As an LMG (Lifetime Marketing Guy), it’s hard to ignore social media these days. Many years ago, many of my peers started using LinkedIn; next we succombed to Facebook – today, most professionals I deal with (in the Silicon Valley) are on both these networks, and several specialized ones as well (such as Gaia if into spirituality, MySpace if into music, Tripit if into travel, etc).
Social Media Evolution
Among my more adventurous venture capital, entrepreneurial and professorial friends, the next step was tackling Blogging. Several of my friends became pioneers in this area (although for some of them, this has gone from “wired” to “tired”). In 2009, the latest hot thing has been Twitter. Monitoring and interacting on Facebook, LinkedIn or one’s blog are no longer enough for keeping up with the steady pulse of the ‘Net. The problem is that these are essentially Asynchoronous (I can check every so often, but not all the time). The Real-time ‘Net – which twists and turns every hour of the day. Thus in 2008-2009 Twitter has become the “next big thing”. This is active and requires a whole new way of thinking.
Passive Participation Will Not build My Brand
As a marketer today, you might study the 100 million blogs already out there, the vice-grip that Google has on most of the Internet and conclude that it has become much tougher these days to become noticed and gain momentum in social media. Assuming I am not already a rock star, famous author, or Tony Robbins in the “real world”, I basically have to work hard to get noticed on the ‘Net today. And, I have to build this notoriety one Tweet or one Blog entry at a time. It isn’t enough to Blog anymore, nor is it enough to jump into the river of Tweets. Passive participation in all of this will not do much to build my pesonal brand on the ‘Net. It’s now necessary to “Twog”.
I Twog, Therefore I Am
What is Twogging? According to previous definitions, it used to mean “the World of God” or “the world of Golf”. Twogging is my name for a combination of blogging and twittering. A creative intersection, or mash-up (see my previous blog post on Intersectional Creativity), if you will.
Actually, Twogging is much more. With current technologies, one can not only blog (asynchronously) but one might also Twitter (real-time). And, if one is tweeting, then one might as well also pull in feeds from LinkedIn, MySpace and Facebook – and publish tweets out to all these popular sites simultaneously. Thus, write one thing, and you essentially go out over 5 or more channels of communication to your audience. Twogging.
The Art of the Twog
I suspect that marketeers in the coming year are going to get very good at Twogging. They will find ways of using incentives, posting questions, auto-answering real-time requests, and other means for engaging the audience … all in a CLOSED LOOP system that allows them to pull customers/followers from Twitter and send them to a blog, pull blog readers and send them to Twitter, pull LinkedIn/Facebook contacts and send them to either.
Managing all this has been an artform professed by “marketing consultants” who understand the power of “integrated marketing”…but I suspect we’ll see a lot more social media management sites and software available in the coming years…dashboards that allow one to Orchestrate all this. Some of the leaders in this area today are:
- TweetDeck – originally developed as a desktop client platform for managing tweets, I think this company will find it is inappropriately branded as it moves forward - it allows one to manage feeds/comments from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook simultaneously and will likely grow into a Dashboard of sorts for both real-time and asynchronous communications
- Twhirl – another desktop client that runs off Adobe Aire – and integrates FriendFeed, Twitter and likely more in the future.
- Squidoo, About.com – although these companies has been around for several years, they could be well-positioned for Twogging if they realized that they could enable their users to live in both an ansynchronous and real-time world. At present, neither of these sites capture the components of real-time updates, micro-blogging or tweets.
Finally, the Big Boys (Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Microsoft, LinkedIn) have an opportunity to become the dashboard of choice if they adopt and “open standards” approach to things and allow users on their systems to create the “My Yahoo” of the social media world. Google’s purchase of Blogger in 2003, its success with iGoogle (as a home/starting page for so many ‘Net users), its promotion of the OpenSocial API standards and its 2009 launch of FriendConnect, all place it as the center of Twogging.
I myself am Twogging as I post this…both building a following on Twitter, updating my friends on Facebook and LinkedIn AND continuing to place useful posts on my blog site that will continue to build my persona on the ‘Net…
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