Wednesday, June 24, 2009

It's a Media Revolution

Something I've been talking a lot about lately is Twitter. Please don't roll your eyes; hear me out. I've chatted to most areas of the spectrum, and divided peeps into 4 major categories:

a) Anti-Twitterers. They know what Twitter is all about, and they still think it's stupid and pointless. (Or at least that's what they say - who knows if they have a secret account!)

b) The "we don't get it" crowd. They don't like Twitter for the sole reason that they don't understand its advantages and think the craze is fleeting.

c) The average users. These Twitterers have accounts, and might update occasionally when they've seen a fabulous movie (Transformers, anyone?) or hit up an awesome sample sale.

d) The addicts. The Twitterati (I swear it's a phrase, coined by Twitter obviously) love to tweet night and day, but it's often with purpose. Not gonna lie, I'm included in this grouping.

I've attended several meetings and info sessions on social media for my internship, and Twitter has been a focal point. I mean, I even heard talk that Twitter creators are in the running for a Nobel prize, but I'm pretty sure that's just heresay. Lots of top execs are struggling to comprehend Twitter's changing role in society, and how to tweet most effectively. For example, do you tell the world about your delish sandwich at Whole Foods, or do you wait until you've found a really interesting article in the Times?

My position is the ladder. Twitter is about sharing a scene, photo, link, or story so it can spread information massively and quickly - or to tell a story (in 140 words or less, that is). It can empower people and enforce change. This has been especially demonstrated by its role in the Iran election (read more on that here).

What I'm trying to say is that you, the intern, still have valuable skills to share with CEOs and Editors-in-Chief. You're the one who can give them the scoop about Twitter, about re-Tweeting, about achieving a proper following-follower balance. If your mag has a Twitter, volunteer to help monitor it (fabulous bragging rights). If it doesn't, volunteer to create one! Since I've become a Twitter addict, I use it almost more than my Facebook. While trusty ol' FB is great to chat with friends and upload photo albums from a weekend at the shore, it's pretty much confined to my network of friends and acquaintances. On Twitter, I can also follow celebs (Tina Fey, Michelle Obama), the media industry (Ed2010, The New Yorker, Huffington Post, the AP Stylebook), brands (Pinkberry, Crumbs cupcakes) and news updates (NYT, CNN, Perez). I'm even following some co-workers and professors. I can log on, and in a page or two, I can see what's going on in all spheres of my life.

I hope this was inspiring to those of you in groups A and B - the anti-Twitters and indifferent-Twitterers. On a completely different note, if any of you are considering a change in career paths, click here for a slightly more lucrative option.

cyber intern

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