Read a quick excerpt (as the post itself was WAY too long, brevity today is necessary) of this Brandbuilder post a couple days ago and found a comment from someone named Spike at Brains On Fire. The most prescient quote is this:
Your Twitter is not my Twitter: Ask 25 people what they use Twitter for and you’ll get 25 different answers. Some use it to keep up with friends. Some use it to find inspiration. Some to find knowledge. Some for mindless thoughts. Some just for fun. And some for none of the above.
This came into play for me just the other day. We had a speaker in our marketing research class from Iconoculture. She seemed nice and quite intelligent, I spoke with her about Twitter, which she had mentioned and then assumed I’d follow her to learn more about the company. The company is actually very interesting as they are a secondary research firm that aggregates, sorts and tags information from many disparate areas including media and communication conduits, then pulls together many pieces of that information to build a story for context around what is happening with social trends. I had heard of them, but didn’t know them and wanted more information. Following the gal from there seemed like a great start without getting too rigorous.
So I emailed her but she let me know that her Twitter account is essentially a personal use thing; she meant no harm but it didn’t make sense to follow her. It surprised me, because I think of it as a hybrid for all my relationships (using Tweetdeck to sort everything is very helpful.) This is my vocation, I make it a point to learn about and hear from marketers in all areas of business (and outside it) every day.
The big point here is that Spike is completely correct. Twitter is different for everyone. And many more online mediums in their infancy may evolve into different utilities for everyone as well. There is selective utility in the interactive space. Facebook could be used as a picture storage device or an IM client or a email system or…the list goes on. That’s just one example. Traditional communication tools weren’t nearly so robust, it’s up to marketers to understand that how THEY use these things isn’t necessarily how others do.
Look for the concentric circles.