I think that without twitter you would spend that time, blogging, facebooking, gaming or doing whatever you want, except writing books. If you want to write a book and feel inspired to do it, you'll do it, no matter twitter or oder SNS out there...
How much business has twitter (let me rephrase that) social networking in general, helped me gain? Maybe $50-100 over the last 3 years. waste of time, I really am such a glutton for punishment for continually trying. It all depends on the type of business you do, some are much better for applying to social networking.
That only counts the time you spent composing tweets. How many tweets have you read? How many articles that were linked to by tweets?
Also, I guess it depends on how you're valuing the opportunity cost. How many speaking gigs did you get via Twitter over that time? How much income can you link to Twitter? How much have you learned because of your interactions with people on Twitter?
Then, ask those same questions about time you would've spent writing & promoting a book.
Yes. a book would be much more complete of a thought than the 140 character limitation allowed you. Matter of fact...I probably would have liked to read that book since you did attempt to provide some value content over on Twitter.
Be Awesome on Twitter :: http://bit.ly/Buffed-Tweet :: this is a new find for me. Rather than reinvent the wheel, I tend to mirror those who know more than me. Snagged this Buffer app from a Guy Kawasaki interview. If you play with the free version for a few days, you wil likely upgrade like I did after you see how they do what they do.
Observing from the southern tip of Africa :) I would say all those tweets built your personal brand which lead to you (directly and indirectly) to where you are now with the Altimeter Group. What do you think?
Jeremiah,Ah twitter..How else would you have met a grandmother in Virginia who was keeping frozen PEAS in her cleavage? The idea of that alone makes me smile - not to mention a photo of a HUGE bright green high heel you sent me from some odd overseas trip. After joining twitter in April 2007 one of my earliest memories was that many of the early adopters had to drag you and your crocs, kicking and screaming, into any real activity in the tweetstream. Oh you had been present, but you just hadn't yet made twitter make sense for you. It seems though that - looking back - you didn't waste your time. You had to have grown personally, not from the words you wrote but from what you learned as the community that twitter became turned into a large funny family sometime between 07 and 08. Those were the days.And look at your journey from then til now. Good work - and thanks for being part of the frozen pea team when I needed it. :)