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Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide
Jun 23

Twitter…

Lexy Klain

by Lexy Klain
Category: Technology

I was reading an article about Twitter on Silicon Valley’s Mercury News today. It raised a good point and one that I wanted to talk about here. The sites describes Twitter as the “…Seinfeld of the Internet”. This can also be interpreted as ‘the website about nothing’. I have blogged about the use of Twitter in the Marketing/PR industry previously so with this comment, I think it is time to revisit my thoughts on this new(ish) Web 2.0 tool.

Are we wasting time frequenting Twitter? Is there really any inherent value that we can take away from this online tool? To be perfectly honest, i’m not too sure if my Twitter updates, such as those below, would provide any use to any of those that follow me:

  • “Just having a caramello koala – hitting the 3pm sugar cravings”
  • “Getting fed up with fuel prices…so my car stays in the garage”
  • “I want to go home because it’s been a long day”

It might make them laugh at me but i’m probably wasting their time (and mine). These people, however, have requested to follow me which makes me think people actually want to hear about my daily rants and whereabouts – as pointless as it may seem.

I don’t want to be too pessimistic about the value of Twitter. Mercury News reports that Twitter had “…1.2 million unique visitors in May…”. We are seeing it gain value in some parts of the world – particularly with regards to political applications in the United States. For example, Barack Obama has used Twitter to provide updates to the public from his campaign trail.

We are also seeing the tool used for PR purposes. These days, many journalists are also using Twitter as a means of communicating the stories/ features they are researching and writing. Savvy PR consultants are utilising tools such as Twitter regularly in order to keep abreast of relevant engagement opportunities for their clients.

As I mentioned, I see this tool gaining traction in the United States but I don’t think we are seeing similar traction across the Asia Pacific – at least not at this point in time. Will we see the journalists/ analysts on this side of the world use the tool to put the word out regarding what they are working on? We’ll just have to wait and see.

As far as reaching a wider audience, would my mum or dad ever use Twitter? (No – I really doubt it). I don’t even think my friends working at large IT-centric companies would.

The questions I am toying with at the moment (and I ask for your input) – Will we see Twitter move into the mainstream? Will it ever attract a truly global audience? As communication experts, should we be using Twitter on a daily basis?

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