The power of suggestion

This is a real song. For real real.

This is a real song. For real real.

Not to sound like a broken record or anything (though we do love a little vinyl here and there), but there’s another uber-interesting article out about the rise and cresting wave of the Twitter phenomenon.

This time it’s in the New York Times, so you know it’s legit, and in the Week in Review section, so you know it’s interesting. The gist of the article: Twitter has a newish feature that suggests users to follow. The practical effect is that the folks the company anoints often become the mega-stars of Twitterdom – and yes, we know that’s a relativistic statement.

Sure, that’s interesting and all, but the real meat comes further in, as the suggested users explore the impact of having, in one case, 635,000 followers. In Steven Johnson’s own words: “That is a big force, I’m not Oprah, but I can get some chatter about something going pretty effectively — I put a link to something and I can see it repeated.”

Now that’s a powerful tool. Many national organizations strive to hit 500,000 people on a mailing list and never get there. To have that sort of network at your disposal changes the entire information distribution dynamic. You effectively eliminate the need for a middleman between your information production and the curious public.

Now, as always, there is a question of saturation – not everyone gets hundreds of thousands of followers. But the potential is there, and success is scalable for different situations. In Washington State, having 10,000 followers would be significant. In Seattle, 1,000 is a strong showing.

It’s a fascinating step in information flow and media (or the lack thereof). And pretty cool to be a part of. And hey, while you’re here, follow the Bus on Twitter. We hear good things will happen.


2 Responses to “The power of suggestion”

  1. 1 Skyzoo
    June 19, 2009 at 11:26 am

    Yup, the new media is definitely questioning the need for old media. Like the points on here, definitely food for thought.

  2. 2 Decentious
    June 19, 2009 at 3:08 pm

    Andy Milonakis (sp?) is a funny dude!

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