While in Australia in July  I had the opportunity to present to a room full of people who had never used twitter. I was also able to sign them up in real time and introduce them to a new medium.

This was incredibly humbling as it allowed me to peek into the minds of those who have not yet totally signed up to the notion of social networking and allowed me to see first hand what the barriers (and also opportunities) are for social networks in business such as twitter.

If I present to a group of people who are not using twitter, I have found the easiest way to make a case for them to use it is by asking them if they were ever able to claim their name on hotmail years ago.

I was actually lucky enough to grabag_hotmailway back in the late 1990s , and so I make the case that at a bare minimum you should sign up to twitter to protect your brand – that is your name.

I have signed up both my wife, and our daughter with twitter names – knowing that while they may not wish to use twitter just yet, I have protected their name and brand for the future.

Indeed, many corporates such as Vodafone, Eurostar and the like are coming to Twitter and realising that someone else has grabbed their name. (I note that as of today @eurostar has grabbed their name back, but I hear it takes a while to get twitter to act on brandsquatters).

So my sound advice is if you are reading this and are NOT currently on twitter, head over to the twitter signup page and grab your name.

Then what? Well there are plenty of interesting people to follow – you might start with @andrewgrill (that’s me) and see who I am following etc – this is what I did more than 3 years ago when I joined twitter.