This post is part of the #UsGuys weekend theme: Is Twitter a network or podium? For more, just search for the hashtag #UsBlogs.

Network or Podium?So the question is whether Twitter is a network or a podium. It all depends, but you’d be hard pressed to say one or the other. It’s not black or white. That’s a perspective of a closed mind who doesn’t appreciate all the shades of gray between, of which there are infinite or at the very least, 256 in the digital palette including black and white. The point is no one has the exact same twixperience. And before you can claim the podium, you need the network, or else you’re talking to echo chamber.

Yes, some use Twitter mostly as a podium to share one-way ‘look at me’ posts that don’t inspire a lot of following. Get enough followers like a Guy Kawasaki and you have a podium. But is anyone listening? Are they sharing with their tribes what you tweet?

And if you use it solely as a network, you’re missing a huge opportunity to share key messages that are of value to your followers and drive traffic to your business or brand.

So it’s a hybrid of course. And the amount of pontificating versus networking depends on your style, objectives and followers. But even when you’re using Twitter as a podium, always think about what’s in it for your audience. What’s their call to action? Why should they care and share? And also think about the 80 / 20 rule – 80% of the time you should be networking – building relationships, and 20% or less of the time step up to the podium.

Twitter is a great place to connect with other like-minded and not-so like-minded people. You get out of it what you put in – and if you care about your followers, are helpful, giving, your network will grow. And they’ll likely be interested in what you have to say when you deliver your 140 monologues. You might also consider paying attention to your followers when THEY step up to the podium. Think two-way street.

Now, I have a tweet . . .