As this post goes live I will be speaking on BBC Radio WM’s Breakfast Show, talking about the UK media’s current obsession: Twitter. Having sighed loudly at a number of recent pieces of media coverage that focused on the celebrity angle and/or the mundane nature of the service, I could hardly say no. But I wanted to do something different – I wanted to demonstrate the usefulness of Twitter very clearly in the way I phrased my responses.
So I turned to Twitter.
First, I asked for help in fielding the inevitable focus on celebrities and triviality, and received some great one-liners, including:
MediaCoach @paulbradshaw Twitter is like a big party. Sometimes celebs wander in, and people flock to them. But the lasting value is business contacts
pezholio @paulbradshaw Twitter is only as mundane as the people you follow. Calling Twitter mundane is as ridiculous as calling TV or radio mundane.
Then I decided to make it more interesting. I tweeted: “can we anticipate the questions & answers via Twitter? Tag response #bbcwm”
In all the topic had over 150 tweets. The hashtag #bbcwm was at one point the 5th most mentioned on Twitter, and the 7th most searched-for (more searched-for than ‘iPhone’).
Here is the interview we pieced together:
Anticipated question 1: (@tweehee) isn’t it a waste of time?
davidelstone: #bbcwm It’s actually a saver of time – imagine how long you’d be on the phone trying to make as many contacts as you can with a few clicks!
emmagilliam: #bbcwm waste of time? i knew about scolari sacking in secs/mins. i knew about buffalo plane crash in mins. thus, not a waste – fr me.
Question 2 (@theknickermafia): What’s Twitter all about?
technicalfault: @paulbradshaw #bbcwm sharing knowledge, thoughts and ideas, instantly and concisely with people who are interested in what yuo say and think
Question 3 (@tweehee): what famous people are on it?
joannageary: #bbcwm A-lister: Demi Moore @mrskutcher
Question 4: @defcon_5 says BBC will want to hear about Twitter catfights – anyone know of any?
louisedoherty: @paulbradshaw http://is.gd/jcN0 and http://is.gd/jPE6 and http://is.gd/jI4a …? #bbcwm
nuttycow: the whole things about @derekdraper following all of @iaindale ’s followers to publicise his own site?
Question 5: @AlrightTit ‘How do you ever get any work done?!’
PaulJennings: @paulbradshaw #bbcwm by mentally classifying tweets as office banter – they can be ignored if necesary.
@bounder continuous partial attention 😉
Question 6: podnosh: What advice can you give me on using Twitter?
john383: #bbcwm start following people whod interest you in ‘real life’,have conversations,follow those others follow.It wont make sense till you do!
Anticipated question 7: debbiemet “Can’t these people make *real* friends? They’re so sad.”
Kate_Butler @paulbradshaw maybe it’s the poverty of the language. we don’t have words to describe ‘friends’ you’ve not met and may never meet.
Anticipated question 8: markmedia: Won’t Twitter be another channel spreading rumour and libel?
jayrosen_nyu @paulbradshaw My reply to that would be: open systems don’t work like closed systems. Who told you they did? And, did you get a receipt? …
Question 9: joannageary: Isn’t it a bit creepy “following” people? Doesn’t that make you a bit of a stalker? Why would you want strangers knowing what you do?
tombeardshaw @paulbradshaw they don’t ‘know what you do’, they read the messages you choose to sent. Why Twitter works = it’s all opt IN – spammrs h8 it.
There were also a number of more creative suggestions for questions/anticipated lines of enquiry. Here they are:
foodiesarah: @paulbradshaw #bbcwm hilariously get asked for the ‘correct’ names/terms for things. usually involves being asked whether being a twit is …
PaulJennings: @paulbradshaw #bbcwm – who do you think should twitter – which famous person
bounder: #bbcwm what’s the best ever tweet you’ve seen?
emmagilliam: #bbcwm who’s your favourite twitterer?
Sn1per: @paulbradshaw How are they going to make money? #bbcwm
AJWSmith: @paulbradshaw #bbcwm Will it damage my computer?
nuttycow: @paulbradshaw #bbcwm favourite tweet? Tweeter you’d most like to shag? How long could you live without twitter? what’s wrong with twitter?
photocumbria: #bbcwm “Isn’t all just one big media circle-jerk?” 😉
And finally, from the prolific Steveh123: