Social Media’s Tweet-ssentials

By Gordon Chu | Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Huddling around the TV set with my family, television has historically marked the iconic moments of my life – the fall of the Berlin Wall, death of Princess Diana, and, of course, who could forget the OJ Simpson’s white Bronco barreling down the Los Angeles freeways. News used to be a lot simpler back then.

Fast-forward several years to 1999 and the advances of technology bring us to a new era of information – the dawn of the Internet. September 11, 1999 – all of us can remember exactly where we were, what we were doing, and how we felt. I was en route to the 37th floor of a San Francisco skyscraper when I got that one email on my Skytel pager (I miss that thing) – we (the US) were being attacked.

Fast-forward again to the present and here we are – the Internet has advanced and who can argue that we now live in a pure and unbridled era of instant information, namely the dawn of Twitter. June 25, 2009 – for all the Michael Jackson fans out there (including myself), who can forget when that breaking news came out about his untimely death. I will say that I first found out of MJ’s heart attack through tweets sitting in my METAN office. Curious as I am, I jump on Twitter search and within MINUTES, news breaks out of his unconfirmed death (thanks to TMZ) and over 50,000 new tweets (in a span of 5 minutes) were pouring into every single person’s email, cell phone, and news source about Michael Jackson.

Tragedy aside, imagine that – Twitter, a form of micro-blogging, is the new way we consume information. Whether the business model is commercially viable for a business (or for Twitter itself for that matter), tweets is the new trend of instant access and communication.