Thursday, February 26, 2009

Guest Post: The Blargument

Note: This is a guest post by Ian Sohn. It represents Ian's POV alone and not those of his employer or me [Lefty]. You can find my [Lefty's] counter argument at Ian's blog.

So here we go ...

A few days ago @LenKendall tagged me to participate in a Blargument. A what? A Blargument of course:

  • Two Tweeples decide they want to fight it out in more then 140 characters. [This is a particularly interesting bullet given the nature of this particular blargument]
  • They communicate with each other and agree to a formal blargument/topic(s).
  • Blarguing parties write a guest post on respective blogs making their case.
  • Two blarguars then choose two other tweeples to select “opponents” to battle it out.
  • So it’s kind of like a duel only with way less Aaron Burr.
Lefty and I agreed to argue about Twitter - total waste of time or effective communication vehicle?

First off, Lefty isn't even on Twitter, so I'm not sure how he can make a strong argument either way [I look forward to seeing his post]. If you aren't familiar with this "microblogging" service, I encourage you to visit the "about us" section at Trust me, it'll make this post a lot more relevant.

Second, when Lefty proposed the topic I was a bit turned off. It seems like everywhere I look I'm seeing one argument or another for or against Twitter. Then I thought about the fact that far more people are not on Twitter than are, and that I live in a tiny little social media bubble. Maybe beyond that bubble it's still a relatively interesting topic. So rather than try to make some faux heady argument, I'll give you seven simple considerations:

1. If you are a publisher of any kind, Twitter is a great distribution vehicle. I find it a very effective way to distribute the content I create (i.e. blog posts).

2. Twitter is a great way to meet interesting people. The example that immediately comes to mind is @Bogusky, Alex Bogusky of Crispin Porter + Bogusky. Alex is a guy I wouldn't normally have the chance to meet, let alone debate. Yet just last week Alex tweeted: CNN and NYT are already corrupted by popularity as a substitute for truth. There is no such thing as traditional news anymore. The following conversation ensued:

3. Twitter is a way of staying in ambient touch with old friends & colleagues. I can think of a former boss, a former colleague and a girl I grew up with - all of whom I am in touch with via Twitter. Do we have the deepest of connections? No. But at least we're still connected.

4. Twitter gives you a different perspective from interesting people. Sign up for Twitter and immediately start following @TerryMoran from Nightline. These are some of my favorites Tweets from Terry during President Obama's speech to congress [remember folks, he's limited to 140 characaters, and I think he still manages to engage, entertain and provoke]

5. Twitter can make you money. The most famous case study is Dell driving real revenue via Twitter, which you can read all about here

6. Zappos has famously demonstrated how effective Twitter is as a consumer relations medium. Trust me, just Google "Zappos Twitter Case Study." It's been written about ad nauseum.

7. Quite simply, Twitter is a delightful diversion. And that's not such a horrible thing, is it?

At the end of the day, Twitter is simply a communication tool [one of many that exist]. Tool-du-jour? Perhaps. Annoying name? Arguable. But what's wrong with all that? Rather than tear it down - as seems to be a popular sport of late - jump in. The water's warm and the conversation is good.

And with that I [Ian] tag @catchuplady, @kaimac
and @stevenoverman. If any of you dare, challenge a friend to a blargument and pass it along.

1 comment:

Ian said...

Thanks for taking a wonderful post and uglifying it with odd font sizes. Just kidding. Well, kind of.