To Twitter Or Not To Twitter

That’s the question that Koolio and Joe Duck and many, many thousands of other people are asking. Twitter won the SXSW Web Award this week and that’s partly to blame. However before that it was spreading like wildfire, .. or not depending on what is important to you.

Twitter is not just something birds do.

The name is one of the most apt I’ve seen. The Dictionary tells us that twitter means uttering successive chirping noises, talking in a chattering fashion or trembling with agitation. It’s most often seen in birds. Twitter now is a software whereby you can tell whoever wants to know exactly what you’re doing at this very moment. To some that’s a big yawn: to others apparently it’s almost addictive.

Kathy Sierra back in December 2006 highlighted the potential problems with her Asymptotic Twitter Curve. That clearly in no way slowed down the explosive growth. Mitch Joel echoed the thoughts of many others in saying that Twitter Is To Blogging What Post-It Notes Are To Notebooks. More recently he has again affirmed his support in asking whether you can apply Twitter in your Company or your Podcast.

Perhaps Twitter is addictive.

Kathy Sierra now seems to be getting to the heart of the matter with her recent post, Is Twitter TOO good? Twitter is perhaps a singularly addictive example of the social media that everyone is talking about. It may have similarities to that other powerful and time-consuming ‘world’, Second Life. In both cases, if you really want to make your involvement useful and rich, then you’ll have to devote significant time to it. For many like me, there’s enough to do in the First Life without trying to cyber-exist elsewhere.

Social Media – Bad News Travels Faster

Social media are the new vehicles on the Internet that allow humans to interact with each other. They’re proliferating at an incredible rate. It can be as simple as a commenting system on a blog or voting on videos on YouTube. Most humans are sociable creatures and enjoy such interactions. Not surprisingly social media are becoming more and more popular.

Crowds are drawn to fires and accidents.

It’s all very human and the normal rules of human behaviour apply. Regrettably people are often drawn to check out an accident or a fire. In the same way, bad news travels much faster than good news.

If proof were needed, a small case in the last two days illustrates the strength of this factor. Lee Odden of TopRankBlog ran a poll on the Best Forums for Search Marketing Tips. The blog post would undoubtedly have drawn a certain amount of traffic. However inadvertently Lee omitted from the poll one of the more popular forums, Cre8asite Forums (of which I am a moderator).

The Cre8asite Forums have their own special character. When Forum members heard of the omission, they headed across in droves to add their comments and show their support for Cre8asite Forums. Undoubtedly the blog post has seen much more traffic than it otherwise would have seed.

Both the Blog and Cre8asite Forums have probably benefited significantly from this glitch. Lee has acknowledged that he had inadvertently omitted Cre8asite Forums from the list. It clearly was not intended as link-bait. Yet the final result is that it is more successful than it otherwise would have been.

[For those interested, at the time of writing Cre8asite Forums with 25 write-in votes in the Comments almost pipped the front runner in the poll, High Rankings Forum, which has 27 votes.]

It almost makes you wonder whether it is better to include some intriguing mistakes in blog posts rather than seeking perfection. That would be a distressing moral to draw from such incidents.

Social Media Marketing (SMM) – the latest Buzz

SMM is not just Strategic Marketing Montreal.

When Strategic Marketing Montreal (SMM) came on the scene in 2002, there was very little confusing competition for that acronym, SMM. There was indeed the Science Museum of Minnesota (SMM), the international SMM Fair covering shipbuilding, machinery & marine technology, the Society for Marine Mammalogy (SMM), the Solar Maximum Mission (SMM), the American Shrine to Music Museum (SMM) and a few others. All that was bearable. However over the last year SMM has taken on another meaning that is fittingly spreading like wildfire. It’s SMM for Social Media Marketing.

Wikipedia has a good definition of Social Media.

Social media describes the online technologies and practices that people use to share opinions, insights, experiences, and perspectives with each other. A few prominent examples of social media applications are Wikipedia (reference), MySpace (social networking), YouTube (video sharing), Second Life (virtual reality), Digg (news sharing), Flickr (photo sharing) and Miniclip (game sharing). These sites typically use technologies such as blogs, message boards, podcasts, wikis, and vlogs to allow users to interact.

Robert Scoble the pre-eminent blogger also has a useful description of social media. You can get an idea of the importance of this SMM when you remember that Google acquired YouTube for $1.65 billion in October 2006.

Cre8asite adds a Social Media Forum.

The latest news today is that Cre8asite Forums is opening a new Forum on Social Media and Tagging. It will be moderated by two new moderators, Liana Evans and Chris Winfield. Both are well known in the SMM world and given the incredible buzz around this whole area, we should all be in for an exciting journey of discovery.

For Strategic Marketing Montreal or SMM, this increased name competition could be seen as a downer. However if folk come to us assuming that SMM stands for Social Media Marketing, then I’m sure it will be mutually beneficial.