Twitter: Marketing Platform or Online Pen Pal Service?

Twitter's Fail Whale

I started using Twitter on August 7th of this year. Like so many of us time is a premium and even though I am quick to try something, I will drop it like first period French if I don’t see any value for me or a path to providing value back to a community. Twitter intrigued me as a way to experience what people were thinking and feeling at a particular moment. A kind of a freeze frame into someone’s life. If they Tweet a lot, then that freeze frame becomes a stop-motion window. If they are always Tweeting, then you begin to understand their persona.

What’s really interesting is when you connect with someone on Twitter, then several months later meet them in person. This was an experience I recently had. She was one of the first ones I followed and followed me in return. That’s the contract on Twitter. Follow then be followed. It’s tricky, but when it works, it’s very cool. I then met this person a couple of weeks ago after seeing her Tweets for months. I knew so much about her. What she looked like, where she lived, the make up of her family, what she did for a living, even some of her hopes and fears. When I met her we very naturally continued a conversation as if we had known each other for years. Fascinating.

Twitter is way of expressing yourself that’s more personal and immediate than a blog. Sometimes you write a post (like this one) and it goes into a black hole. But once you establish some followings/followers you get immediate responses. As an amateur photographer I take a lot of pictures and most of them are uploaded on flickr. I can Tweet something related to a photo and include a link. Within 15 minutes I will have 20 people viewing that photo, and probably one or two reply Tweets about it.

As an E-Business marketer for a very big brand this gets me very interested. If I can do that on my own, think what a mass market company can accomplish.

My Twitter Grade on 11.8.2008

There’s a site that scores your Twitter grade. Oddly enough it’s (love it when people call it what it is, thank you). Not so sure how valid it is, or what the methodology is behind it, but it’s the only game in town right now to gage Twitter self against others. In mid August my grade was 25. Today it’s 97, on a scale of 100. That’s satisfying, but not nearly as much as being able to contribute back to a community and meet new people. Twitter is still an experiment, but things are getting somewhat serious now. If you’ve not experienced it, you should at

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