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Building a Primal Community with Twitter
Posted By Mark Sisson On March 31, 2009 @ 8:22 am In Announcements | 48 Comments
I’m going to be frank. A quick look around at our general surroundings, whether it’s the flawed studies being parroted by the clueless media or your coworkers rolling their eyes because you didn’t eat the bun, confirms that we Primalists are a rare breed. Bouncing around between all the great blogs that actually get it makes for a bit of an echo chamber; fantastic information abounds, but we can easily forget how radical and extreme we seem to most people. I understand this, and I try to make the Primal Blueprint  detailed enough for the nutrition buffs and accessible for the guy who maybe just wants to lose a few pounds. Scaring outsiders away might have been an effective tactic for Grok when resources and game were scarce, but we’re not about that here.
Still, I do this everyday because I truly want people’s lives to improve, and I think this is the quickest, most effective way to achieve that. I’m sure you guys have experienced the same thing I have – when you finally get the skeptic to let you explain the Primal Blueprint, they get it. What’s not to get? Anyone with a basic understanding of evolution and the willingness to give it a shot for a couple weeks can see the simple beauty and effectiveness of eating and living like our ancestors. I get emails almost every day from regular people without prior interest in nutrition who stumbled across this blog and ended up staying, but I still think we could do more to reach those out there who have no direct connection to Primal living – without compromising our unity or the complexity of our discussions (in fact, I think it will bolster both).
Reader madMUHHH posed an interesting suggestion last week, one that bears particular relevance to this issue:
“Maybe some of you guys are already doing it, but why not build up a little twitter-network, where everyone is posting what he ate today and what kind of workout he did. This way you could see what others are eating, get some inspiration, maybe share some cooking tips or suggest alternative ingredients. Stuff like that. Haven’t really used twitte runtil now, so I don’t know if it would really work the way I’m imagining it, but maybe we could just try that out. After all, sending a twitter message takes a few minutes and if enough people do it, you would probably get a lot of great recipe and workout ideas.
Basically we would be using technologies most recent advancement to go as primal as possible!”
I have a Twitter account , as I’ve mentioned in the past. As of now, I mostly just post recent updates to MDA, but I think with wider community involvement this could become a really powerful tool. I plan on posting more substantive things in the very near future – recent books or interesting links I’m reading, Tweets on my daily workouts and meals, book developments, MDA updates. But Twitter relies on user input. That’s the rub. It’s an incredibly simple tool with great potential, but it needs community support to make it worthwhile.
That’s where you come in.
I need you guys. One of my favorite parts of running this site is receiving feedback from the readers. It shows me that I’m actually reaching people, and they’re actually gaining knowledge and improving their health. It goes both ways: I learn a lot, too. I learn what’s working for people. I learn how Primalists manage to make it work in completely different climates. I even learned how to make a killer Primal Pizza  crust. I’m not sure if there are any good ways to create formal groups or forums through Twitter (anyway, the coming forum on the MDA relaunch site (!) should be good for that), but an informal coalition of Primal Tweets could be just as effective.
I think Twitter has great potential as a way to strengthen the community. As prolific as I and other bloggers try to be, we can only post quality content so often. Twitter allows – nay, forces – people to compartmentalize their thoughts and keep things short, succinct, and sweet. People on the go with smart phones can easily check Twitter for Primal updates, or update with their own observations or tips. Found a good local source for pasture-raised eggs? Tweet it (there might be locals reading). Just found the perfect balance of heat and cooking time to grill the perfect steak? Tweet the details and let the rest of us know how to do it. See, there’s no guarantee people will check the comments board or even read the blog every day, but keeping up with Twitter takes little effort – no more than it takes to read a sentence or two.
And as for attracting new people to the Primal fold, Twitter is an unobtrusive, indirect way to do it. When you start following my Tweets and start replying to them or posting your own Primal Tweets, everyone else who’s following you will also see them. If they’re interested, they’ll follow the thread and discover the entire network. If we have a strong enough community, with enough people updating their Tweets and following other Primal Twitter accounts, eventually we’ll begin to attract other people, people who otherwise would never have looked into the subject. That’s how Twitter works – by broadcasting each short message to anyone who’ll read it.
So how about it? Interested? If you’re a current Twitter user, follow me . Check out who I’m following and follow them, if you’re interested. Post your account in the comment section so we can all follow you, and vice versa. If you’re new to Twitter, check out the homepage , watch the video for a quick crash course, and join up for free. If we get enough people into this, we can have a veritably endless supply of constant daily Primal workouts, recipes, and nutrition links.
UPDATE: I’ll be using the tag #primal for all of my tweets. I encourage you to do the same for anything related to Primal living (Primal eating strategy, health, nutrition, fitness etc.) This way our community can easy follow all tweets on this topic. Read fitnessmantra’s comment below for more info.
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