Recently the TV critic of the St. Petersburg Times asked for my thoughts about the migration of celebrities to Twitter over the past few months. Will it inevitably dumb down the service? Bring it into the mainstream? Make us want to move on to the Next Big Thing?
Here’s the friendly advice I’m offering to celebrities joining the Twitterverse:
First, understand that you’re not leading this parade. But we’re happy to have you in it. You have the advantage of having tens or hundreds of thousands of fans follow you on Twitter, even if you don’t know the difference between a tweet and a twit. But listen, observe, follow back, participate. It’s the golden rule of social media.
Second, how should you use your special powers? To do good.
Ignore the newbie approach of chronicling the mundane aspects of your daily life. The Twitter question isn’t really: What are you doing right now? It’s: What are you doing that’s interesting? Or: what’s cool that you’ve happened across?
Found out there is a Mac version of Tweetie, so I decided to take a look to see what the buzz is about.
Although I have become accustomed (addicted?) to the Tweetdeck model of multiple panels for various sorts of streams, I really like the way that Tweetie handles DMs. First, there is something that looks like a buddy list, showing friends that have been DMing you, or vice versa, recently. After you click on one of those contacts, you see something like this:
Once upon a Myspace time, I tried searching for a few band profiles inside the Myspace network. I didn’t get the exact spelling and spacing right, and ended up on a total search maze. What a disaster! From there on out, I would actually leave Myspace, go back to Google and search there for a Myspace profile. Strange and sad thing is, Myspace search is actually “powered by Google.” Perhaps Myspace has made improvements in this area by now, but I wouldn’t know because I will probably never try again. A year or so later when Facebook features started trumping Myspace, so did its profile search. Facebook currently maintains a dominant position when it comes to people search. However, when the search involves anything outside of people, Facebook search is known to be one of the most frustrating experiences ever. Now after the fairly recent arrival of Google profiles, the fight for the most effective profile aggregator begins.
OK, folks, the next one of you who pokes or nudges me is going to get smacked. Alright, maybe not smacked, but I will certainly wave my fist in the air in your honor.
What is it about these features that irk me so much? Ever since signing up for Facebook and Twitter I have been aware of their importance ridiculousness. However, my frustration culminated the other day when I signed into Facebook to see that … my father poked me. Yup, it’s true, and worst yet, now I felt obligated to poke back (after that whole “he gave me life and raised me” thing) and consequently we have exchanged at least four rounds of pointless poking.
Now I get the general idea of nudging and poking. For those of you who are a little unclear as to what I’m ranting about, here is the gist of each: A “nudge” is a Twitter feature that enables one user to remind another user to update their status and a “poke” is a little finger icon on Facebook that enables you to virtually “poke” another user. I’m not sure of the actual point behind poking, unlike the Twitter nudge it’s a bit more elusive. It’s kind of the virtual equivalent of smiling at someone without saying hello, or in most instances it’s a somewhat creepy, passive-aggressive way to get a stranger to add you as a friend.
I just got off a demo presentation by a company you might not have heard of yet called Sysomos. Nick Koudas, Sysomos’ founder, personally showed me around two of the company’s products, MAP and Heartbeat, and I have to admit that I think I just witnessed 22nd century — maybe even alien — technology.
Sysomos MAP is the sort of research and social media metrics tool that they have on TV and movies, the sort of data forensics tool they tout on CSI or NUMB3RS that looks spiffy on television but doesn’t exist in real life.
Well, it does exist, and in real time and in real life. You really need to check out Sysomos and you really need to know about these tools. Seriously. Alien technology, for real.