For those who work in media or marketing who “don’t get Twitter,” let this interactive chart created by the NYTimes.com tracking the “conversations” taking place during the Superbowl be an inspiration for you to begin a journey of trying to understand the service. If you do start to “get it,” you can begin to hear, see and tell stories in amazing new ways. So much of what you see when you do a google search on, say, “using Twitter for business” makes it sound like Twitter is yet another channel for pumping out advertising messages. It may be that, but that’s not its real magic. This is. Like all “social media” (or perhaps better understood with terms like “personal media” or “conversational media,”) the magic is not “the technology,” it’s what people do with the technology. And the more people are allowed to use a technology in different ways, the more creative we all can be. Bottom line: Twitter is not just what you think it is. I use it all the time, and people like the creators of this map constantly show me it’s even more than what I think it is.
(Kudos: I don’t know who I should be praising for the map. Certainly, Matthew Bloch and Shan Carter who received a byline for creating it. Kudos also to my friend Khoi Vinh, whose influence (and Helvetica) is seen, as well. Oh, and the patron saint of this graph seems to be Edward Tufte.)