I read your twit, therefore I [and you] exist.

8 10 2008

Earlier this year, we wrote about whether to twit or not to twit and what that decision meant. As Twitter and the whole concept of nano 🙂 blogging has started to take off, more questions have been raised about the particular ‘social media order’ to which all these kinds of activities, like blogging, vlogging,  twitting etc belong.

TweetDeck helps you manage your tweet stream

TweetDeck helps you manage your twitter streams

An acquaintance passed comment to us recently that ‘blogging is the mothership’. This is indeed, an interesting way of putting it. In our own practice, often we use twits to connect others to a larger blog post (cos let’s face it, 140 characters does not provide much of a summary!). In this respect, we can think that Twitter is to blogging what a headline is to a newspaper article or what a title is to an essay. The twit, as it were, acts as an attention getter, an opening statement, an entree to another conversation.

But twitting is also an indicator of passionate users, an indicator of how connected and committed they are to different topics, communities, groups and others. Yann was at a marketing dinner lately and people were making comments about twitter like “I signed up for twitter and nothing happened. Then in the space of 3-4 hours, multiple people were following me arrgghhhhh!!” But this is the beauty of Twitter. In the real world, we exchange business cards to start a business relationship. Twitter does the same by following people. Someone follows you, you follow them back. It’s built on reciprocity. There’s nothing creepy about it. Ok, well maybe something a little creepy… Or should we say creeping…..it’s about rankings, people…

For example, Yann (not that he can vote) recently started following Barack Obama (just for kicks) and he followed right back! Barack Obama has 92,000 people following him and he follows 96,000 people. You just can’t do that with a blog where it is less fluid. Now, here is the gravy, on the first page of google organic when you search for Barack Obama, the 6th ranked URL link is Twitter, above CNN and everything else. The first and second are his own sites, the 3rd is Wikipedia, the 4th is ggoogle news, 5th is his .gov official senator site and then Reuters and then Twitter.  Get it?! Twits matter in the eyes of Google! The social media sphere is increasingly more important than traditional media. Note to self. Our friend Steve Outing recently had a quick post on the same subject.  So perhaps those analogies between twits, blogs, headlines and newspapers are not doing us justice after all…..

Finally, information is coming of age – Twitter, micro-blogging, blogging, and social media is giving

total power to the reader. I read your twit, therefore I [& you] exist. Brand managers, this should matter to you. If not, your competition will reach out to your customer and their digital footprint will be larger and faster than yours. You have a chance to own the distribution of the message, if you take it.

Next up….coming to a blog (and several twits too) near you – digital footprints (or is that feetprint) and the social graph (the mighty XFN)……

Thanks Vu Bui for the cool pic!

Kirsti

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4 responses

17 10 2008
Jared

Just a quick clarification….

“Twit” isn’t the correct usage here.

To “twit” is defined by Merriam-Webster as:
1 : to subject to light ridicule or reproach
2 : to make fun of as a fault

To “twitter” is (definition again from m-w):
intransitive verb
1: to utter successive chirping noises
2 a: to talk in a chattering fashion b: giggle , titter3: to tremble with agitation : flutter
transitive verb
1: to utter in chirps or twitters
2: to shake rapidly back and forth : flutter

In this case, I believe the correct usage would be “twitter”, using the intransitive 2a definition from above, when using the word as a verb.

When using it as a noun, you should most assuredly use “tweet”, not “twit”.

I have seen “tweet” used online as a verb to describe the act of posting on Twitter. However, “tweet” is only officially defined as a noun.

Perhaps we will see a new definition in the future?

17 10 2008
Kirsten Broadfoot

Hi Jared,

Thanks so much for your comment! You are indeed correct, and actually, I was being deliberate in my use of the word ‘twit’ as per its dictionary definition as you pointed out. It was tongue in cheek 🙂

I grew up in a place where people were regularly called ‘twits’ and so I have always been culturally amused by this phenomenon. In fact, to ‘twitter about’ where I come from, is to spend your time frivolously on meaningless activities….

Maybe you are right….. a new definition would be good….

23 10 2008
Jared

Ah ha!

I wondered if that might be the case….

In any event, a well-written post.

31 10 2008
Walker Thompson

Great post… I’m new to the TWEET. I think the action of twitter is great, but I don’t like to use it just in Twitter alone. I think the best interaction of tweets occurs on Facebook, LinkedIN, etc. Basically, tweets works best in a larger network…

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