[LINK] A Quick Comment on Twitter (was Re: More KevinPM - crashed site)

Jenny Millea jmillea at educationau.edu.au
Mon Nov 17 08:18:45 AEDT 2008

There's a good piece in the New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/07/magazine/07awareness-t.html?_r=2&pagewanted=1&oref=slogin which explains the ambient awareness and sense of community and interaction which tools like Twitter generate for twitterers.

Regards, Jen

-----Original Message-----
From: link-bounces at mailman1.anu.edu.au [mailto:link-bounces at mailman1.anu.edu.au] On Behalf Of Stilgherrian
Sent: Monday, 17 November 2008 6:52 AM
To: The Link Institute
Subject: [LINK] A Quick Comment on Twitter (was Re: More KevinPM - crashed site)

On 16/11/2008, at 10:51 PM, Kim Holburn wrote:
> There are twitter experts?

Of course there are.

In a broad sense, Twitter is just one form of the emerging "social
media". There are experts in many aspects of how the increasing use of
social media is changing business, society and personal life, some who
look at it from an academic perspective, for want of a better word
(monitoring, describing etc), and others in a more practical sense
(what does this mean for your business? how can we use this in a
marketing or customer support role?).

Twitter is already being used heavily by some businesses to monitor
their brand's reputation and to pick up problems. This happened to me
recently with Dell.

     "How Dell fixed my monitor order"

Other uses are listed in the Wikipedia article.


In a more specific sense, there are people who could have advised the
PM's office on how Twitter has already been used for political
purposes, and given them some pointers on the "social norms" and other
social dynamics which could have made Mr Rudd's entrance into the
Twitterverse less of a (slight) stumble. Native guides as it were.

I suspect many people underestimate Twitter (or whichever of its 100+
clones and competitors will eventually become standard communications
tools) because an initial impression can often be that it's inane.
Taken in isolation, human social grooming and phatic communication
often is. If you were just listening to the typical conversation on a
bus or in a front bar or around a water cooler you might similarly
imagine that "talking" was a pointless tool. But of course talking is
also how we produce some of the most profoundly important "results" of
human communication -- Society, Politics, etc etc...

The key issues are that tools like Twitter makes that conversation
global, instantaneous, searchable, linkable... Already the
hyperconnected Twitterverse gets a sense of, say, the impact of an
earthquake in half the time taken "professional" news outlets.


The Twitter "back channel" is changing how conferences run. Google
"twitter conference back channel". Twitter-connected folks in the
audience are summarising, discussing and forming opinions on the
material being presented *while* it's being presented, even when
they're not physically present at the venue.

The other day it was revealed that Google trends can predict a flu
outbreak 7 to 10 days ahead of the Centres for Disease Control's


Twitter is faster still.

Mark Pesce's keynote at Web Directions South, "This, That and the
Other Thing" http://blog.futurestreetconsulting.com/?p=76 was the most
wide-ranging of is presentations on this theme, so "Friends, Enemies
and My Army" http://blog.futurestreetconsulting.com/?p=57 might be
more user-friendly.

Googling the term "ambient intimacy" might generate some useful links


Stilgherrian http://stilgherrian.com/
Internet, IT and Media Consulting, Sydney, Australia
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