links for 2008-07-16


You had me from “Hello”


This morning, the following came across on Twitter.

(name removed)

Yes – but does saying “hello” really show the potential?

Ever the Smart Aleck, I tweeted back the name of a Kenny Chesney song “You had me from hello”.

I have been kind of pondering about this since.

If you are a Twitterer, you know the value of the service. Post a message, query, thought, sentence fragment, thoughtful remark, silliness, … and provided you are well connected, you’ll get a quick return for your time. You have to stay tuned, as the response will come quickly if there’s a person with an answer. When you’re that connected, it’s incredibly valuable.

I think back to a demonstration that I witnessed this spring. It was an attempt to build a network of computer using people and there was a modest interest at the time of the presentation but it ended right there.

You could tweet “Hello?” or “Who will be the next US President?” or “I’m in the middle of a hurricane” but if you don’t have a network, it falls on deaf ears. Sure, it hits the public timeline but few people follow that.

Instead, you need to have a well cultivated community of people that follow you. Unlike email, when you send a tweet, everyone gets it immediately.


http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1343/1447409485_e3c91c06b9_o_d.png

How do you impress upon people the first time that this will be a worthwhile computer activity to indulge in?

I think back to the first time that I saw Twitter demonstrated live. It was by Will Richardson and he sent out a silly little “Hello” and immediately had 37 responses. No, I didn’t just make that number up; that’s stuck in my mind since that moment. Then, he sent out a request for help of more sincerity and got some good reactions. I don’t now recall the request or the responses. I just remember 37 people responding to “Hello”.

Now, there’s a considerable difference in credibility with Mr. Richardson and others. But, it’s possible. When I pair people for a workshop activity, I’ll always say something like “Pick someone smarter than you” and I think that illustrates the next interesting point. Twitter isn’t about you; it’s about your network. The better the network; the more the value. Plain and simple.

So, while it’s possible to throw out a simple query and get a response, it’s not by accident. It’s cultivated and grown from credibility and value.

Back to the original – can a “Hello” show the potential? I believe that it definitely can if placed in context and show in context and appropriately to a group of people. In fact, it may be the only way that you can quickly and easily demonstrate the potential.

I know that it had ME from “Hello”.

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