My blog is about exchanging ideas and best practices on all things marketing and communications related. I'm interested in your thoughts, feedback, additions, arguments and point of view.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Be a Twitter

...i'm hung over from the CMA's last night...(send)
... it’s warm in my bed...(send)
...i think i need new batteries for my camera...(send)
...I just paid my hydro bill. (send) it ok to eat yoghurt after the sell by date?...(send)

No I haven't cut and pasted sentences from various emails into one incoherent paragraph, nor am I playing a thought association game. I'm demonstrating the art of Twitter. The New York Times calls it, "one of the fastest-growing phenomena on the Internet." TIME Magazine says, "Twitter is on its way to becoming the next killer app," and Newsweek noted that "Suddenly, it seems as though all the world's a-twitter."

Welcome to the art of Twitter - living in the moment and staying connected, Millennial style.

A new toy for the tech savvy Millennial.
Those of you following trends created by the current 'it' group of society, Millennials, you’ll know that when these guys do something en masse, marketing people tend to notice - even if it doesn’t amount to much. Millennials number around 90 million strong in North America, and include people born between 1980 and 1995. They’re also the most coddled, preened and fussed over generation in memory, raised by dotting parents who told them they were special every chance they could (or at least left them voice mails to that effect).

Millennials are also the most connected, tech savvy, gadget owning group in history, and have a strong emotional need to stay connected with friends and family. Twitter could only make sense to this generation.

Creating a running life narrative.
Twitter began as a research and development project inside Odeo, Inc. by Noah Glass and Jack Dorsey, and debuted in March 2006. Also called micro blogging, it’s based around a simple idea – what R U doing right now? In 140 characters or less, users send text messages or “Twitter” at regular intervals to a pre-screened list of friends about the events in their daily life, from the mundane to the magnificent.

“It’s like creating a running narrative about our lives,” says Evan Williams, co-founder of Twitter and Blogger. “In the beginning, bloggers were viewed with disdain (do they think their lives are so important to write about?), but as it moved mainstream, writing about oneself on My Space and Face Book became the norm. People are reacting in a similar way to Twitter, (do they think their lives are so important?) What we’re creating is an ambient intimacy with our network of friends that’s real, readable, and then gone.”

It’s the paradox of the Millennials’ need to feel close and connected to others, but at arm’s length that makes Twitter intriguing. It’s an easy, non committal way to keep tabs and staying emotionally close to our friends with low effort, risk and intrusion.

Next Steps.
Setting up a twitter account is easy and takes a few minutes -
And there’s a handy Twitter guide that answers your questions.
The product team at Twitter is focussed on building a large following of users...with business models and revenue opportunities to follow. A Millennial said it best – “Some people may say that I think narrating my own life is crazy.... but for my own selfish reasons, it’s fairly natural to me.”

And said in 140 characters or less (136 to be exact).

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