Pierre-Olivier Carles

January 2, 2022

My Twitter story

Twitter is incredibly underrated.

I want to share with you how my use of Twitter evolved during the last decade and how I saw it becoming great again.

Hopefully, it will resonate with you and how you see the social network.

In its early years, I found that place I was looking for without being capable of defining it.
It was a very social tool called Twttr.

If you loved blogging, that new thing was micro-blogging - Expressing yourself with a 140-character limit.

Twttr quickly renamed Twitter, used to love animals.

Its logo was a bird - probably an NFT for sale somewhere now - but your most frequent wildlife encounter was the failed whale.


The failed whale was appearing each time the platform was down for you and others. We saw it A LOT!

I don't mention the lack of stability to shame the CTO in charge then; it's my way to tell you how good was Twitter.

When your product is so bad and unstable and, at the same time, so fascinating and sticky, you know you're onto something huge.

Back then, Twitter was all about having meaningful or entertaining conversations, getting the latest news on almost anything, and learning a lot from those who made it and who were now sharing their recipe for success.

But very soon, "the noise" started growing exponentially.

You didn't need to be correct anymore.

You needed to say anything you had in mind more aggressively, be louder, and have more friends supporting - and RTing - your views.

Marketing and personal branding poorly done took over the platform.

I'm going to say "we" because to a certain degree, I was part of this too, consciously or not.

We were not sharing anymore; we were promoting, and 99% of us were doing it the wrong way in "Fake-it-until-you-make-it" mode.

We wanted followers by the numbers; the social proof was in the 5 or 6 digits, not really in the content, so most of us became flawless and thus, bland.

Tactics are crucial to growing a brand and an audience, but it always starts with good content.

When the energy you put in tactics takes over the one you put into your content, you know you're doomed.

Branding needs a story and a significant amount of authenticity.

The little bird was not a cool kid anymore, and many people started giving up on it to move to other faster-growing platforms.

A few years later, we all thought Twitter was condemned to a life of stagnation.

And then.

Donald J. Trump enters the chat.

Like it or not, he put Twitter in the light again.

He found the perfect stage to run a permanent reality show - and fundraising event - and build a massive fan base in 280 characters.

His semantic was simple to understand, with a ton of punchlines and many meme-material tweets. #Covfefe

Politic feeds on the controversy, and there's no place like Twitter to pick a fight in public.

After years of coma, the platform was back as a massive source to get the latest news and even more fake news.

I guess, at one point, Jack remembered he had another company to take care of on the side of Square - now called Block - and decided to throw some ideas around.

Twitter, the frozen platform pushing a few minor features every year, seemed to wake up finally.

Its algorithms improved, trying to manage the chaos political debates were creating, to control hate speech, or to prevent kids from being bullied, just to name a few - so many challenging problems to fix when no one is home for years.

From that chaos and regained interest emerged more attention and value.

I believe that revival was not engineered nor planned; it just happened.

Twitter was back on the game.

Fast forward to this morning, as I write these words about my favorite and long-time social friend... I've cleaned my entire following to start again from scratch.

It's like a big reset for the algorithms as they suddenly receive very confusing information when your behavior changes dramatically in a short period.

I've started following new hand-picked accounts.
My focus was on two different but equally important topics: Rugby and Marketing.

And my Twitter became great again.

I follow a bunch of nice guys to talk about rugby with. It's like being in a 24/7 sports bar with questionable jokes and passionate comments being thrown all around.

And I have started perfecting my marketing and entrepreneurial skills again by following and reading "experts-who-made-it" on topics like TikTok Ads, Copywriting, or Scaling.

It's all free.
It's all there.

And it can give any person with a phone the power to build a company from scratch with nothing.

By nothing, I mean no idea, no skills, and no money - just a phone and some work ethic.

The only thing you have to do is to start learning and doing.

Twitter is still that old platform for haters for many, including marketers, but there's so much value to benefit from if you pay attention.

Start with these simple steps:
  • Clean your followings,
  • Define your priorities,
  • Start following very carefully people who can deliver what you are looking for,
  • Unfollow the ones not delivering your priorities.

It's 100% worth it.

Thank you for reading this very long post.

If you are looking for me on Twitter, I'm here: @pocarles.

Don't follow me just because that single post resonates with you, do it thoughtfully.

And be aware that I tweet in French for rugby conversations and in English for marketing ones before hitting the follow button. I reply in both languages, though.

About Pierre-Olivier Carles

De mon parcours fait d’entreprises, d’investissements, de succès et d’erreurs, je tire des pensées personnelles que je partage ici, en français maintenant. Documenter ce voyage peut en inspirer d’autres, mais, à vrai dire, c’est d’abord à moi que cela apporte quelque chose.