When I first started to really get into social networking more than three years ago it opened up a whole new world of opportunities. These were not just for me personally but also for me as the professional communicator. So, when a friend said to me that her horse’s Twitter account was now being followed by a tweeting orange I started to question whether we had gone wrong and if this was all that social networks had been reduced to?
The big draw of social media was the chance for me to have conversations with like-minded people with similar interests across the global, as well as being able to keep instantly updated about what is happening in the world and in the lives of family and friends. I have made many new friends through Twitter and have been able to subsequently meet them face-to-face. I have also learnt new things that have helped me both personally and professionally. There have been lots of new ideas to consider and new worlds to explore.
Professionally the use of social media has allowed greater creativity and innovation , as well as putting communication at the heart of the business – if it wasn’t before. It has given a direct way to communicate with people and has made content one of the most important things for me every day. This all sounds great, but let us remember it has come with challenges and risks that have to be managed.
But what about the horse account, oranges tweeting and even the Essex wolf making an immediate appearance on Twitter after escaping from Colchester Zoo? I have to confess, and some who know me will already know, that I have a horse that tweets and uses Facebook. It started as a bit of fun, a break from the day-to-day routine of work. It is entertaining to have conversations with other horses, dogs, cats, rabbits and assorted animals. Does it serve any useful purpose? Well, yes it does. I have received useful advice from a vet, learned about herbal treatment for arthritis in horses and been given new horse treat varieties to try.
Some have said to me that animals can’t tweet and they roll their eyes when they learn my horse has his own social media profile. For these people the idea of an orange tweeting to a horse is a concept they won’t and don’t want to understand. For me this is another example of the creativity and innovation that is driven by social media. Nothing has gone wrong with social networks what we are witnessing is it being pushed to the limits in a variety of ways.
I am not going to set up accounts for my fruit bowl but I admire the creativity of someone who has. I will however continue to help my equine companion tell his tale and have conversations across the globe.