Wednesday, March 11, 2009

PubCon South 2009: Chris Brogan and Guy Kawasaki Talk "Twitter"

I had the chance to attend part of Day One of PubCon South 2009. PubCon began in London in 2001 with a conference that was held in a pub (thus the name "PubCon"). Over the years it has grown to a series of conferences around the world which are the leading-edge event for sharing real-world information about search engine marketing and optimization.

The kick-off keynote presentation was a "fireside chat" between Chris Brogan and Guy Kawasaki, where social media maven Brogan interviewed Kawasaki about many things... but mainly the founders passion for all things Twitter.

Admitting that he was late to blogging and Twitter, Kawasaki came around. He is now one of the most watched people on the web.

"I was born to Tweet" claimed Kawasaki. It took him about a month from joining the service until he was into if full steam ahead. He now averages over 50 tweets a day (which is why I do not follow him anymore).

For Kawasaki, Twitter is a "weapon to promote AllTop" (his online "aggregator" that covers any all the top sites on all the top subjects). He is not shy that he is mixing a variety of informative links, thoughts and ideas with blatant promotion of his business.

Many have asked him why he does not separate his personal "tweeting" from his business "tweeting" by having separate accounts. He gave the BEST answer I have heard on the subject (I only have one account on Twitter as well. I use it to tweet about my books, professional speaking, my job at vcfo, and any other pontifications I choose to toss out).

Kawasaki compared Twitter as the blending of PBS (high quality content) and QVC (commercial selling of product).

He made is clear that if PBS tried to only put the documentaries on one channel and the fund-raising, tote-bag pushing telethons on another station.... nobody would support PBS with donations and the channel would never bring in money (who would tune into see telethon fundraisers all the time?). By mixing the two, his followers (over 80,000 strong) will put up with his promoting his business if he gives them enough other interesting information.

Kawasaki recommended several tools that make Twitter not only more user friendly, but also make it possible to capitalize on the marketing power:

1. This site allows you to seek out what is being said about any person or topic on Twitter.

2. Allows users to break down the vast amounts of information flowing across Twitter into manageable pieces. (Also said you could use for this).

3. Allows users to send automated replies to anyone on Twitter who is talking about a specific topic of keywords for a charge of five cents per message. (I am not a fan of automated tweets, as I think it harms authenticity of the medium, this application had some controls which made it seem interesting on some levels for marketing).

Addressing his critics who think he is a spammer on Twitter (and the purists who do not like to see Twitter used as a corporate tool), he joked "If I do it, it is good marketing, if someone does it to me, it is spam".

He was right in his statement that following someone is voluntary, and that if anyone does not like the way another person uses Twitter they can simply "Un-Follow". He regularly replies to those who harangue him with "UFM", which stands for "Un-Follow Me". To Kawasaki, tweets being spam is an oxymoron... as people signed up to listen to what he has to say, and thus they volunteered to get any message he chooses to send.

I found the conversation between Chris and Guy to be both fun and informative. My only complaint was that it did not last longer.

Have A Great Day.


1 comment:

Mark said...

Thanks. This is the first relevant description of twitter that I've found. I'm still not a convert - but you moved me in that direction.