Twitter Updates for 2008-04-30

  • My comment on Marvel comics and @techcrunch #
  • turning in early. See you in San Diego tomorrow. Anyone going to be @jetblue at JFK tomorrow am early? #
  • @jeffpulver assume you’re not at jfk anymore #
  • @tedmurphy are u still at jfk- want to have coffee? #
  • at the @jetblue computer lounge at JFk, noticing how many people are checking Facebook. #
  • When will airplanes have internet access? So much of what I do requires connectivity. We know you can have cellph, when EVDO? #
  • ok folks, I’m out for a while. See you in San Diego. #
  • arrived in San diego #

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Twitter Updates for 2008-04-29

  • watching the Jabbo and Crabbo show #
  • @loiclemeur wow, sorry to hear, make sure you’re ok – whiplash/back stuff can take a day to come out. Take it easy! #
  • going for an exercise bike ride before sitting at the desk all day. See you in a little while. #
  • @chrisbrogan – left you a photo about (just meant to be funny not insulting to the company) #
  • @laurayoung thanks – interested please Direct message me the info, I may take some time to get in touch. #
  • @johntrosko interested – have her ‘d’ me – I will take some time to get back to her – overwhelmed with tweets and emails from HARO #

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Marvel Comics pisses off core audience

Who is the core audience of “Iron Man” the movie? Geeks. Computer hugging, email sending, twittering geeks. Geeks with big Mac Book Pros who have money to spend.
And the pied piper of the Web 2.0 geeks, Mike Arrington of TechCrunch, had invited geeks to a special pre-screening of the movie. And Mike got the theater to pre-screen by CALLING THEIR GROUP SALES LINE! And TechCrunch is really, really well read in the Web 2.0 community and even by analysts and Wall Street types. (According to, it’s the 1700th most read site on the net – nothing to sneeze at, and rumors have it they’re making 6 figures a month in ad revenue).

So, seeing as an influencer has decided to lead core audience into a screening of their product, which would likely have generated an additional PR storm of good pr (assuming the movie is good), Marvel has gone and shut the whole thing down. They’ve sent a cease-and-desist to Mike (a lawyer himself) telling him not to do this.Mike posted this story about 6pm pacific, about 15 minutes ago as I write this. There are already over 70 comments against Marvel on his site.

PR People – Call your Lawyers and stop the bleeding now! This is stupid. You can’t control the message anymore. Let the people see your movie when they’re scheduled to see it, and salvage what you get. You’re already looking at newspaper headlines – “Marvel tells SF Fans to wait”, “Marvel alienates core geek audience” – instead of “Iron Man gets first weekend boost from SF Twitters and bloggers gushing about movie.” Really.

Update from TechCrunch: Seems it was all just a big misunderstanding, and partly Oracle’s fault.


Twitter – Loving and hating it at the same time

Today I asked Peter Shankman to send out a query on his “Help a Reporter Out” list. I’m writing a piece for the NY Enterprise Business Report on small to mid-sized businesses using Facebook, LinkedIn and other social services (such as Twitter). What are they using these services for? Branding, marketing, recruiting, promoting? What else? (You’ll have to wait to find out – the piece will be out in the summer). But I digress. I want to talk twitter.

If you don’t know what Twitter is, I liken it to a water cooler for the digital age. It’s much more than that, of course. Twitter can be ‘micro-blogging’, a way to ask questions and answer them, and even a community. A good post by SouthWestSEO about Twitter is called “How to describe Twitter” and Lee Lefever from Common Craft has a great 2 minute video on it.

I decided to try an experiment, based on this post by Stowe Boyd called “Twitpitch is the Future.” Stowe asks any company that wants to pitch him to do so via Twitter, in the constrained manner of 140 characters for a Twitter message.

Basically, I want companies to get their story down to a one-liner ‘escalator’ pitch — like 10 seconds long — which is going to force them to drop the superlatives and buzzwords and get to the heart of the matter.

Stowe lists exactly how someone should pitch. I thought this was a good idea for a test. However, I didn’t set as strict ground rules as Stowe did – and I probably should have done so. So, when I put out my query on the “Help a Reporter” list, I just listed my Twitter account, and suggested that people could email me or “tweet” me to get my attention if they had something to pitch. This has had good and bad points.


  1. Some good replies, focused in 140 characters, sometimes with a web address, that gave me good follow up.
  2. I connected with a few people I might not have found, and got some leads for the story.
  3. An additional benefit of about 25-35 twitter followers added me today (not my intent but that’s fine).


  1. I set myself up to have to monitor Twitter all day. This is too distracting for me. (Your milage may vary of course.) I suppose I could have just set up a “Tweetscan” for my handle (Howardgr) and just checked that occasionally. But I wanted to be responsive as I’m starting to write my piece.
  2. Helpful twitter users re-broadcast my query. This caused me to be a bit overwhelmed by new traffic via email and twitter direct messages.They truly wanted to help, so I don’t fault them in any way.
  3. Not everyone can express their message in the Twitter-limited 140 characters, so some of the replies were not as helpful as they could have been.

Overall, it was useful to try this experiment. I learned a bit about Twitter, and about my own tolerance for information coming in via that channel.

I asked Chris Brogan about his Twitter use this past weekend, and he likened it to a Chinese proverb about “Seeing flowers from horseback.” You see a different image as the landscape goes by on horseback, but stopping to look at a flower or group of flowers gives you a totally different image.

We discussed this and agreed that in that sense, watching Twitter is watching like flowers going by on horseback. Stop and get off the horse and look – see what people are talking about – and then get back on. You can look at any time. Tools like Tweetscan can help you monitor conversations, and like FriendFeed can help you catch up with what your friends are really saying. But trying to participate all day can be like a full-time job, and you might fall off your (work) horse.

UPDATE: Great piece by Mitch Joel: “Confessions of a Twitter Snob.”


Twitter Updates for 2008-04-28

  • @queenofspain I show up early for your show and now I’m banned from your page for 24 hours by Stickam. 🙁 I was just tuning in early. #
  • @ldpodcast – Whitney, you’re a class act. I’d work with you anytime, anyplace. #
  • @rycaut I’ll buy you a copy of Linux. Please. Don’t hurt the laptop. #
  • @BillCammack thanks for connecting, good seeing you at PodcampNYC #

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