So I made my “first” YouTube video this week, and I gotta say, I kind of enjoy the interaction of the video-blog. I am conscious of the time factor, I am a blabbermouth, if you let me get going on a rant, I can run way too long, I have to keep in mind the appetite of the Web user. Here in Web 2.0 we prefer our meals byte-sized (forgive the pun) and I don't want to start preaching a sermon. Although that's kind of what video-blogging most reminds me of. We have our pulpit, preaching our gospel as we see it. One of the things that's become very apparent to me is straight from the Book of (Malcolm) Gladwell.
I'm in a sharing mood, so I'm going to go into a little of my personal and technical history. I once worked for America Online here in Jacksonville, I came in when they opened their very first facility in Florida in the tech support department (1997). This was the early days of the Net, when “www” was just getting started, and AOL was all the rage because we basically held your hand and took you out into the Big Bad World. The fastest connection was still analog and it was 28.8 baud. Yeah, my geek genes go DEEP. Anyway, I was there for 11 months when they changed our bonus structure and basically made the job comparable to working for a fast-food salary... If I could have stayed there for two more months, I would have been there when the stock split, and everybody that was in my training class that was still around is basically a millionaire now. I had a wife and kid to feed, so I had to go for the immediate. Kinda sad.
When I worked there, it was unlike any place you could imagine. Much of what Google does now is based on AOL work environment, in my opinion. We partied like nobody's business, and we knew at the time we were a part of something unique. Sure, it came and went, but there was a moment where if you were there, you came out of the situation with much more than you ever thought you would or could.
I bet when Mark Zuckerberg or Tom Anderson got things going, they had that moment where they knew “We got a big one here.” Everybody kinda looked around and said “Whoa, we knew it was a good idea, but never thought it would be THIS big.” Every so often Fate lets you peek behind the curtain and you can catch a glimpse of what might be. The good thing about that kind of energy is it takes a certain group of individuals (the Mavens of Gladwell's “Tipping Point”) who moves things to the place they need to be to make their 'tip', and one person's success is tied to the work of many individuals, cogs in the system. I remember Christina Dolce aka ForbiddenXO when her friend list was 145,000 and she actually responded to your comments personally. I think she owes her success to the early adoption on her part of MySpace, but MySpace also benefitted from her and all the other EyeCandy wanna-bes who attempted to duplicate Christina's success (including Tila Tequila).
In the interest of personal education (specifically, reading Fast Company) I came across Scobelizer, which brought me to Guy Kawasaki, which drew me to Twitter. I am getting a very good feeling about Twitter and what the future could hold for it. There's just too much press on Twitter right now for it not to be successful. Whether it stays successful is based on the vision of the people in the company itself. If they can walk the line between staying true to themselves while being mindful of the people that got them to where they are, the loyalty of those within will remain and success can result. But if you aren't looking at Twitter and seeing how it's going to seriously grow in the next 2 years, you are simply far-too-jaded an individual. The ways in which Twitter can be utilized are myriad. MC Hammer has managed to revitalize interest in him, and believe me, I didn't think that was possible. CNN was one of the first organizations to use Twitter as a way to interact with their viewers in real-time. Organizations like The H2HProject are using Twitter to help get clean drinking water to villages in Africa.
Anyone who knows me knows how much I love The Matrix Trilogy. There are some fantastic life lessons in there (but all movie geeks already knew all life's greatest mysteries are answered in the movies), but one that I find myself constantly referring to is the conversation in “Revolutions” where Oracle is in the kitchen trying to explain the Architect to Neo. She is explaining that none of us can see beyond a choice or decision that we do not understand, and that the Architect can't see beyond any choice because all things to him are equations to be balanced and quantified. Not everything can be weighed on a scale, but that makes it no less tangible. It might take a different instrument to measure the change. While there are those with pseudo-intellectual editorials on how we are “Twittering our lives away”, but I take those who can look at Twitter and miss it's potential as probably being unable to look within themselves and see how it could work for them, and generally pragmatic more than visionary. And there's nothing wrong with pragmatism, as long as you know that's what it is.
By checking my stats on Twitterholic, I've found that I'm the Number 1 Tweeter for my City. Wow. I've never been #1 anything on the Web that I know of, and pardon me for celebrating that fact for awhile. Some of the Tweeters who have followers in the thousands have been really encouraging to me, and many of their tweets have given me much insight into how this whole tweet-web works. I'm like a digital spider, crawling back and forth making the connections. Anyone that comes on behind me, give them all the knowledge I have and help them connect. To those who came before me, listen, pay attention, find a way to enrich their network, draw attention through sincerity. Don't worry about the Follower Count as much as how valuable are you to the followers you already have. I'm a small fish in the Twitter Ocean, but I'm the only fish on my reef right now. I'll be one sizable apex predator by the time the rest of Duval figures out what this Twitter Thing is. This could make me a hub to the Twitterverse.
So this time I'm not going to be discouraged from being around when everything reaches the Moment of the Jump-Off. I've never surfed, but I do understand the concept. You wait for the wave, turn back towards the beach, you start paddling to get ready and if you stand up at just the right time, you get to ride the wave. Stand up too late, and you'll miss it. Get out in front of it too far and it can come down on you. It's all about your timing. In the social networking world, Twitter is the spaces between the notes, and while they don't make noise, they set the structure for your melody. I know my place, and I understand my instruments. You play your tune... and I'll play mine. If you didn't find me through Twitter, follow me at http://twitter.com/tangomega and if you're on MySpace, hit me up at http://blogs.myspace.com/tangomega
-ere'bodee's favorite mega, blogninja