So, there you are on your Twitter Home Page and you notice you have some new followers – so you decide to check em out. Among the usual spammers, creeps and cretins, which are instantly blocked or reported – there are a few more interesting Follows. So you click on them to take a look.
Now, first of all of course – your eye is drawn to the more attractive profile pics – and truth is, most of them probably get added and followed whether you share interests or not (that’s human nature ain’t it?) Then of course there are those that are into the same things you are – and it’s obvious why they followed you. They will probably get added too.
But then you come to the others – there are likely to be some that you have no idea why they followed you. You seem to have nothing in common – not necessarily in a bad way – but it makes you ponder nonetheless. Twitter it seems, is possibly almost unique among Social Networking services – in that, most of your contacts come to you, instead of you having to seek them out. Even those that you follow first – still are likely to come back and check you out before following – thus experiencing pondering over the reasons for your TwitterFollow.
Chances are that non-obvious TwitterFollows probably just liked the general gist of a tweet you made – or found it humourous, inspiring or in some other way interesting. It might have been a simple casual throwaway comment, that you neither thought too much about – or even remember. Yet it still struck a chord with someone and had the power to make them want to be your friend – or at least gaze through a window to your thoughts.
And here, we come to the truly unique thing about Twitter – that seems to be a restriction – but as we all know, is actually it’s greatest power – the 140 chars format. In Twitter we are forced to constrict our thoughts and comments – sometimes quite profound concepts or important news and information – to the tiniest soundbite (or should that be pressbite? typebite? Whatever..). This restriction also adds to the immediacy of the dissemination. Information can be recorded, transmited, received and passed on at breakneck pace. The Retweet allows information to reach truely massive audiences at the most amazing speed (who ever invented the RT deserves a medal). You send to all your followers – a number of them send to all their’s – they send to theirs and so on. If your lucky your tweet gets picked up by a Twitter biggy – with thousands, or hundreds of thousands of followers – and before you know it you have Twitterfame. People add to, comment on, or argue with your tweet – a buzz is caused and you’re trending! Press and mainstream media publish articles, features and analysis – and then maybe your famous for real (for at least 15 minutes anyway). And all of this, from your little off the cuff, 140 char or less remark. It’s word of mouth – but on a Mega scale!
The fact is though – that if you hadn’t been forced to restrict your comment in the first place, a lot of the people that liked it – wouldn’t have bothered reading it through. If it had been an article or even a blogpost – people may not have stuck with it to the end (heresy!). If it hadn’t been for the effortlessness of hitting the Retweet button – they wouldn’t have passed it on – and their followers wouldn’t have passed it on, and so on.
This digital, viral, Mega-word-of-mouth, really comes into it’s own with important breaking news (everybody say Egypt!). Autocratic regime’s can no longer supress information – on how they are supressing their people – and people are inspired. China blocked the word Egypt from websearches today. – Finger in the dyke Mr. Chairman!
So I say to all you sneering self-superior idiots out there – you know – the ones who say:- “Twitter is a load of craaaap! Why would I wanna know that someone is having eggs for breakfast!” – I say – your out of touch – you don’t know what’s going on! The people on Twitter do! You’ll all succumb to the Twitter Tsunami eventually!
If you like this Twitter-people, you know what to do – Work that Retweet button like there’s no tomorrow!
Now discuss below:-