17 03 2009

twitter1Last week was the first time that I felt like Twitter was taking over the world.

While I’ve been using Twitter since late last year – and by using I mean that I had registered and had logged on a few times to see what the fuss was about, and make a few small attempts at getting my hands dirty. But admitedly these attempts only seem to coincide with Twitter popping up in the media, not by an actual desire to be involved in the tweeting.

While a lot of my friends remain loyal and addicted to Facebook, none of them have yet to make a move to Twitter – so my list of people that I follow has remained work colleagues, people of interest in my industry and Obama (for awhile), and so may explain why twittering has not become more important in my on-line interaction.

But last month I decided to give Twitter a real go – especially with the talk of many brands deciding to make a presence on the micro-blogging site.

And then the Twitter takeover began…

It began with references to it in the general media, including Rove last Sunday night, and then on Kyle and Jackie O’s radio show.

Then the whole ad:tech conference seemed to doing more twittering than listening. The panel discussion “The Relevance Of Twitter” which included seasoned twitterers Jye Smith, Laurel Papworth, Mike Hickinbotham, Gavin Heaton – had a very impressive turnout, and demonstrated how undeniable and real the force of Twitter is.

And the final sign was over the weekend where four (less than tech interested) friends on separate occasions asked me “what the hell is this Twitter thing?”.

Since May 2007, Twitter’s popularity has continued a steady growth, with Forrester Research estimating that there are between 4 – 5 million users in November 2008, and last month placed Twitter third behind Myspace and Facebook, with 8 million users.

Many brands feel disillusioned with their attempts and lack of success on other social networking sites such as Facebook and Myspace – Twitter has recently emerged as the platform of choice for brands to reach consumers. And like the other popular social networking sites with an undeniably large community of users, it has proven to be an attractive landscape for both advertisers and marketers alike. The question on everyone’s lips now is – “How do we make money out of this?”. But I hope beyond hope that the solution to this isn’t something as intrusive or annoying as banner ads – but simply that brands want to talk with their customers.

What I find amazing is that from the popularity of Twitter has created hundreds of online applications – dedicated to improving your Twitter experience.

  • Tweet-Rank which helps you “Learn about the quality of your tweets by finding out which ones won or lost followers”.
  • Twitscoop which “shares what’s hot on Twitter at any given moment”.
  • Twitter Local: “Allows you to see tweets from Twitter users in a specific location”.
  • Mr. Tweet: “Mr. Tweet is a personal networking assistant for Twitter, helping you find relevant followers”.
  • Tweet O’Clock: “Trying to reach someone? Tweet O’Clock will help you find the best time to get their attention”.
  • Tweetburner: “Use Tweetburner to share links, and you can track their usage.”
  • This program will conveniently update all of your social networks at once.

Twitter Grader:Twitter Grader: Twitterholic: TweetStats: Twitter Friends: Twinfluence: Tweetwasters:Tweet-Rank: Mr. Milestone: Retweetrank: Tweetbeep: @myflightinfo: Twitterverse: Twitscoop: Twitbuzz: StrawPoll: Retweetist: Monitter:TweetNews: TwitterBuzz: Tweetscan: Twitter Local: Twubble: MyCleenr: Follow Cost: Tweepler: Just Tweet It: TweetWheel: Summize: Tweet O’Clock:Just Signal: TweepSearch: Friend or Follow: TwitResponse: TwitterSnooze: Twitterless: Twilert:Tweetdeck:Twalala: Tweetburner: Twitpic:TwitterHawk: Acamin: Glue: TweeTube: twiggit: Timer: TwitterNotes: Remember the Milk: Tweetake: Nozbe: Toodledo: TrackThis: Joint Contact: Tempo: Tweet Later:OutTwit: Jott: MyMileMarker: 21Tweets: TwtTRIP: Tweet Answers: Twtvite: Vacatweet: plusplusbot: TrackDailyGoals: ConnectTweet: Tweeteorology: DreamTweet:Chipin: Xpenser: Twittertise: TwtQpon: CheapTweet: Tipjoy: SalesTwit: TweetWhatYouSpend: StockTwits: Qwitter: TweetPlot:Tweetwhatyoueat:gtFtr:SugarStats: FoodFeed:Add to Any: TwitThis: MyTwitter:Twitpress:TwitterCounter:TwitterFeed:

For a further explanation of these Twitter Tools, read 100 Twitter Tools To Help You Achieve All Your Goals – and they weren’t kidding…

To be continued…

ad:tech 09

27 02 2009

With my very first post ever on Community Girl – I thought it best to start with my experiences at ad:tech earlier last week – as it provided a lot to think about, disagree with and aspire to.

The two days were undoubtedly jammed pack full of case studies and opinions, with several people who presented, emerging as true ‘advocates’ for social media. The panels also proved to be informative on what both agency and social media champions deem to be the best way to engage with all this social networking stuff – others however seem to still be a little clueless…

One of my favourite panels was ‘Effects Of Transparency: Cash For Comment And The Dark Marketing Debate’, which included the ‘real’ Julian Cole as well as David Lee from Nuffnang. While I haven’t personally experienced any cash for comment scandals in my work so far (touch wood, touch wood) I will admit that I have thoroughly enjoyed reading about the latest ones from our shores. Tim Burrowes from Mumbrella has provided me with lots of scandal and juicy comments over the recent Queensland Tourism and (even more infamous) Witchery Man debacles.

A woman in the audience asked Julian about whether or not he deemed the Witchery campaign to be successful, as it had given the brand the recognition and publicity that they would have been after – and at least everyone now knew that Witchery had a men’s clothing line. Hmmm…. they do say that any publicity is good publicity – but really? In my opinion the whole campaign thoroughly damaged the reputation of Witchery, especially in the media – and in my experience people don’t take too kindly to being blatantly lied to, which in turn can damage any of their subsequent campaigns.

Other panels to mention included “To Build Or Not To Build: Identifying The Value Of Social Communities”, which included the very brave UBank representative and the very experienced Anne Massey from Starwood Hotels & Resorts, showing us how far the US is in front of us in terms of their experience with on-line communities. Mark Ritchie from Newmarket Livestock also demonstrated how on-line communities can be used for even the least tech savvy – now running a site through Ning for farmers in Victoria – I must declare my interests here however, as I was involved in setting this community up for the group at Newmarket Livestock.

You couldn’t mention ad:tech 09 without talking about Twitter, the tweeting that was happening throughout the conference was sometimes more entertaining and informative than some of the discussions – many providing a no holds barred approach with their comments! But really it allowed those presenting instant feedback on their panel, as well keeping everyone on their toes – especially those who were using the conference to do a hard sell to the audience.

I have to admit that I’m a bit of a lurker on Twitter at the moment . Reading other people’s tweets that always seem to be witty/informative/interesting or all of the above – I often find the pressure of making my 140 characters worthwhile a bit daunting! But after witnessing ad:tech – the phenomenon that is Twitter is undeniable.