When I came across Twitter about an year back, I was bewildered. So I can put 140 characters on a web site to tell the world what I am doing at the moment… Who cares? And why would I want to know what others happen to be doing at the exact moment they decide to share it with the world? However, there were quite a few people using Twitter so I decided to investigate Why we tweet and discovered it’s quite valuable both personally and for business. Ever since I have been an avid twitterer.
But something changed recently… all of sudden Twitter exploded in the mainstream, it even made it to the cover of TIME. Everyone from kids to businesses to politicians to governments are twittering. A few examples:
- Governator Arnold (@Schwarzenegger) twittered about an emergency plane landing. Not only did he tweet, but he took a photo of his plane and sent that out too
- Al Gore gets a million followers
- It played a big role in the overwhelming coverage of the #IranElection
- Dell took news confernence questions via Twitter
- The Israeli Consulate out of New York participated in a “citizen’s press conference” using Twitter
More often than not, Twitter is breaking the big story. Much like Youtube became the way to share video, Twitter is quickly becoming our open public wire service.
Twitter is beginning to change the way we communicate through crowd sourcing. By being connected and transparent we can get a sense of how humanity is feeling, thinking, and experiencing our world. It is only a matter of time before Tweeting is as well-known as Googling.
I believe it started with Ashton Kutcher publicly challenging CNN to become the first to get a million followers on twitter. CNN of course obliged, thinking they’d use their media muscle to get viewers to follow them to victory. But Ashton had an ace up his sleeve, he went on The Oprah Winfrey Show to evangelise twitter, and as expected, got America’s moms to help him gallop across the finish line well before CNN. The drama during, and after these events, ensured wallpaper coverage in the US media and it wasn’t long before everyone in the US was hooked, with the rest of the world playing catch up.
Do you think Twitter has crossed the chasm?
New to twitter? Here’s a tip; answer “what’s important to me” instead of “what am i doing” – Jeremiah Owyang (@jowyang)