I am the first to recognize it and I was far from imagining how important Twitter was. I jumped into the first car when this new social network appeared, subscribing to Steve Jobs, Al Gore, and other people I thought were interesting, but I did not realize then how much Twitter was becoming THE reference social network.
But, wait two seconds … is not Twitter a simple vanity exercise for technology experts or perhaps for Ashton Kutcher and Charlie Sheen?
No, Twitter is not that. It may have started like this, but this social network has since then evolved.
In Sweden, where I come from, Twitter has been considered for a long time as a new fad in fashion. Everyone thought that this network was going to disappear as quickly as it appeared. And that’s pretty understandable. The name itself, Twitter, is wacky and it is even more absurd when spoken aloud in Swedish.
It does not matter how we measure the importance of Twitter, we realize that this network IS powerful. Today, Twitter has a real impact on the functioning of society itself (I’ll come back to this topic a little later in this article) and even if Twitter is led to lose interest or even disappear, the phenomenon – namely a common place where everyone can quickly say and comment anything and everything – will continue.
And so, why so much excitement around Twitter?
Like anything that deserves to be followed, new models are emerging. Behavioral patterns, but also a new model of use. It is thanks to these models that it is possible to better understand why this network has become so powerful.
I love the models.
I live for models.
I see models everywhere, all the time. It’s a way for me to better understand the world we live in.
In the case of Twitter, I perceive the following interesting models
THE AFP / REUTER SUBSTITUTION MODEL
If you follow the right combination of people, you will notice that you are “touched” by the news much earlier than before.
Before, you used to read the newspaper in the morning to keep you informed of events. Then, the Internet appeared and you had the chance to read the latest news from your favorite newspaper every time you had a minute. You just had to refresh the current page in your browser, or press F5.
With Twitter, you can receive real-time information and judge the importance of news based on the number of retweets (RT) of the news, and discover how news is perceived in your network. You can even ask to receive push information on a particular mobile device.
In this way, you always have one step ahead of others.
No matter how you approach Twitter, it’s all about power.
THE INSTANT SURVEY TOOL MODEL
On the occasion of the last Republican presidential debate, Fox News launched an online poll where everyone could participate, and monitor the results in real time. Fox News has indeed given the possibility to Twitter account holders to tweet the hashtag #dodge (= wooden language) or #answer (= true answer) based on the answers of the candidates to the questions they were asked. An instant democracy.
In addition to this type of survey organized on Twitter, the majority of television shows today use hastags during their broadcasts so that the audience has more information on the personalities present for example, or on the show.