Sunday, January 31, 2010

On tweeting

It is amazing how social networking is blurring the boundaries between the common man and the ones in power. If my local MLA is on Twitter, I can reply directly and instantly to his tweets, and he cannot ignore them. Twitter started off as a tool to keep in touch with long lost friends and acquaintances in an easy, hassle-free way. It helped do away with all the book-keeping associated with an email. It was quick and the restriction on the number of characters ensured it was crisp. But the benefits soon started growing as people discovered better uses to this tool.

Today it transcends networking. It helps build brands, voice opinions, start a movement and much more. I was recently tracking the initiatives by Vir Sanghvi and Pritish Nandy around the Padma Awards controversy. It surprised me how convenient it is to garner support through the social networks. And there is a sense of rawness associated with tweets. The recent tweet by Gul Panag about the COAS is an example in point. You end up saying the things you really mean without much fanfare and fancy around it. The shroud of diplomacy is out.

Every person on Twitter is his own brand ambassador. There are articles which tell you how to increase the number of your followers, what kind of users to follow, how to use the bio space to the best and how to choose a theme picture for your profile. Twitter has become one of the best ways of disseminating information quickly. I find following the ET tweets better than reading the newspaper itself.

As one of my friends joined Twitter after a lot of reluctance, I could not help but realize that love it or hate it, no one can afford not to be tweeting. Even as I write this, I see three new tweets on my twitter tab :)

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