Archive for August, 2010|Monthly archive page

Multiple Twitter Personality Disorder

The following is a guest post by @nonmom

Hi, my name is … well, it depends actually.

If you want to know about the latest big race (especially if it’s F1), then my name is BARC_OC, if you want to talk antiques and auctions then it’s AwesomeAuctions, business networking and growth, BCX_Oakville, trucking and transportation, Blower_Tech, real estate in the South West USA, ArizRealEstate and for all things else, and with a bit of a twist I’ll let you check out, Nonmom.

Yes it’s true, I (at present, more to come) have 6 different, but sometimes related, twitter personalities and I do in fact talk to ‘myself’ and answer ‘myself’ in order to grow both (or more) accounts and their presence. If it’s relevant and crosses the genre’s appropriately why not have a conversation with myself?

Is it hard to know which voice I’m speaking with at all times, yes, but like any condition, you get used to it and adapt. The prescription for this ‘Disorder’, I take 5 doses of ‘TweetDeck’ as needed throughout the day ;).

I was introduced to Twitter through the main writer of this blog and while sceptical at first, I admit it didn’t take me long to get hooked. I kept telling my husband, what a patient guy, who I was following now and getting all excited when they actually tweeted me back. I admit, I still get excited when I get a tweet-back and smile and pump my fist in the air when I get a coveted #FF.

Since those early days of more following than speaking, I have sent over 2500 tweets on my Nonmom account alone, and that’s likely to have gone up significantly as you’re reading this.

People often ask what is Twitter and how do you use it. I just tell them it’s simply answering the question, in 140 characters or less, what are you doing? I’ve also had clients and colleagues ask me about the importance or significance of Twitter in their marketing portfolio. My answer to those who aren’t familiar with social media is that Facebook is like a permanent trade-show booth and Twitter is like having a spokesperson with instantaneous updates and goings-on while your website is your company headquarters online.

There are a lot of critics out there when it comes to social media and especially Twitter. I really feel most of it is because they simply do not understand it and fear it. To them I say go onto the Twitter home page on the day of a big event and search tweets about that event, the Olympics was a great example of this, and just watch what people are saying and the interaction and shared experience of it all. I truly believe that part of the reason Canada got behind our athletes so much, and as Canadians we were at our patriotic best, was in significant part due to Twitter. People from across the country and Canadians were abroad were all able to speak and ‘hang out’ on Twitter together. It was a great feeling.

I define social media as the digitization, and indeed globalization, of word-of-mouth. An example of this is the shared experience of the recent Toronto earthquake. I know, a small one even by our standards, but I know that I wasn’t the only one who took to the ‘Tweets to find out if I was crazy or not and what was going on. Friends from across the province had had the same experience as me, at the same time, and we were talking about it like we were in the same room. It was really very cool.

Twitter and social media in general are really and truly the great equalizers. Anyone can Tweet, big companies or small or individuals and all it takes is an internet connection or even more basic, a cell phone. I look forward to tweeting with you all via one of my many personalities!

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Why FourSquare? (or Facebook Places for that matter)

Jesse Schell had a fantastic talk at DICE 2010 ending with a thought experiment a game-ified life where near the end he imagines a future where marketers and game designers work together to create life as a game. FourSquare is the beginning of that. We go to work we check in we get points, we go to lunch, we check in, we get points and every so often we get points in the right places at the right time and we get badges and mayorships. And the points and badges give us instant gratification which is pleasurable and motivates us to get more points and more badges in a never ending hedonic treadmill of external validation. Ok so I’ve strung together several psychological theories which for me explains why FourSquare exists intellectually.

Then I came with a more practical explanation while waiting for take out food. Unlike a doctor’s office, there’s no magazines at restaurants (though I suppose you could re-read the menu and see all the stuff you didn’t order). So what to do while waiting for your food? Check in. Then it hit me. What to do when waiting for the subway (in those stations with reception), check in. What to do in between innings at the ballgame? Check in. What to do while your computer’s booting up at work? Check in. The genius of FourSquare is not only good game design that meshes with human psychology. They created a brilliant means to pass the time while we wait for the other pieces of life to get going.