Won't You Be My Neighbor?

img_2976I'm always hearing all these analogies about Twitter:

"Twitter is like your inner monologue."

"Twitter is like one big status update on Facebook."

"Twitter is like an indie rock show."

"Twitter is like passing notes in school."

"Twitter is like Montreal."

"Twitter is like sex, everybody does it differently."

"Twitter is like reading the ramblings of a crazy person."

"Twitter is like the neighborhood bar of the industry."

"Twitter is like wandering around at a cocktail party."

Now all these musings are fine and good. But after just barnstorming Twitter for several months, I think I've got a better analogy.

Twitter is neighborhoods in a global community.

It's global community, where you can seek out just about whatever you want, whether it's red light districts, product launches, Bible studies, bars, classrooms, political rallies or community meetings. Like any community, a wave and a smile can make someone's day.

So what are all these other analogies?

Let's consider. A community has all kinds, right? I think most people get to niche focused and forget that Twitter takes all kinds. So, as in all life, you've got some standard archytpes. I'm only going to name a few names here, but you can fill in the blanks.

Mack daddies: These are the "social media experts" who stay up to late or drink a bit too much and start tweeting around for dates.

Small town mayors: Like @chrisbrogan, these are the folks who know how to build a community around themselves. Chris remembers how many kids people have and where their nearest Starbucks. And if he doesn't remember, he tags them so it looks like he does. This guy is SO the mayor of Twitter.

Showmen/women: This would be the guy or gal who get up on the stage at the town hall talent show and just wows. Everybody loves 'em. I'd put @unmarketing, @kimsherrell and @garyvee in this category.

The bloviater: Every community and neighborhood has someone you wish would just stop talking. Maybe that's me for you, and I'm thinking of a few other names right now. Luckily, it's easier to walk away on Twitter than it is in real life.

The barfly: This tweep really does think Twitter is a cocktail party.

The BFF: All over Twitter. I love these people. Way more of them on Twitter than in my real neighborhood, actually.

The cool neighbor: You might not talk much, but they've always got a second to say something nice. Almost an @dannybrown, but Danny helps out a little more than this archetype ("really cool neighbor"?).

Codgers: This would be the person you wave at passing on the street and they act like you're not even there.

Too cool for school: Still in high school, still cooler than everybody. Still a jackass, and now you don't care.

What other categories would you add? What do you think of Twitter as neighborhoods in a global community?

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  • published this page in Blog 2009-02-25 00:28:07 -0500

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