Last night, I and a friend and peer of mine, a very senior & respected public relations professional, were chatting over the phone about personal stuff and the talk swerved towards Twitter for a few minutes.
He, a Twitter newbie, probed on why are people motivated to broadcast essentially one-to-one messages over a public stream on Twitter?
Intuitively I replied:

  1. In an increasingly exhibitionist world people increasingly want to ‘flaunt their conversations/ thoughts’ to a larger audience – ever so often the person with whom they/ we may be conversing with, over Twitter, may in fact be live with us on GTalk too
  2. This flaunting is also sometimes about ‘who’ you are having this conversation with – the equivalent of a ‘names dropping’ – for fans there is a certain kick in being able to have one-on-one conversations with @gulpanag, on Twitter

Both harmless…

  1. In a more productive way, a purposeful conversation that first started one-on-one, might be joined into by our respective friends and peers, adding perspective and thought – not possible in a private one-on-one tool
  2. More people in the public stream who found the conversation interesting might join in to add value, and also become friends
  3. We/ others could easily share links/ sources/ resources adding further value and knowledge

Collective knowledge creation and sharing…
For marketers and communication professionals like us, Twitter, and other social networking sites, are subject matter about people behaviour and how content and knowledge is being, or will be, created and shared besides trend-spotting.
It’s been over a year since I wrote this piece about Twitter uses for HT. What are the new ways in which you are using Twitter?