Posts Tagged: Henry Ford

Twitterville Book Launch

By Ava Naves, Principal


Cathy Browne. One of the stories in Twitterville.

Cathy Browne. One of the stories in Twitterville.

Just got back from the Vancouver launch of “Twitterville”, authored by Shel Israel. For those who are not familiar with Shel, he has also written “Naked Conversations”, that one co-authored with Robert Scoble (@scobleizer).

A good chunk of the Vancouver Twitter community turned out for the launch at Canvas Lounge. Some of the people I came across were @jaypiddy, @hummingbird604, @CathyBrowne (who’s actually mentioned in the book!), @raincoaster, @cognoscento, @johnbiehler, @tinybites and @bluelimemedia, among many others.
Shel graced us with an entertaining and informative presentation about the book. Here are some of the points, along with a few pictures for good measure:

  • People, communications and conversations are changing. Whereas prior to social media conversations took place from the “top down” (i.e. – from the upper ladders of corporations down to end consumers), the advent and adoption of social media have reversed that.
  • Shel’s perspective is that Twitter has a small-town feeling, where conversations start out similarly to two neighbours chatting across one fence. At first, the chat may be superficial, but then a deeper rapport is created. Conversations are one-on-one. Twitterville tells stories that were relayed to Shel through Twitter.
  • Wondering how to stand out in the social media crowd? “Outgenerous” your competition. By giving more (advice, that is), people get to know that you’re the person to go for insight in your field… which increases your reputation.
  • Social media gives companies a chance to humanize their brands (as told by @MolsonFerg – Ferg Devins – head of public affairs in Canada for Molson Coors and one of the case studies in Twitterville)
  • Wondering if anyone can make money off Twitter? Just look at the example of @CrowdSPRING. According to Shel, CrowdSpring’s business model is basically to tweet RFPs. The company makes a 15% revenue based on the value of each proposal that is approved.
  • Yes, Twitter can be used in more “traditional” fields. Just look at how doctors at Henry Ford Hospital “tweetcasted” a live, robotic surgery – one tweet at a time. time. Results from tweets kept on arriving even after the surgery was over: because the type of surgery performed is elective, the increased exposure created more inquiries from private clients. More students were interested in practicing at Henry Ford. More innovative doctors were keen to bringing their skills to the hospital.
  • Shel Israel explained that his attraction to Twitter is that it is one tool which allows people to act more like in real-life. Hence why it’s probably so popular.

Other observations, these from the question & answer period:

  • Instead of monitoring what everyone is saying about its brand, Dell only looks at conversations coming from those with slightly positive or slightly negative perceptions. They ignore what comes from consumers who have pretty much made up their minds that Dell sucks. Instead, they focus on consumers who they have a chance to transform into advocates. To do so, they use a mix of measurement tools that include Radian6 as well as… Google (who would’ve thought?)!
  • Another member of the audience (I’m so sorry I didn’t catch his name. All I know is that he sounded slightly British) brought up a couple of very valid points: to measure your influence on Twitter, don’t look at you number of followers. Instead, examine how relevant your followers are to your message. Number of RTs is also a great index to measure the value of what you’re communicating.

Ok. It’s late at night, so this post is going out as is. Hope you get some good value from it!