Why Twitter is Shark Proof (and Oprah-Proof, Kutcher-Proof, etc.)

On Twitter (@NoahGK), I have made mention that it is my belief Oprah might be the “killer app” that brings about widespread adoption of Twitter into the mainstream.  

Here’s the thing.  Whenever anything goes mainstream there’s a fear that some level of change will come about and it will become ruined.  

In high school, it was my friend Allyson insisting that Toad The Wet Sprocket “sold out” when they became popular (to this day, we still disagree).  Going mainstream / selling out.  It’s all gotten lumped into a single type of behavior commonly known as “jumping the shark.”  

The thing is, social media is immune from shark jumping.  And here is why.  

The model for social media is significantly different then that of old world media.  In old world media, there is a point of control (in television it’s the writers/producers) and they push their agenda to the audience.  Sam and Dixie Carter on Diff’rent Strokes for example.  

In social media, the audience is the point of control; and are in control.  We are Twitter.  

So, for example with Twitter, I am in control.  You are in control.  Each and every one of us is in control of the community and ecosystem we create for ourselves.*  

Spartacus, FTW.  Right?  

I do not follow Oprah.  I don’t follow Ashton Kutcher.  Nothing against them, but I choose for them to not be a part of my community.  As a result, I am now, and always will be, immune to what they, or anyone who i don’t choose to let into my community, do.

So will you.  But if you choose to include them, then that’s fine too.  

A tremendous amount of credit is due to Twitter (the company) because they “get it” and they continue to create a community where the audience has the level of control I mention above.  

We are in control.  Not Oprah.  Not Ashton Kutcher.  Not the next celeb that comes along.  We are now and will always be in control of the new social media and we’ll make of this tool what we want for ourselves.

Cue Pat Benatar’s, “Love Is A Battlefield” video.  

No promises, no demands!  

I’m out… 

 

PS Shaq, as we all know, is a guy who “gets it” and understands Twitter.  I’m not into basketball (that’d be my brother), but if I was, he’d be a welcome addition to my community.  That said, I do follow Marvel Comics Editor-In-Chief Joe Quesada, and the highest compliment I can give him would be to say that on Twitter he reminds me of Shaq.

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4 Responses to “Why Twitter is Shark Proof (and Oprah-Proof, Kutcher-Proof, etc.)”

  1. judy Says:

    Of course you’re right. And then again… with Twitter, I always feel just a little out of control. (Addiction is such an ugly word.)

  2. Amusing Bunni Says:

    I Agree, I won’t follow kutcher or oprah either. I caught her show friday. The way she was blathering on, you’d think she just learned how to type. Next she’ll be like al gore saying “I invented the internet”.
    Oprah, stay away from twitter, don’t mess it up and infect it, don’t you have enuf media domination!

  3. Allyson Says:

    Old friend, I disagree on a couple of points. Twitter is not shark proof – nothing is – not even Google. I’m a huge Twitter fan and adore my community but Twitter has lots of tech and revenue issues to sort out. How long can they continue to sustain without a revenue business model? How long will investors keep putting money into a company that is not profitable and shows little sign of launching a revenue stream? From a technical perspective, they have security bugs to work, etc. They also have no communications department from what many of us can tell which is odd for a company that built a tool to communicate. I wrote an article in my blog on Fast Company about many of these issues. Some have been fixed since then, others have not.

    http://www.fastcompany.com/blog/allyson-kapin/radical-tech/will-twitter-become-next-friendster-2009

    • Noah Kuttler Says:

      Hi Allyson. Looking at Twitter in the harsh light of day (as opposed to under “studio lighting”), I agree with you when it comes to the company itself. Your blog post on Fast Company was spot-on and anyone who is reading this should click on your link and read your article.

      I guess for me, it was more about the tool and the macro-level of these type of “social media” tools or whatever we’re calling them these days. How the new tools do not force themselves from the top down. But how the tools are allowing anyone, anywhere anytime to build whatever they want.

      It’s kinda like that flyer during the Punk Rock movement in the 70’s that said, “Here’s a chord, here’s a chord, here’s a chord. Now go start a band!” The fact that you could just pick up instruments and you didn’t need anyone’s “permission” to go out and change the world.

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