So Twitter is omnipresent all of a sudden – but not necessarily omnipotent

Everyone’s talking about it.

No, not Eastenders. Suddenly, everyone wants to know about Twitter. I’ve been asked several times recently “What is it, exactly?”, and I can only say the usual: it’s a bit like texting, but imagine your text going onto the web, and if people find your texts interesting enough or they know you personally then they will follow your texts. And you can follow other people’s texts. But just call them tweets instead.

That seems to do the trick.

This is often followed by the skeptical “What’s it for?” Essentially this is the same as asking “What is a website for?”, which in turn is like asking what is a phone for? Well, it’s for communicating. What, specifically? Well, anything, generally! Ed Lee gives some timely advice on how to decide when to use Twitter.

I think three recent events have pushed Twitter to the fore:

Just take a look at what Google Insights shows us about Twitter: notice not only the exponential growth in searches, but some of the events listed. The majority of items are on the hacks, and political involvement with Twitter.

But you don’t have to be God (sort of), or a politician, or a luvvie. Anyone can use Twitter. So long as you use the more immersive twhirl or Tweetdeck rather than the Twitter site to interact with people, you’ll be laughing. Ha ha.

6 thoughts on “So Twitter is omnipresent all of a sudden – but not necessarily omnipotent

  1. I have just been asked to give a training session about Twitter and can’t help but be delighted by the opportunity.
    One of the reasons I love Twitter is that it is a real enabler one of the first BIG ideas I read about online.

    This idea is about the Internet itself and how it allows anyone and everyone (with access) to become a publisher and not just a consumer of content. UGC has so far however remained the pass time of the digital savvy. Publishing a YouTube video or writing a blog, if not containing many technical hurdles did require some feeling of ‘ease’ with computers. Or maybe more importantly a lot of time.

    Twitter however, as you say ‘is just like sending a text’. This simplicity is its key strength. It is just a communication tool that opens up new channels for sending and receiving signals. The reason for its power is that draws on the awesome and established properties of digital text from hyperlinking to RSS.


  2. I think the real difficulty in people’s minds is ‘what is it for’. It’s the classic example of software that doesn’t come with a user guide. You can use it for just about anything and, as you say, it’s so simple. No formatting, no challenging interfaces, hardly even a need to point and click. It’s the kind of social media Miss Marple could use.

  3. Pingback: Your Virtual Presence - Starting to Twitter

  4. i think twitter paid a lot of people to start talking about them. one week it was suddenly all over the national news and what ever show billy bush is on was talking about it almost non stop. what really really makes me believe this is when i was channel surfing i saw that on miss usa, they showed some celebrity on her cell phone then on the screen it said “twittering” with an arrow pointed a the phone.

  5. 🙂

    I don’t know if Twitter paid people. I think it’s a simple case of the media getting onto its own (social) media bandwagon. Take the current case of swine flu. The media’s gone gaga. There’s a lot of ‘could’ and ‘might’ going on. This doesn’t help. Neither does the media’s current preoccupation with Twitter.

    I’m a sometime social media fan. I’m starting to be minded that social media is not all it’s cracked up to be. One day I’m going to write a post about it. But not today.

  6. Pingback: Will one tweet ever change the world? « Brendan Cooper – your friendly social media-savvy freelance copywriter

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