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After all you are the cool Generation X-er that dug all the gadgets that kept popping on the market, and would stop at nothing to get them. Not to be cool, but because you were genuinely interested and believed in them.
You went to a top-notch university and were all about changing the world, when the world started changing on you at dizzying speed. Never socially awkward, you crafted a career that many would envy. But more than anything, you were always a brand. Only, just like Madonna, an ever morphing one.
So you arrive to the age of “social”. The “social” of everything – media, sports, entertainment, PR and so forth. You hop on MySpace (maybe just wanting to keep up with your kids activities on the said site) just to find yourself fully immersed in the lives of your new virtual BFFs from around the world.
Then Facebook comes around, the lighter (and supposedly “real life”) version of Myspace, where for a while you are fascinated with how many people you know, how long it’s been since you connected and how much has changed since you last talked… (As for how that real/virtual relationship evolves on Facebook – there’s tomes that can be written/discussed, which we’ll leave for another time now…)
Then you’re on Twitter. The mesmerizing, charming, informative, cultural, revolution-inducing, news-y, infuriating, PR-y, sales-y, self-promoting, self-serving, loud and downright idiotic (in places): the ANYTHING platform of sharing – or over-sharing, at times – of sound bites (140 characters or less) or – as I liked to think of it – the “tapping into the Universal-ESP-Network”…
I was told to write about my supposedly vast experience with Twitter. And before I do, I wanted first to ease into the fact that above all we’re humans. Humans are social creatures.
I live in Los Angeles — normally, a very sunny city by the shores of an ocean, on the left coast of the US. Today is rainy – an unusual and welcome (or not, depends on whether or not you’re living on a hill here) treat. This city is one of the most intriguing, cosmopolitan and, possibly, most isolating city of all.
We here tend to be content with our contained slices of us within our homes, offices and the space of our cars in the ever fabled, by now, LA traffic. (Isolation – a trait that recent-past burgeoise American lifestyle has spread among most large American cities.)
But because we are humans, and as such social, we can’t live alone. We need each other. To chat, and banter, and connect, and mingle, and touch the lives of one another. To be “social”.
And that’s why we’re here – on the “social media” space. Because it is easy – you sneak a peek at work on your Facebook, you drop a review on Yelp at lunch-break, you burst a thought and answer a few others in dialogue on Twitter. And suddenly you’re connected in a myriad of ways with oodles of people, you otherwise would not know exist. (I will relate soon personal and professional Twitter stories of mine and people I met.)
As a marketer and PR person with a vast international experience in the film and television field, I went to Twitter for marketing purposes. I found universes of information, news, arts, music beyond anything I ever expected.
From a marketing standpoint, it is a platform – social media – of promotion, and the ever hard-to-pin-down ROI. But don’t be fooled – your audience is made of mostly Gen Y-ers (Twitter) or your parents (FB) [more on demographics in a future post]. The masses are still at large, uncaught in the social media webs… not caring much for them. Which is why traditional advertising will not die for a long time… which is yet another (good) story.
Meanwhile, you’re casting your shadow. A long one. And not alone.