Twitter is The Human Narrative in real time. And yes the Capitalisation is important. Twitter is not just a marketing tool, nor a place to get cool links to awesome videos and blog posts. It’s not even simply a place to organise a bbq or be introduced to a potential client. It’s primary purpose is to tell the Human Story, in 140 character paragraphs
Surprises abound on Twitter.
When @johnt tweets (updates) that they are on a train that has been involved in an accident, you don’t think “how do I market this”, or even “how do I become engaged” – you just react.
We all asked lots of questions – was everyone alright? (it was a suicide), are the police there? and so on. Remember, online you can ask the questions you can’t ask in real life; if the person doesn’t like them, they simply don’t respond. Vicarious entertainment, maybe. Human nature, definitely.
When I was in Saudi Arabia and detained at the airport, Twitterers followed the story. What is more compelling that watching an evening News item on a remote country? … well, observing it all unfold live to a TwitFriend has to be more interesting.
Human drama is sometimes played out in front of thousands with the protagonists unable to stop – and we can’t look away, like watching a car crash. Talking of carcrashes, this happened last night to @ColiWilso
Click to read it biggerer. 🙂
ColinWilson was ok – he posted a picture of a little ding, but apparently the other driver was literally an escaped mental patient. See what I mean? Human stories being told. Of course not all stories end well:
Erlene was involved in a car crash moments after tweeting this, and passed away at the scene. One of her friends drove past and saw erlene’s car. I find her last words oddly moving: at 3:06pm on May 24th “cats do not like elephant hats on their heads”.
You can read the memorial tweets here: social networks, no matter the purpose or value systems, have rites and rituals. Remembrance and memorials are part of community behaviour.
Farewell, erlene – one of my favourite tweets of all time came from you: Michelle just broke up with me because I accidently shot my gun in the car.
Note: I have worked in social networks where a leader/elder member has *died* as a way to disengaging from addictive behaviours online, such as games and forums and chat. I don’t believe this to be the case here.
Arguments online become stories – MissMotorMouth and MarkDavidson broke up, on Twitter. Here’s the stream : in amongst the fight about domain hosting, is some really personal stuff.
Pulling these stories together is a challenge: (in futuristic voice) but we have the technology!
Twistori looks for keywords, love, hate, wish, believe on Twitter and pulls them in. Automated stories from the web. I could watch it all day, human emotion is hypnotising.
Twittilate has been writing for a while – she tells erotic stories, 140 tantalising characters at a time.
Cameron Reilly set up Twittories ages ago – I forget the link – but you sign up on a wiki (put your Twitter name down) and when it’s your turn, you have to say the next line (140 characters) in the story. You know the drill…
Collecting stories – from TED TAlks Jonathan Harris talks about the partial glimpse. He talks about WeFeelFine, which is collecting emotions from blog posts.
Oh look there’s lots more, but I wanted to draw your attention to this: if a social network is full of events and rituals, of love and arguments and death and stories, what will your customer service and community marketing manuals say, hmmm?