Friday, February 27, 2009

Twitter is the new TV

Tweet 1

Twitter is the new TV. It's what's on now.

By selectively Following some Followers of smart folk, you build audience of potentiality.


If you hang out at Twitter, and you Follow the right people or media outlets, you get lightning fast reports on events happening, as they happen, often with links to the source of the story. So Twitter can act as a headline news update channel, with a variety of citizen journalist and mainstream media input.

Many people spend seemingly all day and night on Twitter. It's creepy when you dip into the stream several times a day, and the same people tend to reply immediately to what you tweet. It's like TV to them. They can't tear their eyes from it.

Twitter has value to you personally when you gradually build an audience by carefully identifying smart folk to follow (book authors, pundits, experts, etc.), then picking and choosing which of their Followers seem worthy of interacting with.

Your ever expanding pool of Followers grows as people @ you, reply to your tweets, and you check their Profile to see what kind of information they submit, and if you value their content enough to Follow them.

This is similar to programming your television or DVR recording unit to pick up certain select stations.

Like TV, the broadcasting is constant, most of it irrelevant and boring, but gems are there and some Twitter channels have rich content of good value. By clicking on the Profile of a Twitter user, you can see their last 20 tweets, and Older ones to a certain limit (not all 4,000 or whatever number of messages they've posted since they started).

When you have a good batch of Followers and people you Follow, you can then ask questions, directly via DM, or to your whole audience, and get good answers, suggestions, and ideas. Twitter pals will watch your back. You tweet that you're about to do something, and a Twitter pal warns or scolds you to think twice about it.

Tweet 2

Twitter can be used narcissistically to entertain exhibitionistically.

Twitter can be used to provide value, insight, links, inspiration.


Even smart folk can slip into the "random details of my mundane life are, doggone it, interesting" syndrome. It's not technically wrong to tweet about your lunch, or what airport you're stuck at, or what tech conference you're getting drunk at. It's not necessarily better to be profound or complex or provocative. Perhaps a bit of both extremes would be nice. Self-absorbed, with occasional insights.

But only if you're just a regular individual.

Companies and consultants need to be squarely on the side of providing value for others, in all their communication channels, including Twitter.

As with blogs and websites, a messaging platform is only inconsequential when the content is trivial or when nobody's using it. People are using Twitter in growing numbers, both commercial and personal accounts. Corporations who use Twitter succeed by letting the Twitter representative be a distinct person, mission focused, and free to interact in a friendly, non-business manner in a defined set of parameters.

Individuals also can build prestige and respect by providing value in their Twitter messages. Instead of just expressing feelings and random thoughts, you can occasionally contribute something that others can benefit from.

Reviews of films, links to cool or helpful websites, online sources of book contents, music sites, online art, funny YouTube videos. Things your elders taught you that now appear to be correct. Jokes heard in the office. Advice on some aspect of a hobby you're good at. Recommendation of a product or book or film or band you like.

Some use Twitter just to stay in touch with a circle of friends and colleagues. While this can tend to be sleep-inducing to those outside that limited sphere, they find value in having fast status updates that are easier than email to send.

No matter how private and clique-ish your Twitter universe is, it never hurts to contribute valuable content to it. Impress your close pals with witty remarks, practical tips, and good advice.

Other-centric: the key to social interactions.

Tweet 3

Twitter can be used as asychronous chatroom, status updater, micro-debate platform, customer service desk, friendly hangout, blog promotion.

Twitter is the new TV.

What's on your channel today?

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