At a digital media conference gig the other night I met Silkcharm one of Australia's leading bloggers (see below) and her comments were enough for me to revisit the Twitter space again.
"Yeha that sounds like a party" I hear you cry!
From a business point of view, remember the techie geeks are driving online innovation, they invented PC's, email, the web, mobile phones, Ipods and Facebook that we all now take for granted and rave about - it's the Devil wears Prada of web stuff and if you want to know what's happening you need to be in their space.
When you think about it's not much different than drinking at the pubs that horse trainers drink to get the hot tips - you need to tap into the relevant social space and constructively contribute (who's got time for neg heads?) - it's the age old lessons of gaining trust and building relationships.
Anyway some dude at the conference said something like the Internet is for people with too much time or something like that - yes and no. The same dude (my old competitor Aconex) had just raised $107m from private equity just days before the stock market crash so you have to question that one as well.
Moving on, over the last week I've been looking Twitter again. For the uninitiated Twitter is basically a Free, 140 character chat system, microblogging or social networking, but is much more than that - one comment I liked was that it is like an online pub where people meet, chat and share! (see video)
Hmmm, I'll think about that, I still prefer a real beer...(yes for those who know me face to face that is very obvious I know!)
I'm interested to see what sort of growth over the last year and a half and to look at the challenges and opportunities for business. For those who like numbers Wikipedia reports that as of October 2008, Twitter claims to have over 3,200,000 accounts registered. I wonder how many Aussies? A search for Aussie Twitterers reveals 8,109 Aussies. I'd say that's too low - on most stats Australia is about 1% of the global market, so at a guess I'd say about 32,000 and then apply Parato's 80:20 rule - ie the top 20% represent 80% of the influence.
Anyway, if this is where the techno thought leaders, influencers and cool kids are hanging out then we need to check it out.
I found this image from a Costa Rican Blog
I'd say Australia follows pretty much the same curve. I'm interested to know what these Australian thought leaders are Twittering about?
Back In the beginning- what are you doing now?
I look back through my posts to my first entries - 9.21AM, Jul 28th, 2007. My first "tweets"
- Out of bed, quick emails check - Google Alerts article on Telstra staff banned using Facebook - writer mentioned Twitter "fun" - investigate! 9:21 AM Jul 28th, 2007 from web
- In about an hour we've added the twitter feed to a new article then digged it. Now time for a coffee!!!! 10:38 AM Jul 28th, 2007 from web
- Back in the office - took time out this morning over coffee to explore "SMS is dead" article in Fortune and then brand loyalty and the web 9:47 AM Jul 30th, 2007 from web
- Writing an article on social booking options - which ones to add from the hundreds available - what you then have is "social marketing" 12:48 PM Jul 30th, 2007 from web
- Having a quick chat with the very beautiful Monique from Creative Stars (events and experiences) about social bookmarking marketing 4:51 PM Jul 30th, 2007 from web
- I'm awake but in pain - yesterday my dad, my best mate and mentor died suddenly in a boating accident. A man of honour and integrity. 12:37 AM Aug 2nd, 2007 from web
- Getting my head around writing the eulogy for my dad who died the other day. Though sad we celebrate a great life - finding the words...... 4:43 AM Aug 5th, 2007 from web
- Seven months on - just finished some internet marketing for a client. 3:23 PM Mar 28th 2008 from web
People to people and matters of priority communications technology
Clearly, as demonstrable by the gap in time, Twitter was not the central communication mode during the gap. Face to face, phone, email and text ruled the day as this was the communication mode of most friends and family.
How much different would that be now - for me not a lot just yet - most of my business relationships are only just getting used to Skype, may have a Linkedin account and have dabbled with Facebook - it'll be a while before they're blogging and Tweeting.
The example above makes you wonder when you consider what matters most how much of all this technology is all complete bullshit? How long before this space is also full of doof doof try hards and multilevel marketers - constantly jumping on the next big thing for the quick buck?
Maybe that's the biggest challenge of the space? I post a question on Twiitter to see what sort of response?
Anyway, if you are slightly introverted like me then the idea of publishing your thoughts out into cyberspace for all to see is not something that initially sits comfortably BUT, like all things you need to experiment to learn and build confidence and really it's much like riding a bike, writing a blog or exploring your own creativity.
One of the Twitters I found is a work at home mum Michelle Zamora's Beginners Guide to (online) social networking that encapsulated much of these thoughts.
The need to speak your own voice and get out there.
The key is to create good original creative content from your own perspective and create cut through (I'm still not happy with this blog but practice makes perfect).
From a creative framework I've been incorporating this black to white element in my photography, marketing and writing - the use of contrast in story and image to get "cut through". Without day there is no concept of night. How we can we imagine what we haven't experienced?