Sometimes I wonder if I’ll die from overdosing on digital…
I like information.
I have open access to it.
It makes me feel good.
We all know Osama Bin Laden is dead now.
But, last evening when I read the following tweet, Ding Dong! Osama’s Dead!, I assumed it was just a personal remark, rather than a fact, and I just continued along my merry Twitter ways.
Until I saw that tweet retweeted by two others. Then I thought it was some running joke I was just not aware of.
Then, I saw my good friend @CRUMP tweet:
And that’s when I knew it was real.
So, what is the science behind credibility on Twitter?
And, does Twitter replace TV as a news source?
The Science behind credibility on Twitter.
To be sum it up, it’s the red shoes I bought this weekend that make my “important” tweets credible and understood.
Without having conversations about yesterday’s perfect running weather, or the retro TV I dug up at an estate sale, and without sharing photos of my paper bag with two eye-holes for Mask Day at work, none of followers would have been interested in my blog post about SXSW 2011.
It is the “unimportant” content that builds traction for the “important” content.
Similarly, I had never had any Twitter conversations with the woman who tweeted Ding Dong! Osama’s dead!, which I know attributed to my miscomprehension and quick dismissal of her tweet.
Underlying innuendos and personalities are difficult to decipher online, until you have some level of a relationship with the individual. At that point, you have an understanding of his or her writing style, interests, attitudes, and you know when he or she is sarcastic, serious, or somber.
It reminds me of when Bob Garfield interviewed a woman, Mona Seif, during the Tahrir Square uproar: The fact that her usual tweets were about her love life, cats and family, allowed her insight into torture cases in Egypt to reach those who typically would not have been interested in it.
There is an emotional connection with individuals, possible through Twitter, that builds credibility for the source and encourages followers to invest time and energy in content outside of their typical interest.
Twitter v. TV – Who is the winner?
Everyone is saying #InternetWins #TVIsDead.
But, I’d like to beg to differ.
Yes, Keith Urbahn leaking the news of Osama Bin Laden’s death, via Twitter, even prior to the broadcasted announcement, is sound reason to believe TV is dead. But, this also shows the power of Twitter as a strategic tool in creating fist-pumping action, in cheering on TV.
Take a look at music artists – somehow their songs and albums are always leaked. There is no doubt the majority of this is done intentionally to tease the public on what is to come.
Looking at the nature of Twitter and the science behind its users and credibility, Twitter can easily be utilized for more than relationship building and conversations. It can be used to whisper teasing words into the puiblic’s ears to instill curiosity and drive even larger, more dedicated, more eager audiences to the TV.
The thing is: the world still falls quiet when someone with credibility speaks on TV.
The number of tweets on my feed during Obama’s speech dropped down to six, but sky-rocketed back up to 166 after the speech.
Twitter is the chatter in the theater before the movie starts, the occasional snicker during the movie, the annoying commentator throughout the movie, and the applause after the show.
But TV is still the main show. Though Twitter was fully active last night, the world still waited for the TV.
Everyone on twitter was saying “Hurry up Obama! I need to shower / a potty break!”
Individuals turn to Twitter, but the world still looks to the TV.
TV is still the one medium that allows one individual completely captivate the world’s attention in one moment.
Lesson learned: Use Twitter as a relationship management tool to bring more action to other media. Publish serious and non-serious content to build up your credibility, garner slight (positive) tension, and gain their trust in reading the “important” content that may live on other media.