“How Twitter Will Change the Way We Live”

That’s the title of an article by Steven Johnson in this week’s Time Magazine. Here are a few snippets:

  • “This is what the naysayers fail to understand: it’s just as easy to use Twitter to spread the word about a brilliant 10,000-word New Yorker article as it is to spread the word about your Lucky Charms habit.”
  • “Instead of being built by some kind of artificially intelligent software algorithm, a customized newspaper will be compiled from all the articles being read that morning by your social network.”
  • “It used to be that you compulsively checked your BlackBerry to see if anything new had happened in your personal life or career: e-mail from the boss, a reply from last night’s date. Now you’re compulsively checking your BlackBerry for news from other people’s lives.”

But the real money-shot of the piece (at least for me) is Johnson’s prediction (is it still a prediction if it’s already happening?) on Twitter’s influence on advertising.

“Today the language of advertising is dominated by the notion of impressions: how many times an advertiser can get its brand in front of a potential customer’s eyeballs, whether on a billboard, a Web page or a NASCAR hood. But impressions are fleeting things, especially compared with the enduring relationships of followers. Successful businesses will have millions of Twitter followers (and will pay good money to attract them), and a whole new language of tweet-based customer interaction will evolve to keep those followers engaged: early access to new products or deals, live customer service, customer involvement in brainstorming for new products.”

This is the best thing I’ve read on Twitter to date.

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