first tweet:

Screen Shot 2016-03-21 at 4.46.08 PM

It’s pretty funny that pretty much everyone sent a test tweet except Rob Biesenbach.

Rob sent a super professional tweet about crisis communications and even managed to shorten the link.

#nerd

But the rest of us, no matter when we entered the Twitter world, just stuck our toes in the water and tested it.

Happy Birthday, Twitter!

It’s surprising to me that Twitter is still here. They’ve certainly not figured out the best business model yet, they’ve had lots of turmoil, and their leadership hasn’t been stable (though it looks like that is changing).

The fact that they are still here says a lot about the product and how much we love it.

It’s not the same Twitter it was in 2009 and 2010, but it’s still a great source of referral traffic to blogs and websites.

So join me in wishing Twitter a happy 10th birthday!

It’s been a great source of friendships, business partnerships, Spin Sucks traffic, and more.

And now the floor is yours. What was your first tweet and what memories do you recall of the first few times you used it?

P.S. I just saw that Mother Jones claims yesterday was not the birth of Twitter, but the anniversary of the very first tweet.

Apparently it was not released to the public until July 15, 2006 and that is the social network’s birthday.

About Gini Dietrich


Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro.

  • It’s been funny watching so many mutual friends bemoan Twitter, and how it’s not as gun as it used to be.

    Of course it’s not. Nothing that grows ever is. Drinking isn’t as fun anymore as it was when I was 10 years younger, as now I get tired quicker and don’t stay out until three in the morning.

    Does that mean I don’t drink anymore? No – I simply adapt my habits, and let the new drinkers discovering booze for the first time enjoy their experience.

    Same with Twitter. Perhaps it’s less the platform, and more our changing habits, that is the problem.

    I don’t use Twitter anywhere near as much as I did. But I still use it – the same can’t be said for Google+, despite that bring lauded as a far better experience.

    Happy Birthday, Twitter. I don’t think you’ll reach your 20th, but I’ll enjoy you in whatever form you’re in until then.

    • Gini Dietrich

      I don’t think they’ll reach their 20th either, but I will say I’m surprised they’ve made it this long.

      And I think the reason for the bemoaning it was A LOT more fun in the early days. The serendipitous nature of it is gone today. I also think we, collectively, had more time back then because business was so sloggish. It likely wouldn’t have the same kind of success were it to launch today.

      • Possibly. But to counter that I know a lot of new users who say it’s a lot of fun, and interactive, and impromptu.

        We moved on. Got older. Had kids. Changed priorities. The new group coming through still experience the newness we did.

        It all balances out.

  • Ha! Thanks for including me. My first tweet was March 12, 2007 from @Bargainista. In December 2007, I decided I needed another Twitter account that wasn’t part of my blog brand so that I could have personal and professional conversations. My first @Eden_Spodek tweet let my friends know I had another “home”. Thanks for including me. 🙂

    • Gini Dietrich

      So you’ve had three accounts??

      • Two. @Eden_Spodek became @EdenSpodek.

        • I’m also surprised that I was the first person on Twitter on your list. Susan was and early-bird too. 🙂

          • Gini Dietrich

            Trendsetter!

  • I want to be Rob when I grow up.

    Until then, I’ll probably keep not making the best use of Twitter that I could be. I actually started using Twitter in 2009 as the social media manager for the small college I worked for. Anyway, Happy Birthday, Twitter, and it was fun to reminisce, Gini. I wish now my first tweet had been a Spin Sucks post.

    • Gini Dietrich

      LOL!! ME TOO!

    • Rob Biesenbach

      Ha-ha! No you don’t!

  • First of all, thanks for including me. That first tweet was DEEP (ha!). Twitter IS going to evolve (doesn’t everything?) and I agree it has changed in its nature (as well as, like Danny said, we have changed as users too). For me, it comes down to — Twitter is yet another way to write, and if you like to write, 140 characters at a time (until that goes away too….SIGH) is a fun challenge! It would have been neat if I could have coordinated my 100,000th tweet with this birthday but I couldn’t have held out until March 22 (SO MUCH TO SAY!!!!!) and I honestly didn’t realize this birthday was coming up. But here are my feelings on my 100,000th: http://biggreenpen.com/2015/12/23/ten-thoughts-on-100000-tweets/

    • 140 is staying for now!

      • Glad to hear it! I love the challenge (but not what it does to my (and most everyone’s) grammar)!

    • Gini Dietrich

      Aren’t you way over 100,000 anyway? You would have had to not tweet for weeks to match it!

      • Yeah, I’m working my way toward 103,000.

        It would have been a herculean effort to manage it so that I stayed under 100,000 K until late March.

        I mean, there’s SO MUCH TO SAY!

        pk

        • Gini Dietrich

          Mr. D has “book club” every Wednesday night. Apparently they have an ongoing bet about how many tweets I amass from week-to-week. So I totally get you.

          • Had to jump in on this.. I’m nowhere near 100K but at 43K I’m probably the most prolific tweeter of my friends, tweeting on average 10 times a day. So imagine how creeped out I was when a random follower found one of my tweets from 2011 and liked it!!

          • That’s kind of creepy!

  • Gini, I met and fell in love with Twitter on September 6, 2008. My 1st Tweet was kind of deep, too…talking about taking care of my mom after her open heart surgery 3 weeks prior.

    I still remember sitting on her couch up in South Bend, watching election coverage on CNN with Rick Sanchez, an early adopter of the use of social media in the news. I watched the Twitter wall moving behind him, my heart probably racing, and knew I had to be a part of it for more reasons than one. One was that I’m a marketer, and every marketer needed to understand and use these tools. Two was that he was making a goofy statement about the candidates that was as far from an apples-to-apples comparison as any statement could be, and I wanted to let him know about it, by golly!

    The best part came after that when I met and followed people I knew, and people I didn’t. You are one of those people, and I’m eternally grateful for our long-distance, love-you-even-though-we-don’t-see-each-other-very-often relationship. That feeling is always there, and I love it.

    Because of Twitter and social media, the world is very close, as are all of the people I am seeing comment here. Happy Birthday Twitter! Thanks for giving me such a wonderful package of people gifts!

    Thanks for writing this, Gini. I think I might as well turn this novel of a comment (sigh, what’s new?) into my own Twitter birthday blog post. 🙂

    • What a great comment and story, Nancy! Hope you turn it into a post!

    • Gini Dietrich

      All you have to do is add some links and a couple of subheads and you have a blog post for tomorrow! <3

      • I know! That is how many of my blog posts come about. This post of yours is already linked to!

  • I went through four stages of Twitter adoption back in April 2008.

    Stage One:
    “Twitter is stupid. No-one cares what I had for breakfast.”
    Stage Two:
    “I don’t have enough time to keep up with all of that stuff.”
    Stage Three:
    “Hey, someone retweeted me!”
    Stage Four:
    “I’ve been getting the Fail Whale for TWO MINUTES! What’s the DEAL?”

    I’m one of those who wish it was as interactive as it used to be, so I’m doing my part by trying to post more actual conversation and less automated link sharing.

    • Gini Dietrich

      The Fail Whale! LOL!! (And I totally care what you had for breakfast.)

  • Not sure what disturbs me more…..the fact you are still a Bears fan….or that The Paul Sutton tweeted from a Beyonce Concert. Don’t get me wrong….I LOVE BEYONCE….just not her music. Now I have images of The Paul Sutton wearing a Relax shit in the 80’s…..dressing like the Back Street Boys…..singing to Insync in the shower……and asking for a Zima in a crusty dark English Pub. My day has been ruined!

    • Gini Dietrich

      It is our goal to ruin your day. Every. Day.

  • I was on twitter for a year or so following sports figures and celebrities and it was booooooring; it pretty much set dormant until I retweeted a tweet from a local @BarbaraNixon who also had a @GiniDietrich in her feed and low and behold Ms Gini started following me; truly a life changing event and the rest is history as they say.

    Back in the day I used it mostly for promoting blog posts; these days is somebody tags me I will respond but I’m only using twitter just enough to keep my license. But it’s still good to be me if anybody is wondering….:).

    • Gini Dietrich

      If I’d only known then…

      • Geez you followed him back but not me

        • Probably because you keep using stoopid pseudonyms…

          • Howie Maui Ka-Powie is definitely my favorite so far! I picture him in a Hawaiian shirt, sipping a piña colada out of a coconut, watching Magnum PI, responding to blog comments….and the entire scene really improves his comments overall.

          • Gini Dietrich

            Kanye is my favorite.

          • Any scene would improve his comments. I’m waiting for the Howie Doin’ Man Waye Aye frae Geordietoon!

  • I kind of like my first tweet under the JW account.

    To be fair I launched that one after years of tweeting under the doppleganger’s name so I knew what I was doing.

    But as time constraints made it more difficult to get on at the same time and the conversations started to shrink so did my use of it.

    • Gini Dietrich

      Ah, man! I miss those days! I remember the big reveal…and how much fun it was trying to figure out who the man behind the avatar really was.

      • It was fun. When I got into this wacky realm I had no idea where it would lead and never considered there would be a time where I’d want my real name used.

        Twelve years later and boom! 🙂

        • Gini Dietrich

          Was it 12 years?! That’s crazy!

  • Laura Petrolino

    Since my first Tweet was accidentally left out here (cough, cough)….I’ll take a moment to share my Twitter story. My mom got on Twitter before me. She had heard about it on TV I think and joined. Then she asked me what I thought. I remember telling her it wouldn’t last six months, it would be just a passing crazy trend. But then I kind of felt embarrassed that my mom was on Twitter and I wasn’t….so I joined.

    I’ve never been a huge Twitter fan, it’s just not as fun for me personally as other social networks. Maybe because I’m rather loquacious and so I get frustrated by so few characters ….but I have “met” some awesome people there who I consider fantastic collegues and friends. Including Gini Dietrich, who I met when she asked me what Olympic sport I wanted to compete in (in response to my “wanna be Olympian” mention in my profile). I said synchronized swimming and the rest is history.

    • Would this be the same “fantastic colleague and friend” Gini Dietrich that left your first tweet out..? #priorities

      • I’m sure she did it for my own protection. I mean my celebrity is already so overwhelming times, especially now that big name celebrities such as Kayne West are commenting on my blog posts. It’s the burden I bear….

        • You haven’t really arrived until you’ve had Bob the Builder comment…

          • I aspire to that level of awesome……some day….some day.

      • Gini Dietrich

        You should ask Laura why I left her out.

        • She said it’s because you were jealous of her unicorn.

          • Gini Dietrich

            She knows the real reason.

          • Was she twexting Howie Dowie Doodlebum?

          • No, but that would make her punishment doubly worse.

  • I was so worried that mine would be “Time to make a sandwich … turkey or ham?” The only reason it wasn’t is that I created the account and didn’t use it for a couple of years, so by the time I actually started posting I had the benefit of all of your and others’ knowledge ….
    Now if I just figure out how to get my damned picture in these comments.

    • OMG, never mind — it worked!!

      • Gini Dietrich

        I was going to say you did it! LOL!!

  • I’m still not sold. I rarely use it, mostly just sharing my FB/Instagram posts to Twitter. Boredom is my main reason to cruise tweets or any social media for that matter, but it’s mind-blowing to think about how much news/information is shared globally. Happy Birthday Twitter!

  • I was late to the Twitter party and until 2011 was fond of saying ‘twitter’s for twits.’ My first tweet was in March 2009 when I told the Twitter-verse, “Researching a trip to DisneyWorld–didn’t know the mouse was so confusing.” I was disappointed that nobody responded with suggestions on how to plan a trip. Of course, it would have helped if my account had been set to public so everyone could see my tweets (a discovery I made a few weeks later).

    • LOL!!! Literal laugh out loud (or LLOL as we call it internally). Did you take said trip?

  • Twitter brought you to me! And the world hasn’t been the same since.

    • It most definitely has NOT been the same. Remember how we sat there and played six degrees? It was crazy!

  • Hmm, I think my first tweet was something like “upgrading a database.” Yep, geek. So grateful to have met so many wonderful people all over the globe.

  • My first tweet was 21st March 2010 (as if I missed my 6 year anniversary!!) :

    “oh hello twitter! New girl here!” I then took a break for about 6 months and since then I’ve been an addict. I love twitter, i think I definitely prefer it to Facebook.

    • New girl here! LOL! It’s super fun to look back, isn’t it?

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