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Monday, April 27, 2009

Twitter

The New York Times wrote a nice piece on Twitter, the ubiquitous social application being used by everyone for everything. At first, I felt “tweeting” was a little silly and at a 140-character limit, not something most people would want to be reading. Plus, Facebook already had status updates. It was essentially the same thing, and everyone was already there doing it.

And that is what is important about the Twitter explosion: if everyone is using it, it is useful. If everyone is using it, then it is a true stream of consciousness for the online chatter. If you build it - and they come - that is the whole battle with online platforms. Everyone came to Myspace, then Facebook took everyone; everyone uses/used Facebook for its status updates, and now Twitter is taking that utility. It is all about cultivating our short attention spans and riding the wave.

Twitter is the ultimate handheld social network, flexible and fast-paced, made for on-the-move. Like the utilities that have come before it and will inevitably appear on the horizon, it is not a Holy Grail. It is meant to be tapped while the public has the hankering and love affair with it. But the online realm is, like sound investing, all about diversifying. For an online marketer, you must know everything about Twitter, but not put all your eggs in that basket. It is one of many channels, with many more to come, and harnessing all of these networks is a true 360-degree approach.

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