Month: February 2009

To Tweet or not to Tweet

After more than 14 years in the interactive media business (man, does that number scare me), I’ve come to realize that most of my “great ideas” were several years ahead of their time.

My team in Orlando started podcasting before the iPod (and before “podcast” entered our lexicon).

We created a video-heavy multimedia “newsroom” before broadband’s ubiquity or the advent of YouTube.

We built mobile services long before 3G or the iPhone.

And I begged newspaper editors and columnists to embrace this thing called “blogging” or be run over by it. (The few who listened are the ones most likely to still be working journalists today.)

Way back then — and by that I mean the very early 2000s — I preached about setting trends. About building a legacy. About gaining experience in these media ahead of the curve so we could lead rather than follow. And we did, garnering many regional and national awards along the way.

But when it came to Twitter, at first I just didn’t get it.

Who would want to know what I’m doing all the time? And why would I care about the same from others?

There’s no need for me to ramble here about the power of the “tweet.” Suffice to say I’ve seen the light. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that tweeting is right for you or your organization.

Deciding whether to tweet must begin with knowing your audience. Who is your target client/reader/customer? How many use Twitter? What value does Twitter offer them?

Then you have to consider your goals. What can Twitter help you achieve? Does the medium fit the message?

And finally, are you committed to tweeting routinely? There’s nothing worse than a torpid Twitter trail.

In my line of work, tweeting seems a given. It has enriched my professional life via new connections, new ideas and new energy. It also has become a great tool for marketing communications — I love watching our list of followers grow day by day.

But I’m a Web geek. And despite all the media attention, Twitter isn’t exactly mainstream. User estimates range from 2 million to 12 million worldwide (Twitter itself does not release figures and has yet to unveil a plan for turning its audience into a revenue stream.)

Want to talk about it? Tweet with me … http://twitter.com/goneg8r.