“The hounds of Hell are now following you on Twitter…” (Email in a dream I had.)
I just wanted to share a few thoughts about social media.
The topic came up in my coaching program (the Radio Rant). People are understandably baffled about the cornucopia of ways available to gossip and reach out to touch other people.
And nobody has 4,000 friends. I don’t care what your Facebook total is.
Yet, many top online marketers (and politicians, and journalists, and probably the guy making subs at Quizno’s) are obsessively writing 140-character neo-haiku on Twitter, including me. I’ve had an account since mid-summer, and I’ve been playing around with it almost daily for weeks at a time.
Then I get bored and ignore it.
The good part: I have reconnected with a few old friends from across the globe. Of course, I could have just as easily reconnected with them via email, actual mail, or the phone. (Does anybody say “telephone” anymore?)
But, no, it’s been Twitter where we have the majority of our contact.
And I’m not sure what to make of this.
I see my colleagues almost frantically searching for ways to monetize their Twitter accounts. The Holy Grail would be to discover a tactic that justifies the time we spend telling strangers where we’re at and what we’re doing. (“The heat just came on. My nose itches. The little dog is laughing…”)
I find it odd that a good pal will tweet something, and I’ll reply (with my typical charm and wit) within seconds… and he won’t even see my reply. It gets buried in the avalanche of responses from his 4,000 followers.
Or — horrors — I’m starting to suspect that (like Britney Spears) my friends aren’t actually doing their own tweeting at all. They’re hired some ghost-writer drone to slam out YouTube alerts and push new marketing agendas.
Joe? Polish? You reading this?
So, for me, the “social” part of the medium is murdered in its sleep when so little actual social interaction takes place. (I guess you could argue that Direct Messages takes care of that need. But then, DM is really just a short email, isn’t it?)
This thing is NOT defining itself.
Anyway… here is what I wrote in my coaching forum about Twitter. Take it for what it’s worth.
And after you read this… I would like to hear what YOU think about all the social media sites, and they’re affecting the culture and the way we do business. (Personally, I don’t know of a single dollar having been earned from a tweet, from anyone. Enlighten me, if you know something I don’t.) (And no fair claiming anything vague like “brand recognition” or any of that shit.)
Here’s my post:
My 2 cents on social media. By little Johnny Carlton.
As you know, I’ve been logging onto Twitter for months now. About 20% of the time I use it to announce biz stuff — blog posts, a new launch, a new product.
The rest of the time, I’m performing pure social interaction. That’s what pleases me.
I call my tweets “Twitter Bombs”, because I toss them out into the grid just to wake people up and cause chaos.
I am seeking the give-and-take of witty repartee, like the brassy (and extremely funny)
sessions I have with other writers in the bar after a hard day of seminars.
The advantage of Twitter is that it’s instant interaction. You tweet, and the folks still awake, or alert to action on Twitter, respond.
I’ve actually re-established some long-dormant friendships through Twitter.
The DISadvantage of Twitter is the same instant interaction element.
A blog post stays up until you post again.
People come to a blog, and read the first post — so if you put something up of real value, you can engage large numbers of people with it.
Plus, you can archive it, and make it easy for people to access even years afterward. (I’m always getting comments on old blog posts from 3 and 5 years ago.) (Not sure why year 4 gets no respect.)
No such archiving exists with Twitter.
Just as in a real party, your witticisms and observations and brilliance pass into the ether as soon as make them. Within minutes, others tweet and move you off the main page.
I don’t think there is any habit in Twitterville of going back through old tweets to see what you missed, either.
If you’re following more than a few people, you’ll have hundreds of tweets, sometimes, in an hour or so. Anything you missed is long gone… unless you have more time on your hands than God, and can’t think of anything better to do than drift lazily through a thousand old tweets looking for something interesting.
It’s like texting, for me. I’ve heard it called texting for adults, and maybe that’s accurate.
My nephew, in college, uses it ironically — his tweets are little bits of language art, absurd or weird or confusing (kind of like Seinfeld asides). He’s establishing himself as smart and irreverent — Twitter, for him, is a way to define his personality to others.
I would be more addicted to Twitter if more people would respond to my Twitter Bombs.
(Though, often, I get dozens of great replies in real time. See the “Anybody want a beer?” tweet-fest I had going a couple of weeks ago on my page at ww.twitter.com/johncarlton007.)
I usually tweet late at night, when I’m on Miller Time, so I’m feisty and looking to play a little.
I have people in Australia and New Zealand who respond, but only a handful in the States.
Out of the 4,000+ folks supposedly following me.
Just my perspective.
I don’t think the form will last long as it is. They have to monetize it, or sell it to some media giant.
It will change dramatically, soon.
Or vanish. That much is almost for certain.
Odd to think that Twitter is just over, what, a year old now? What’s the next new social media thingie lurking in the coming months to enslave our brains?
I dunno. I tweeted today, several times. Tried to communicate with someone (no reply), left a smart-ass comment with someone else (they loved it), offered up some news stories for general consumption (no consenus yet on what my followers think about any of it).
I’ll probably announce the posting of this blog on Twitter later tonight.
Oh, the irony.
What do YOU think?
Are you using ANY of the big social media very much? (Blogs don’t count. Blogs rock.)
Can you swear to me that you’ve seen actual monetary results from using this stuff? (So, you know, you can claim it’s now integral to Operation MoneySuck for you.)
I’d like to know.
No rush. This post will be on the blog for years…