I spent a lot of time this weekend explaining Twitter to people. People want to know not just what it is but why they should use it. It’s confusing for people who have never tried it. It’s so simple yet so confounding. This chart explains the early stages well:
One thing i’ve noticed in my explanations is that Twitter is much more like MySpace than Facebook. I also heard the term “egocasting” for the first time. It makes sense. Both Facebook and MySpace are social networks but if you look at their architecture, you’ll see that Twitter is more like MySpace in that all profiles are public by default and it’s a place for sharing.
Let me explain more. one of the strangest things i noticed during SXSW last week was that during panels, whenever someone asked a question, they came up to the microphone and (a) stated their name, (b) said their twitter handle, (c) asked their question. Everyone did that. It was amazing. People at SXSW are entrepreneurs but more than promoting their company, they are there to promote themselves. People are brands now more than ever and promoting yourself and your brand is more important now more than ever. Twitter lets you do that better than any other social tool. Just like MySpace allowed bands to simply say, “hey go to www.myspace.com/pinkfloyd” users can say, “hey just go to twitter.com/pescatello to find out about me.” It’s public, it’s just a URL and it will provide all the info you need to get to know someone.
Whether it’s good or bad that the popular tools of society are built to broadcast yourself out to the world is a good question. Regardless of the answer, the fact is that Twitter is here and embraced and only go to grow in strength and adoption. There’s a whole other post on why Twitter caught on. I do think it’s a good tool for our time and it combination of “egocasting,” easy mobile usage, and a great API have helped. I’d love to hear more about what you think. Please comment below
- More insights on Facebook, Twitter and Myspace from danah boyd (lsvp.wordpress.com)
- The Twitter Platform: 3 Years Old and Ready to Change the World (readwriteweb.com)
- The Future of Twitter: Social CRM (web-strategist.com)
- TweetDeck Joins The Facebook Connect Army (techcrunch.com)