Incommunicado vs Communicado(?)

My week is offering me two extremes in communication. Monday I spent the day with my family at the PGA Championship at Hazeltine here in the Twin Cities. Today I’m at Blogwell, a social media gathering at General Mills, on behalf of Minnov8. The difference? I was “kicking it old school” on Monday with no electronics (except my camera) allowed on the course. Today, I’m live blogging, uploading video and taking photos for the entire event….Laptop, phone, Flip camera all in tow.

Monday would have been a great opportunity to go nuts with photos, video, and tweets galore (Yes, I’m one of those guys.) But sorry, “no cellphones please”. I’m sure this is to cut down on the talking and cellphone alerts that would inevitably interrupt play. Remember, this is a place where you don’t even clap out loud. 

I have to tell you it was a bit refreshing to not worry about ‘sharing’ my experiences with my followers and friends. I felt absolutely zero ‘social media’ guilt. That is until I saw some guy in the bathroom (a rather elegant outhouse I must admit) texting on his contraband phone. For a brief moment I thought I was letting my peeps down by not smuggling in my phone. Then I thought, “Hey wait a second. Get with the program guy.” Follow the rules! Golf is all about rules. Imagine if Davis Love stepped in Tiger’s line because he didn’t feel like following the rules. Anarchy!

Today on the other hand, is another story. The folks at GasPedal have invited Minnov8 to cover the Blogwell event at General Mills this afternoon. As I mentioned above, we’ll be bringing all of our social media geekery to bear…and we’ll be doing it live via a rather cool service called ScribbleLive. It’s a great service where we can set up an event via our Twitter login info. Not only can we enter comments in real time, we can format the look and feel, upload video (though I found embedding via YouTube was faster and more reliable at this point), add photos, post to Twitter, and more. We can also embed the whole shootin’ match on a page at Minnov8. Check it out.

What a week of exploring both ends of the always on, always connected world. You still can choose not to be. BTW, I did choose to upload some photos from the PGA to my photostream on Flickr. (Yeah, I know, I’m what people outside of the social media biz…the real world…call “one of those.”)


On the Trail of Twitter’s Tipping Point

Elmer Fudd would say, “Be vewwy-vewwy quiet…I’m hunting Twitter’s tipping point.”   and as 2009 dawns I’m thinking the same thing. What is…was…Twitter’s tipping point?

In this case the “tipping point” I’m speaking of is that made famous by Malcolm Gladwell in his book of the same name. Gladwell defines a tipping point as a sociological term: “the moment of critical mass, the threshold, the boiling point.”

Tipping points are tricky things to identify. Twitter has been all the buzz in the social media and geek circles since it’s debut, becoming so popular in such circles that it couldn’t keep up with itself. This perpetuated the continuous shouts from the online crow’s nest of “Avast you lubbers, fail whale dead ahead!” and the growth of alternative services like Plurk, and the recently shuttered Pownce. The mere fact that the service was able to overcome, or at the very least minimize, these technical issues and continue to grow could be labeled as the tipping point.

There’s the tipping point highlighted by it’s increase in users in April of 08 noted by Nick O’Neill on his Social Times blog….though this is most likely just a result of a pyramid effect caused by the continued adoption by social media and the related industries.

In October of 08 Claudine Beaumont discussed the “celebrity” tipping point of Twitter. That discussion centered around the concept that celebrities were now establishing Twitter accounts. As she points out, when Britney Spears, William Shatner and John Cleese (Claudine writes for the Telegraph in the UK) start tweeting then their legion of fans can’t be far behind. This is likely more the publicists of celebrities posting for them but still…

Barrack Obama brought attention to the service, along with many social media platforms, with his aggressive use of the medium in his campaign. This was also fueled by the related coverage of that campaign on every news outlet and led to the adoption of Twitter by some of those news outlets. Was this the tipping point?

Or did the point come as recently as this week as a rash of “phishing” scams hit Twitter like a ton of bricks. Clearly, though some signal this as the end of the service, when a service is worthy of being targeted and hacked by the “black hats” of marketing, it means you have a very big audience and you’re doing something right. (Besides, this might be the only way I ever get an iPhone…What?)

Perhaps we can say that Twitter will have reached it’s tipping point when they roll out the monetization plans. Or will it be when they make money? I have no doubt we will see soon because Twitter must make money.

As I mentioned earlier, some have doubts about the long-term future of Twitter. I don’t. Many have heralded the imminent demise of the service, on many occasions. The fact is that they have continued to grow even in light of the problems and the highlighting of those problems by the influencers of the social media space. (Strangely, those same people that were early adopters of the service.) They were the first in and have already outlived some competitors that they spawned. Plus, according to Hubspot’s State of the Twittersphere, they have 4-5 million users and 5-10 thousand accounts are opened per day. That’s a 600% increase in traffic over the past 12 months. Numbers like that don’t just evaporate.

Yet, they still aren’t Facebook…so I continue to hunt.

Has Twitter’s “tipping point” already been reached? Is there only one? Is this the year that we’ll see it? I invite you to join me in this hunting expedition. Have you found it? Where should we look? What do we do with it once we find it? Let me know your thoughts. I look forward to your comments.

I Won! I Won!

You know it’s gonna be a good week when you start your day with a win. No, I’m not talking about my fantasy football league. I’m talking about winning something much more useful…

Find more videos like this on Social Media Breakfast – Twin Cities

Julio’s book, Twitter Means Business, is a must for those wishing to look at Twitter’s growth and potential as a business tool. Grab it here, or here…it would make a great stocking stuffer! Look for more from Julio here soon!Thanks Julio…and Julio’s son…I’m honored that you included me in this project. Be sure and use the proceeds of the book to send that young man to college!



What ya been doin’?…The Debut of ComicTwit

So, I’ve been somewhat remiss in posting. Here’s what happened. (This is the part where the screen gets wavy indicating a flashback.)…This Twitter thing is cool…interesting thoughts, some cool links, some witty stuff… Wait a minute… Comedy+wit+Twitter. How about ComicTwit.”

There it is…in a nutshell, I decided to create and launch a new Twitter application called ComicTwit. Though more of a music/radio/media guy, being focused here on RemainComm and Localtone Systems, I really thought this would be fun to release into the ether.

Twitter is a fast growing service and I think, with it’s current focus
on addressing issues of scale, will emerge as the leader in the
micro-blogging world. and though there are plenty of joke sites out there…believe me I get to see allot of them now that I’m facing the need to “seed” ComicTwit, I’d like it to be a bit more than that. What my real goal is to encourage the Twitterverse, a group that is already adept at condensing their thoughts into 140 characters, to create or interpret jokes, anecdotes, and one-liners to help amuse those that follow along. It’s really that simple. Why not have a little levity pop up on your Twitter stream about every one to two hours. Hopefully, that will always leave followers wanting more…one of the cardinal rules of comedy, ya know.

check it out. I challenge you to come up comedy in just 140 characters. Sure, One-liners are easy but jokes are another story, one that has to be told in very few words. Though it doesn’t have to be original, fresh comedy is great so why not try out your new stuff before your next appearance on Conan…or at lunch with your peeps or staff meeting. If not, just make us laugh. It couldn’t hurt and frankly it may be more fun than some of the other ‘Tweets’ or another link to being ‘Rickrolled‘.

In the meantime, I’ll be back at posting here more often. Next, some tools for organizing your online world.