Wonder: The Value of Twitter

Wonder Bread
Creative Commons License photo credit: brew127

You may look at social media as a toy, a giant time sink, or something marginally valuable.

Or something else entirely.

Me? I find it an amazing tool, particularly Twitter.

As @GaryVee noted yesterday in the video conversation between he and Robert Scoble, Twitter lets you do something essential for free that businesses would have paid MILLIONS for a decade ago.

The ability to listen to what people are saying, in *real conversations*, about their products and services.

The ability to engage their customers.

My new “friend” Al

As I noted a few weeks ago, I’m making some business changes in order to position myself to be more flexible as my role as an Alzheimer’s patient caregiver becomes more demanding somewhere down the road.

Fast forward to earlier this week. I’m glancing over at Tweetdeck (a program that “watches” Twitter for you) and I see Guy Kawasaki talking about Alltop.com, one of his startup companies.

Alltop gathers the best of the best on a particular topic and shows you a pile of RSS feeds in a really efficient format on one page (for example, Business is Personal‘s RSS feed is available on marketing.alltop.com).

For some odd reason, it made me wonder if Guy has an Alzheimer’s section on Alltop.

I mosey over to Alltop.com and find out that there isn’t an Alzheimer’s section. I’m a little surprised, so I tap Guy on the shoulder via Twitter.

He replies back a few minutes later, says he thinks its a good idea and asks for some RSS feeds that I like regarding Alzheimer’s. It happens that I only have a few because I’m kinda of new in AlzheimersTown, but I send them anyway and tell him I’ll send more as I find feeds that I like.

An hour or so later, he tweets back at me and says Alzheimers.alltop.com is up and ready to use. In the course of the conversation, he tells me his mom had it as well.

Guy didn’t have to share that with me, but he did. It’s what Twitter does. It creates a personal connection between people with like interests. Now, besides being geeks, we have something else in common. A family experience with Alzheimer’s.

B.T.

Tell me…  Before Twitter (B.T.), how would I manage to not only get Guy’s attention long enough to ask him to add a new feature to his product, much less to make a personal connection via something we share regarding a family member?

Remember, Guy’s a celebrity. A former Apple exec. A venture capitalist. A bunch of other stuff.

The walls that fame, fortune and celebrity put up between people (much less the mileage between Montana and Palo Alto) would make normally him completely inaccessible to me.

Twitter breaks down the wall, just like it did when I “caught” him reading my blog last year.

It lets people be people again – even over the net. It lets you get involved in the conversations about issues, products, services and “stuff”.

Stop wondering

Ever wonder who might be talking about your product or service?

On Twitter, you don’t have to wonder.

Instead, you can actually join that conversation, just like Gary said yesterday and like Robert Collier said decades ago. When you do that, you can learn more about what really drives your customers to do what they do.

Have a conversation.

What do you think that is worth to you? I wonder.

5 entrepreneur lessons from Guy Kawasaki

Today’s guest post is from Guy Kawasaki. You probably know of Guy from his books, from his time at Apple or Garage, or maybe from Alltop. Who knows, you might even have played hockey with him. 

Regardless, his last post as a blogger for Sun is definitely worth reading.

Business is Personal blog featured at marketing.alltop.com

I’m pleased to announce that Guy Kawasaki‘s Alltop.com project has chosen to feature Business is Personal in the marketing area of Alltop, specifically at marketing.alltop.com.

Yoda's Playlist
photo credit: Orange_Beard

Pretty exciting, considering the company: Seth Godin, Duct Tape Marketing, Church of the Customer and Brian Clark’s Copyblogger are also included in a great group of marketing blogs at http://marketing.alltop.com

Marketing.Alltop.com is part of Guy’s Alltop.com project. I encourage you to slide over there and read the top content Guy’s team has assembled.

PS: If you aren’t familiar with him, I suggest you read this to learn about Guy. (Thanks again, Guy)

One last thing: This is a direct result of participating on Twitter, one of the social media sites I’ve been discussing with you lately.