Super Twitter Tuesday
Web Strategy by Jeremiah
I think everyone in the social media circle understands the value of microblogging platform Twitter, but it is sometimes helpful to explain to those new to the platform why it might be (or might not be) a good fit for their needs. Jeremiah Owyang caused a “Twitter explosion” yesterday by Tweeting a post about the value of Twitter conversations and urging his readers to leave their Twitter names in his comments, and add him as a friend. The result? A huge wave of new connections throughout the Twitterverse, and a broad response from the blogosphere. Talk about power of the community. “This is a good test of what could happen in an emergency, as folks were using Twitter to get messages out during the South CA fires a few months ago. The viral activity in and around Twitter was amazing, people of like minded interests were leaving their twitter profile below, then connecting to each other at a rapid rate, it then spread the the blogosphere slowing both twitter.com and my blog.”
Alone at the Top?
In the wake of Jeremiah’s successful Twitter experiment, Brian Solis argues that Twitter is truly a conversation hub (or ecosystem, as some are calling it), but is quick to point out that it is hardly alone in this function. Conversations are happening throughout the Internet, and Brian reminds users not to ignore other social networks in favor of Twitter. He does underline, however, that the service is an extremely useful resource, and the top platform of its kind operating today. “And conversations are not unique to Twitter, it’s just one of the places where you can start and join discussions
that matter to you. Conversation hubs are everywhere. That’s the entire foundation of Social Media. Twitter just happens to be the most popular microblogging network out there right now and it represents the first micromedia tool that will have mass appeal. But, depending on the market demographic and segment, those hubs are stationed across the Web.”
Does Social Media Lend Itself to Astroturfing?
Now Is Gone
Does the loosened editorial nature of social media, and its adoption by major news outlets (comments on newspaper stories, for example), lend itself to an increase in “homespun” astroturfing? Ike Pigott examines the issue, considering the idea that the Internet has created its own self-styled “experts” on any topic, out there tossing ideas and arguments as proven facts without any citation, or leaving comments with similar arguments under several different names. He calls it human nature to attempt to manipulate others into our way of thinking. I’m not sure this necessarily counts as astroturfing, per se, but it is an interesting point. “The impulse to Astroturf is in our DNA. It’s always been there, lodged in the part of our brain that makes us social creatures. If we don’t recognize that, we run the risk of enabling non-genuine activity on the sites and communities we build. This lack of vetting is what places “lowly bloggers” so far down the food chain of news. It takes time and effort to build a reputation for accuracy, neutrality, and consistency.”
What’s On Your Social Media Bookshelf?
While blogs are some of the best up-to-the-minute information and news in the social media and public relations world, there are also many excellent reading choices out there. Joe Thornley offers some micro-reviews of the books on his social media bookshelf, including “The Cluetrain Manifesto” (a must read), “Naked Conversations,” “Everything is
Miscellaneous,” and (a book whose relationship to social media I’d yet to consider) “The World is Flat.” What social media books are you currently reading? “Thomas Friedman explores the potential for the ubiquitous Internet to transcend geography and transform the global economy. My children are no longer in competition with the kids in their school or city. They now can look forward to a life in which they compete and share with people on the other side of the globe. Sweeping changes for North Americans and Europeans who have taken for granted an economic order that emerged in the mid-fifties.”