Anyone who hasn’t logged on to the world wide interweb over the last two months might not know that I’ve just come back from SXSW. Anyone who’s never been on the interweb before now may also not know that at Carsonified, we’re all huge Twitter fans… who isn’t?
SXSW made something abundantly clear to me, the way that Twitter is used can change hugely depending on the following things:-
* your location
* your social circle
* your mobile device
Bear with me, let me explain some more…
The way in which I use Twitter changes dramatically depending on where I am at the time. Whilst Twitter’s become the poster kid of the web, it hasn’t reached mass adoption (yet!). I’m still repeatedly telling my friends that it’s like Facebook status updates only better. So, if I’m tweeting from home in the UK, where fewer people use it – as opposed to somewhere like the Bay Area – I’m likely to share random facts about myself (blog style) or stay in touch with my friends stateside.
However, take me to the States where far more people use the app, it becomes much more of an outreach / conversational tool – enabling spontaneous meetups (read: booze-ups) and easy organisation between friends.
When I’m not making random videos and twittering nonsense, my day job of course involves organising Future of Web Apps, so what do I think is the future of this web app? It’s going to be fascinating to see how Twitter’s gravitational pull grows and its potential usage enters a whole new dimension. More and more companies are already using it as a reputation management tool, especially given the emergence of sites like TweetScan that provide immediate feedback on their products and services. That’s bringing about a whole new level of customer service (thank goodness!), and research and development.
Something that’s fascinating me at the moment is the rise and rise of the ‘personal brand’. @Garyvee did a great talk on this at FOWA Miami and is one of the best examples I know of someone that has built a fanbase and brand around their personality. Gary recently said that building a personal brand is the best way of “recession-proofing” and it’s easy to see why. Twitter allows you to wear your heart on your sleeve and for the community to feel like they’re getting to know you (even if this means realising that you’re a little nuts) as well as an insider’s look at the company you work for. Being able to track @melkirk means that I can respond directly to people and maintain close relationships. On the flip side you also need to develop a bit of a ‘rhino’s skin’ – what some people say on the web but never in person always amazes me!
A final thought, it doesn’t matter who you are or where you are, there is nothing better than Twitter for breaking and spreading news right now. The impact of seeing a Tweet on my desktop is ten times greater than a mail in my inbox. Normally from the people “on the ground” without spin. Unedited content. I love that.