Microblogging: What Is It Good For?

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[ Social Media]

The microblogging concept isn’t one that settles neatly among a myriad of more intuitive platforms. Regardless, microblogging platforms like Twitter, Jaiku, Pownce, and PlaceShout are gaining steam in the social media realm with or without you.

Microblogging: What Is It Good For?
Microblogging: What Is It Good For?

Lynnette Young If you know and/or follow Lynnette Young, a.k.a. LynetteRadio on Twitter, you would be interested in knowing that she’s on the brink of labor, very near to producing a Halloween baby. You’d also be aware that her husband is in New York sans cell phone.

What use is that to the business-minded? At this point, not much. Later, though, as media converges – especially social media – one might imagine contextual advertising for diapers and baby wipes appearing next to the appropriate tweets. (The 140 character or less posts are called "tweets" on Twitter.)

Perhaps that’s what Google plans to do with recently acquired Jaiku, a platform similar to Twitter. Perhaps that’s where all this is headed as the bubble gets bigger: large companies swallow up social media, interlink them, and monetize them under one umbrella, carefully targeted by demographic.

Until then, we’re left with fragmentation teetering on frustration. With so much social media out there, how does one have time to utilize it properly? Well, just like you pick your battles, you’re going to have to pick your social network.

Twitter Twitter, for example, is stuffed with early adopters, thought leaders, and technophiles. If this your target market, then it’s a good idea to be there Twittering too. Verizon’s John Czwartacki takes his company’s message to the lion’s den. In a crowd most likely to be pro-Net Neutrality, Czwartacki hasn’t missed the opportunity to present the positive aspects of his company to industry critics/bloggers.

So, microblogging is a useful public relations vehicle, or a place to be careful with your words as one PR pro found out recently. You connect with influencers, and have the opportunity to connect with the network of people they follow, but you also can keep tabs on projects – people love to talk about their projects.

Dave Winer Dave Winer, the self-titled original blogger and inventor of RSS recently Twittered (or tweeted?) about his New York Times "River" project, which allows readers to order their news to suit their preferences, rather than, as is tradition, allowing the editors to prioritize news.

It’s a two-way street. Winer keeps his "followers" abreast about what might be the next great platform, and if his followers ever get tired of him, they can simply un-follow him. That makes it an excellent vehicle for permission-based marketing – choosing not to follow someone is a built-in user-controlled spam filter.

Bloggers use microblogging as a supplement to their main blog by posting a short description of their latest blog post and a link. How long do you think it will be until the search engines begin crawling for that type of information?

But the real future blockbusters, I think, will be the microblogging platforms that are more tightly targeted and present more intuitively useful variations on the originals. It’s not hard to see how PlaceShout, for example, has an intrinsic value. It works like Twitter, but its goal is consumer reviews. Users have 100 characters to jazz or razz a place of business, and the reviews are overlaid on Google Maps.

The weakness right now, though, is fragmentation and saturation. Though options are good, too many choices produce social-media overload. You would have to hire at least one full time person to maintain your presences on MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, the blogosphere, the forums, the search results – the list just keeps getting bigger.

One day, I can imagine Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft offering full search/social/traditional media advertising packages that pull all of these things under one roof – a managed campaign offering. And they’ll probably be expensive. Until then, choose your media carefully, and use it to its full potential.

Microblogging: What Is It Good For?
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  • http://trenchwars.wordpress.com Judy Shapiro

    Whoa Nelly —

    Before you start introducing concepts like micro blogging it might be helpful if we gave people an understanding of how viral really works with some fundamentals. Why? Because as it is, most marketers can’t absorb how to leverage the new media … much less the “new” new media.

    So let’s demystify this viral marketing “thing” with an evolved approach that is pertinent and practical.

    Evolved marketing includes a well balanced portfolio of new media (a.k.a. viral marketing to a large degree) and old media. People have a hard time harnessing the power of new media because often this stuff falls between the “agency cracks”. Traditional agencies haven’t a clue and PR agencies think of viral marketing as something they don’t really do because they are focused on getting pick-up in the New York Times.

    So evolved marketers are on their own and they have begun utilizing something called PVR = public + viral relations. Heretofore two functions (PR and viral marketing) rolled into one because the Internet is one big content serving engine with a heavy dose of direct response thrown in. Viral feeds PR and vice versa. Recognizing this model helps leverage the advantages of viral marketing.

    Practically speaking, PVR is executed via strategic “content campaigns” where marketers concentrate content creation and content distribution into a theme and drive that content within a timeframe across tactics – SEO, blogs, public relations and article distribution etc. Today, most marketers take a silo’d approach — the SEO agency optimizes keywords and the PR agency drafts release about whatever and the marcom agency suggests promotions. None of it working together – all of it sub-optimized.

    So first let’s help people evolve their thinking, then the thinking of their agencies and then we will see companies getting evolved results.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/san-diego-fire sd tech teacher

    Microblogging can serve a valuable purpose in an emergency, especially when it can be done via a mobile device. In the recent San Diego Fire, twitter was a great way to communicate with friends and family when the mayor asked us all not to talk on our cell phones. Our local PBS news affiliate created their own twitter account which was great when the power went out.

    It was very easy for me to give out my twitter screen name and have my family follow my posts instead of calling me every few hours.

    Best Wishes,

    http://www.squidoo.com/san-diego-fire has more info about how we used twitter during the fire.

    • http://www.kannada-greetings.com sanjay

      True, micro blogging will mostly be used by people who cannot blog in detail, and will mostly be used by handheld device users/mobile users who just want to say a line or two

  • Lee Sinclair

    Who cares about some stupid baby.
    Is this considered news?

    • http://www.lynetteradio.com Lynette

      Did you read past the first paragraph? No, me having a baby isn’t news. But for the hundreds of my friends, family and clients that follow me, it just might be.  Twitter is one of those pure communication tools that is uncluttered by ads (unless you use a 3rd party desktop reader).  I really hope the folks behind the 140 characters can make money without inserting ads next to our tweets.  I’d rather pay for the service than have ads.

      PS – I did have that ‘stupid baby’ on Halloween, and I’m pretty sure he’s already smarter than you 😉 HE’S got his own Twitter account.

  • http://segoblog.wordpress.com aghoety

    when i write key word about microblogging i foun this site. i just wnt to know abaout microblogging becouse iam very new in bloggering ”':-) this site is very informtif. Pardon me if my englih bad, i can not speak and wirte in english very well, but iam still learn. Keep succsess. Nice to walking and reading tour site. thx again. iam from indonesia.

  • http://microblogs.ning.com jansegers

    … and thus changing our society in to a global one.

    Glocality was formerly only for the rich and famous, now anyone with a bit of time can be informed almost instantly of any more or less important chance or event taking place worldwide.

    The Romans build their empire thanks to the fast travelling information by their Roman Highways.

    Newspapers did change the world.

    Radio and television did change the world.

    Websites and blogs are still changing the world.

    Microblogs will change the world permanently.





  • http://www.m4s73r.com/ Internet Marketing Indonesia

    thanks for your article. Very help me. I will more like visit to webpronews site. :) Fantastic

  • Kevin A

    I appreciate with you, Micro-blogging is really useful for in an emergency especially for done via mobile device.Some things easy to me to do on twitter, better option, thanks for sharing…

    Patio Umbrellas

  • peter

    Our company have setup the subscription feature of Akeni Social Networking software which works the same as the microblogging for businesss. We have found to be a very useful feature in a business environment.

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