Saturday, July 24, 2010
There is a lot of criticism of Twitter out there in the fields. It comes from media talking heads, politicians, and parents to name just a few anti-youth constituencies. If you haven't heard of Chat Roulette yet, you probably think that Twitter is the latest thing in social media. And even if it isn't, there still a fascinating lot to digest about Twitter. The Clarion Content hardly understands all the range of elements and creative applications of Twitter, but we can tell you what we think is most interesting about its nature.
Its permanence, breadth and lack of filter. Anyone, any given Joe Schmoe, can follow the famous on Twitter. Athletes, musicians, politicos and other celebrities have become among the most prominent adopters of Twitter. They have attracted thousands, and in some cases, hundreds of thousands, of followers. Followers are people who subscribe to your tweets. Tweets are your up to 140 character long blasts of information put on Twitter (You can post photos and links as well.)
Twitter has skipped a step... no longer does a famous person have to call a press conference or their agent to make announcement. They can simply tweet it unfiltered directly into the public milleu. Basketball star, Kevin Durant, announced his $85 million contract extension with a tweet. (And was far better received than LeBron's one hour televised debacle.) Movie deals, break-ups, sporting trades all have been announced via Twitter.
And it works bi-directionally too... no longer does Joe Schmoe have to buy Sports Illustrated or his wife an US Magazine, to follow the daily lives of their chosen demigods, the characters in these semi-real soap operas can tweet directly at them. Want to know what's going on with Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore? Read his tweets. Want to know who Chris Johnson is kicking it with? Follow his Twitter feed.
Of course, there is a danger to unfiltered information, too. The scandal that has engulfed college football for the last few weeks was broken on Twitter by University of North Carolina athletes bragging about a party they had attended and gifts they had been given. Whether or not this violated NCAA rules is to be determined. What is fascinating, from the Twitter angle, is that rather than be outed by Woodward and Bernstein style investigative journalism, the kids broke the story on themselves. No filter, a lack of self-awareness of their prominence---journalists and media organizations now monitor the Twitter feeds of leagues, athletes, celebrities, their wives, girlfriends, cousins and onward all hoping for a previously heretofore unreported snippet to be exposed.
Twitter for good and for bad is a direct unfiltered line of communication to the world. (That is, if you believe the famous write their own tweets. Some do, some don't, but even for those who don't they can drop their own press release without the media, without a press conference, without taking questions...)
We will tell you about Chat Roulette later.