Friday, May 02, 2008

Should we TWITTER Face-to-Face?

The Read Write Web recently posted about how Zappos.com has been using Social Media.
"Of all the different types of social media the company uses, none are as interesting as its use of Twitter. Twitter may sound cliche, but it's not just about Twitter as one single service. Twitter is symbolic of rapid, short, synchronous and public conversations. Zappos has bitten off a big chunk of that paradigm."

There's been an interesting conversation about social media conversations over at the eLearning Technology blog. I know Tony believes in the power of social media, but I don't think he feels the Twitter-love just yet.

The cogdogblog has this image on the TWITTER life cycle and some GREAT commentary around its use.


And back in March of 2007 when Kathy Sierra was still blogging she had this great post: Face-to-face Trumps Twitter, Blogs, Podcasts, Video... and in it she offers the F2F Curve.

"The point is, face-to-face still matters. And in fact all our globally-connecting-social-networking tools are making face-to-face more, not less desirable. Thanks to the tools y'all are building, we now have more far-flung friends--including people we've never met f2f--than ever before. We now have more people we want to connect with in the human world, often after years of electronic-only contact."

I hope everyone will begin to understand that it is NOT an either/or discussion we are having. F2F interactions are important and crucial to us as human beings. However, one cannot deny that the new breed of web tools support our addictive nature to connect with others of our species. And for conferences? The web tools are still important as they begin to help us gather together (or cluster) more easily with the ones we want to meet and serendipitously with others. How many times have you written an email AFTER a conference saying, "geez, I'm so sorry we didn't find each other"...while we BOTH were at the show.

Social media tools like Flickr, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc. enhance our connectivity for many reasons at many different times. If you choose NOT to participate that is okay too. 5 is not worse than 500 if the 5 connected "friends" are the friends you WANT to be connecting with.

Let's try not to tie up all these new technologies with a neat little bow. They are new and that's it. We are all experimenting and trying to figure out how to use them to our advantage.
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