A great many people have attempted to define twitter. The site, so addictive and understood by its users – yet so difficult to explain to those who haven’t graced the twitterverse with their presence. Microblogging? That just begs the question…”well, what’s microblogging?”
However you want to define Twitter, one thing is for certain, it is a conversation…an ongoing and open dialogue between vast multitudes of people from every walk of life. A Plethora of simultaneous conversations intersecting and overlapping – leading to the valuable exchange of information. But this entire system is predicated on 2 (or 3 or 4 or more…)-way discourse.
Perhaps the most prominent criticism of brands and marketers who employ twitter for customer/consumer relations is the one-way broadcasting of information. Many brands – Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks, Dell…to name a few, and most recently Domino’s – have responded by evolving their twitter presence into actual human-human conversationalists. And props to them.
Arguably, the only excusable one-way broadcasting on twitter, IMHO is when it’s done by news outlets. That’s what people expect, and want, from them. Information. That’s not to say it isn’t awesome when journalists and reporters become active participants in the discussion, and many are, but people have come to accept and rely on actual outlets for simple headlines and breaking news. Wonderful.
Which brings us to celebrities. Shaq, as well as The Jet’s Kerry Rhodes, John Mayer, even Kim Kardashian, plus a few other celebrities, are known to utilize twitter as a means to converse with their fans. But Oprah & Ashton Kutcher – the recent poster children, spokespeople, sell-out twitter celebrities – the focal point of what must be half of all tweets in the last 24 hours – haven’t conversed. And my question is – “Will they?”
With a million+ followers – how do you choose who to reply to, if anyone at all? And if you don’t converse…why are you on twitter? Are TV, Movies, Celebrity, and Sheer Wealth just not enough? If you ask me, if feels cheap. At this moment – Oprah is following a totally of 9 people…and followed by over 94,000, while the man who brought us Dude Where’s My Car, Punkd and Beauty & The Geek has over 1 million and only follows 73. Crazy ratios right? And those lucky individuals – other celebrities, like Jimmy Fallon, Tony Hawk, and Larry King.
I’m sorry Oprah…you don’t need twitter. You probably won’t use it properly…but by all means, please, prove me wrong. Converse, Engage, Listen, Interact, Respond…You Too Ashton…btw, I liked you better on that 70’s show when you had a mustache…at least the you could poke fun at yourself.