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What's Going On VII: Massive Convergence
(March 21, 2007) Those old people writing blogs are so 2005. Real savvy communicators are flocking to Twitter, a tool that merges IM, text, email, web and social networking into a river of network love. It's guaranteed to befuddle people who want more than 140 characters for a thought.
Twitter is making news all over the web. It was the winner of the blog award at SXSW. The tool allows you to build a network to which you can deliver text messages. They can go by text, by IM, by Web or by email. You can subscribe to other networks.
It's not for everyone, the level of public disclosure is pretty intense. But, it's also usable in a variety of ways. Here's the New York Times river. By using tinyurl (a service that converts really long urls into short ones), Twitter can be used to communicate ideas larger than the 140 character limit.
Watch Twitter. It's the harbinger of an intense fusion of text, email, IM and blogging. Those distinctions are as temporary as wang word processors. Twitter is just an example of the continuous emergence of new publishing platforms.
Media is exploding, fracturing and converging.
Large publishers with huge audiences simply can't compete with smaller, more interactive and more intimate content. The economics, tone and scale of large publishing fails when the advantage won by expensive distribution and production is taken away. Fat, buried in extreme overheads, full of self-justification and awash in assumptions, the old school simply flounders in the face of the newer, more agile style and content.
Interestingly, there's a shift in the definition of old school as well. Last week's alliance between Monster and Adicio looks like a way to wring the final dollars out of an old industry cash cow, the newspapers. At the same time, Web based editorial content providers (like us and Editor and Publisher) look pretty ancient compared to Twitter.
When Abraham Lincoln was reading by the light of the fireplace in his one room cabin, reading was still an unusual thing to do. Most "good" boys got lots of rest so that they could help out on the farm. Most "good" boys became farmers. The harsh distinction between those who were literate and those who weren't played out in relative financial success.
Today, the very definition of literacy is changing at an accelerating rate. Many (if not most) in Industry and most (if not all) in Recruiting can be seen scoffing at examples of the new emerging literacy. We're sure that more than a few readers will look at Twitter and not see the relevance. Like the parents of Abe's peers, they want and hope for more farmers.
Lincoln was just a little ahead of his time. 50 years later reading was firmly institutionalized in our public education system. 100 years later, everyone was in compulsory public education. 150 years later, there were virtually no more farmers.
It happens faster now. The new communications form, let's call it "Twitteracy", will occupy a key role in communications in organizations within the decade. Outbound communications to attract these workers will need to be "Twitterate". It's a different form with different production values. It includes audio, video, blog, text, flash, java, animation and more.
Each new increment widens the possibilities for the locations of job boards and job board related operations. It opens the possibilities for better, clearer and more intimate ties.
(PS. Here's a great dialog about Twitter)
Tomorrow: Recruiting Is A Conversation
Electronic Recruiting News
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