I subscribed to twitter about a month ago and since then I have received a daily dose of answers to the question “what are you doing” in under 140 characters from two individuals I already knew a little through blogging; Ian Green and Drew Benvie. They were my guinea pigs if you like. A couple of observations. I really do believe this thing (or something like it) will be huge and for kids with time and that adolescent need for regular peer approval and social contact it is a no-brainer. I will be working with my colleagues in the brand teams to understand this even more in the next few weeks. In business I am less sure, but am prepared to believe that there will be a generation of people who find useful this constant stream of personal updates from colleagues, clients and partners. I just can’t see it yet myself. As for Ian and Drew, I really feel I know a lot about them now. Ian is a passionate rower and obviously a driven businessman and Drew’s moment by moment updates (which I received by text) on the Grand National (a horse-race for those outside UK, which I was watching anyway) were brilliant and made me laugh that the medium should be deployed for sports commentary. They are both great family men and enjoy a glass of wine or two and are very funny. But for now guys, I hope you don’t mind if I switch you off from the text updates and just visit you via the web page when I choose rather than clog the blackberry more than it already is. It has been an absolute pleasure getting to know this much about you though.
Oh, and I have been dying to write that headline for weeks missus.
[tags] Drew Benvie, Ian Green, Twitter, PR [/tags]
9 thoughts on “Twitter Ye Not?”
You could subscribe to Alan Johnson’s Twitter. It’s only updated about two or three times a day, so as not to annoy people. The idea is to give everyone a real, honest insight into what a cabinet minister actually does. At the moment he’s the most senior politician to use Twitter, although John Edwards is also using it but has to become President before he becomes more senior 😉
Disclosure: I know David knows, but for those that don’t I am Alan’s communications director in his bid to become deputy leader of the UK Labour Party.
I’m a 24 year old male, fairly web savvy guy and I’m not a huge fan of twitter. Not that the idea doesn’t make sense, but facebook.com already has a similar feature, not to mention a plethora of other features. I can also reach my friends much easier with facebook, since they are already a part of it.
Not to say that Twitter will never have a market, but I think gen-y has already been accustomed to greater features and funtionality.
Stuart, I will venture again then for text updates. And good luck with the campaign.
Allan, I did not know that, so thanks. Is it based on the same question, “what are you doing”? Nice blog by the way.
The feature on facebook.com is called “Status Update.” The question is a little more open than “what are you doing?” Users simply fill in the blank to a statement that says, “[User Name] is [blank].” For example if you had a facebook profile, you could update your status by filling in the blank with something like “Brian is traveling to Madrid.”
Like twitter, it can be updated via cell phone or the internet. After it has been updated it is automatically fed into a general news feed, which is at the front and center of friends’ dashboards. The feed also includes updates anytime a friend has made any sort of change or addition to their profile.
It is worth noting though that facebook.com was built with a focus on college students in the US.
I enjoy Twittering although I turned off the mobile component after the first day. What it does for me though is give me via the website a quick insight into the lives and my friends and blogging buddies. With lots of people abroad this stops me having to send “hey, how are you, it’s been a long time, what are you up to…” kind of emails.
My mobile is a BlackBerry and I have instant messenger installed on it, so that’s how I get my Twitter feed. I find SMS updates are a bit irritating and don’t scale.
I also have Twitteroo installed on my Mac for when I’m at my desk.
With I’m and Twiteroo it’s not too intrusive and even with a lot of friends/followers it’s not too full-on yet I get to see what the digerati is talking about and be part of that conversation.
I think applications like Twitter will enable organisations to target consumers for location-based services in an age of over-exposure to marketing messages. For example, if my favourite coffee shop had a Twitter feed I would want Tweets telling me, on my way into work, if my favourite coffee was on special offer, and it would get me to take that mini detour and go in.
Thanks Drew and Amelia,
Maybe by activating the text function I was taking on too much. Good advice and rather than turn myback I will adopt these ways of using it.
Top help-desk this blog thing don’t you think?
I too have been a twitter for some time but like all new media the real onus is not on whether you think it is a good tool but more importantly whether the people you want to engage with and learn from are using it.
In this instance, the people and communities I want to build relationships with are using Twitter so for me it’s a must-do.
However, the only way I use this service is through the web. I have enough email and text messages already and the thought of increasing this brings shivers down my spine.
On a final thought, there are other richer twitter-like web services out there but to reiterate my initial point, it’s who’s using it that counts. Facebook is building great traction but it’s still not in the same league as twitter yet.