I'm pretty sure this week is the turning point. I've been on twitter since May 2008. I talk to Realtors on a weekly basis about technology, social media and new ways of communicating with their clients. Rarely has one of them even heard of twitter. And if they have, they do not understand why anyone would use it. But, I'm certain that is going to change. What I and other avid twitter users have know for a year is that twitter is revolutionary. It provides a new way of communicating that fills a need we didn't know we had. Twitter is awesome (even though it is really hard to explain why)! We twitter-ers knew it would just be a matter of time before it reached mass public awareness. And, in the last week, I've seen 3 signs that twitter is poised to go mainstream.
1. Gretchen Benes is on Twitter. I have 700 people following me. Many of them I know from my RE.net journeys and interactions. Many of them I have met, and several of them I consider friends. But, for the most part, we all met through some connection to an interest in social media, both on, and off-line. Gretchen is the very first friend from my immediate social circle who is actively using it and "gets" it. And she isn't at techie. She isn't addicted to her computer the way I am. She can still live without texting. But, she is loving twitter. I predict her addiction will arrive soon...
2. Evan Williams, co-founder of Twitter, was on Charlie Rose . When my Dad, who lives in the sticks 40 miles outside Spokane calls to tell me about this interesting twitter application he saw on Charlie Rose, I know it is reaching a broader audience.
3. CBS Evening News did a story on how Congress is Twittering. They point out that the 75 year old Congressman is an unlikely poster child for new technology but that he and his colleagues recognize twitter is an outstanding way to reach interested constituents and anyone else who wants to listen. It provides an great "gut feel" for what the congress person is thinking right in the moment vs. the sanitized press statement that may go out days later. Of course the public is eating this up. How refreshing to have some brief direct real time glimpses into Capitol Hill! The story also pointed out that the Repbulicans have 58 twitterers vs. the Democrats 34 and that both sides finding it an interesting way to cut out the middleman (the press) - no camera crew is needed to get your voice out to interested parties. Finally, they noted that John McCain is the biggest twitterer on Capital Hill (with some help from his team), although he recognized that his tweet about Steve Nash's knee injury received more feedback than most of his more "weightier" tweets.
So, these three events in the span of the last 7 days, indicate to me that twitter is going to be reaching the masses...soon. I'm excited to watch it evolve. I'm particularly interested to see how they monetize it and how that affects the experience that I so love now. Twitter is by far my favorite social community. I'm guessing a few other people are going to fall in love with it soon too. And, I'm particularly interested to see how Realtors apply it effectively to their business. I know it has been invaluable in keeping up with and establishing myself in the RE.net community, but I have yet to hear real success stories from Realtors who use it to sell or use it as a tenant to reach their clients. I'm sure they are out there though, and I believe it is an essential part of the Realtor of the future's networking and marketing plan. I just think the exact application of it is still being sorted out for the Realtor. I am however certain that lots of opportunity and success exists in this evolving place called twitter.
Please follow me if you aren't already (www.twitter.com/staceyharmon). I look forward to tweeting with you!