Cultural learnings from Twitter in 2012
Now that the tech press is guessing what Twitter's 2014 IPO valuation will be, and now that its most important year to date has drawn to a close, it is helpful to look back on the last 12 months and consider how the social media giant has helped shape new realities – 140 characters at a time.
Since I've written about the service quite a few times this year (examples here, here, and here) and use it every day, I'm pretty confident that I'm more qualified than anyone on the planet – or at least in my neighborhood – to conduct a considered historical analysis of the things that really mattered within Twitter's glorious bounds this year.
So, for your brief but intense pleasure (which is how it always is with me), I present to you my learnings about the service and its users in 2012.
# For some unfathomable reason, people are still not ready to respect the marketing genius behind savvy branding promotions in the wake of national tragedy.
# In order to secure the maximum possible number of Retweets, you should really be the President of the United States of America.
# Tweeting from an embassy without first checking with your boss is, as it turns out, not a marvelous idea.
# The phenomenon of elderly people confusing the “compose” box for the “search” box can still produce highly amusing results.
— Rupert Murdoch(@rupertmurdoch) May 5, 2012 # For the sixth year running, the most warped #humblebrag of the Internet – the complaint that one has oh-so-many electronic messages in one’s inbox – somehow failed to electrify a nation.
Something is wrong when I get my inbox under 2000 messages and consider that an achievement.
# Especially when he Tweets hot stuff like this.
The cribs that we built in our home gave me much pleasure. We added figures each year and used moss for decoration.
— Benedict XVI (@Pontifex) December 24, 2012 # Libya’s Deputy Prime Minister Tweeted an official statement about the attacks on the US consulate in Benghazi that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens. It was the government’s first statement in response to the attacks. I haven’t got anything facetious to say about this, but... pretty interesting, huh?
I do condemn the cowardly act of attacking the US consulate and the killing of Mr Stevens and the other diplomats.
— Dr.Mustafa Abushagur (@MustafaAG) September 12, 2012 # Of course, the next day the deputy Tweeted about how many emails he had in his inbox.*
# Basing an entire company on piggybacking off Twitter: officially a pre-2012 idea.
# Soon all sports stars will be first notified of their achievements on Twitter. The butt-slap is dead.
# People who write “This” in front of Retweets should know that "This" is fast going out of fashion because of over-use in 2012. To add to the sense of profundity of a Retweet, they should instead consider pivoting to "That," perhaps with the help of one of those arrows that handily direct you to the location of the original Tweet --->
# I'm still bored by your beach Tweets.
* Not true
[Image courtesy Ape Lad]