I was invited yesterday morning to the Biz Stone press conference hosted by the College of Management in Tel Aviv, Israel. For me personally, it was very exciting to meet one of the founders of the social platform that I love and admire the most. Biz didn’t surprise us with any new acquisition in Israel but mostly talked about the role that Twitter has been playing until now and what the future holds for the company. He did say that 2010 is the year that Twitter will start making real money. Continue reading
Shel Israel discusses the impact of the real-time Web on society & business
Shel Israel’s new book, Twitterville, is due to hit hit bookstores next week. (See Twitterville site, the Global Neighbourhoods blog or Amazon page.) A day after his book release party at the Hiller Aviation Museum, San Carlos, Calif., Shel took time out to answer five questions from Socialmedia.biz.
1In the early stages of your book research you were focusing on the conversational Web. Why did you zero in on Twitter?
Shel Israel: When you and I talked about the conversational web, I was still exploring new book possibilities. I wanted a story that was an obvious evolutionary step from Naked Conversations.
My focus narrowed and locked in April 2008, when James Buck tweeted the word “arrested” on his Blackberry as he was being taken off to possibly rot in an Egyptian jail. A day later, when he posted a second word, “freed,” I realized that something was happening on Twitter that exceeded what I originally thought was there. In another couple of weeks I started seeing a very broad story that also went quite deep. I felt passionate about it and became convinced that Twitter was about to have a very significant impact on the Conversational Web.
2At the 140 Character conference, some speakers suggested that the real-time Web was as momentous as the birth of the original Web. Do you agree? How do you see Twitter’s potential impact on culture and society?
Shel Israel: I’m not very good at “most momentous” type judgments until I can look back at an event with some historical perspective. I regard the birth of the real time web as a more recent point on a continuum that started back when our ancestors were grunting and gesturing around the cave fires telling stories about the hunt; using blood and berries to tell stories on cave walls. The birth of the web is a really big dot in that continuum. It is the moment when our communications transcended tangible spaces and allowed email and other interactive activities. How big a dot is the real time web? I think it’s huge, but we are still in nascent times. I may be optimistic, but we need to be able to look back further to see how it impacts human interactivity.
3Can you cite some best practices about how companies are using Twitter?
Shel Israel: The term “best practices” traditionally historically refers to refined, redundant, measurable activities that can become the stadard of business protocols. I think we are still in an early phase where nothing is yet a best practice, but merely a really good idea.
There’s a general consensus that social media has been a communications game changer. Most people think it is a good idea to be transparent and not deceptive; to listen at least as much as you speak; to show a human face rather than a brand image; to build reputation by being generous to a community rather than making noise and to generally tell more than you sell. Continue reading
Here are 32 Flickr photos of participants in the Fortune Brainstorm:Tech conference late last week in Pasadena, Calif., with images of actor Ashton Kutcher (3 million Twitter followers), Twitter co-founder Biz Stone, Bill Gross, John Chen, CEO of Sybase, Mark Hurd, CEO of HP, Jeffrey Katzenberg of DreamWorks, and others.
- Ashton Kutcher, the world’s most popular Tweeter, on Twitter (dailyfinance.com)
I have been seeing lots of articles like Steve Rubel’s Twitter Is Peaking; Get Ready to Follow The Geeks Onward and Larry Green’s response post, Dear Twitter: Failure is not an option (for branding).
Why I am so accepting of all of these Fail Whale “Twitter is over capacity” pages is because nobody could have anticipated the sudden and overwhelming ubiquity of Twitter in the last 90 days.
I don’t know how much television you watch, but Twitter is everywhere. The last time Twitter had this sort of challenge, they stood up to the challenge — I didn’t experience one Fail Whale during the Inauguration of Barack Obama, for example.