Bilton N. Hatching Twitter: A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship, and Betrayal. Portfolio Hardcover; 2013:304. (find in a local library)
Officially, I’m twitter user approximately 14,000,000 (joining in May 2008), unofficially I’m twitter user approximately 8,000,000 (joining in August, 2007). That’s out of about 500,000,000 users today, 215,000,000 who are active. And still, in 2013, the majority of people I share an industry/profession with, still do not use it. About 16% of Americans do, so we are still in early days (see: Presentation: Why be Social (Media)? BerkeleyISchool | Ted Eytan, MD, and What Internet Users Do Online | Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project).
From that perspective, it was fascinating to read about what people thought Twitter was going to be, and to realize that it’s still not totally defined, any more than e-mail is today (is it for FYIs? Real communication? Something in between?).
One of the main divergent opinions was whether Twitter was going to be about personal status (“What are you doing?”) or about reporting on one’s surroundings (“What’s happening?”). Now the box just says, “Compose new tweet.”
There’s a dramatic component to the story, which I’ll choose not to summarize here, because there are plenty of reviews that do that, I’ve linked to them below.
The one question that I’m left with about leadership after reading the book is, “why is it a goal to emulate Steve Jobs?” This is what Jack Dorsey (@Jack) is portrayed as working to do.
I decided early on that I prefer the personal status approach (championed by Dorsey), because I want to see more humanity in health care. I feel the “what’s happening” model allows a person to displace themselves too much. It’s interesting with this filter to look at others’ feeds, which gives clues about authenticity, curiosity, interest in change. That’s the genius of social media and microblogging, that you can deduce these things fairly easily.
Feel free to comment on which approach you prefer (and if you can, look up your Twiter user #, just for fun).
In the meantime, here’s what I’m doing.