Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Rise of Twitter


It's kind of difficult to wrap your head around it at first glance.

A micro-blog. Say something in 140 characters or less. It seems most people are using this medium to talk about really interesting things, from shopping at the mall to being sick.

So I sign up. For those of you familiar with facebook. Twitter is identical to a status update. However, this update is broadcast to everybody on Twitter and more specifically, anyone who is following you.

But who cares about the mundane things I do on a daily basis? Probably no one.

Tweet at 8 a.m. "BJPuttbrese is going to work today."

Tweet at 9:30 a.m. "BJPuttbrese drank coffee this morning. It was a little strong for his liking."

Tweet at 11 a.m. "BJPuttbrese is -- you know, the usual -- raiding the candy jar instead of working."

And on and on.

While I'm still on the fence, people in the public relations biz have already bought the Twitter cow. And they can't stop talking about it. A guy named Steve Rubel never stops tweeting. Links, thoughts, ideas, news articles. Anything on his mind gets dropped in a tweet.

Surely, he's addicted to his mobile device and is probably an absolute treasure for company at restaurants. But I digress.

Naturally, there's some dissent. To say it politely, some bloggers think Twitter is just people constantly wanting attention.

But what I realized today during a social media presentation at work was this: Teenagers use text messaging all the time. Twitter on a phone. It's not a stretch to say they'll migrate online to something that is familiar.

And teenagers are getting older, so this is how they will communicate. Maybe not Twitter exactly, but in that vain. Short, to-the-point messages. To communicate with them, which every pr, marketing type will have to do sooner or later, you'll have to at least understand how it works.

For this reason alone, I encourage pr peeps to sign up and tweet.

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