Seven Twitter Addicts Explain Twitter (Video)

Posted by: Douglas MacMillan on February 12, 2009

What is Twitter? Is it a publishing medium, like a blog? Is it a marketplace? Or is it more of a club?

Judging by the bizarre mix of attendees to the first ever Shorty Awards, held on Feb. 11 in Brooklyn, New York, Twitter is all these things and much, much more. Produced by Sawhorse Media, the award show honored Twitter users who excelled using the microblogging site in 26 different fields, including advertising, finance, humor, news, and travel.

As award winners, guests, and members of the press shuffled around the moats and circular booths of the moody Brooklyn night club, the many different worlds of Twitter met for the first time. CNN anchor Rick Sanchez chatted up former hip-hop megastar MC Hammer. Atascadero (Calif.) small business owner Martha Van Inwegen traded tweeting tips with Veronica McGregor, the voice of NASA’s Mars Phoenix Lander feed on Twitter.

These people had very little in common, and that’s what makes Twitter such a promising platform. It’s less than three years old, yet it already has dozens of unique devoted communities of users.

In the videos below, I speak with seven different Shorty Awards attendees about how they use Twitter. There are commonalities in their responses – almost all mention that they like how personal a medium it is. But what’s really surprising is how differently these people are using the same Web site.

1. MC Hammer (@MCHammer)


MC Hammer, musician from Doug MacMillan on Vimeo.

2. Rick Sanchez (@ricksanchezcnn)


Rick Sanchez, CNN anchor from Doug MacMillan on Vimeo.

3. Gary Vaynerchuck (@garyvee)


Gary Vaynerchuk, Wine Library TV from Doug MacMillan on Vimeo.

4. Rich Tucker (@cruisesource)


Rich Tucker, CruiseSource from Doug MacMillan on Vimeo.

5. Martha Van Inwegen (@MarthaVan)


Martha Van Inwegen, Action Wipes from Doug MacMillan on Vimeo.

6. Hunter Burgan (@TranquilMammoth)


Hunter Burgan, bass guitarist for AFI from Doug MacMillan on Vimeo.

7. Carri Bugbee (@peggyolson)


Carri Bugbee, impersonator of Peggy Olsen from Doug MacMillan on Vimeo.

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Reader Comments

P. Laverly

February 12, 2009 04:06 PM

Twitter Rules!
Loan Modification

Peter Milburn

February 12, 2009 08:21 PM

Can you clarify if BusinessWeek has an official Twitter profile because both @bweek and @bizweek seem to be unofficial squatters taking advantage of your brand

Dustin (@tyr)

February 12, 2009 11:26 PM

Great collection of videos! So much fun to see @MCHammer @garyvee and @ricksanchezcnn give answers that are so reflective of how they use twitter.

Adam & Wendy @PawLuxury

February 13, 2009 01:50 AM

We won the shorty awards for #business.
We are honored and humbled we won. We are on twitter to connect open, honestly & transparently to help and grow relationships.
Being nominated by our followers is prize enough to know we are making a difference.
We mainly tweet pet lovers, but also bloggers, tech ppl, business ppl, and all ppl. We’ve met the best ppl on twitter and value our relationships.
Twitter is about community, and it’s fun.
-Adam, Wendy & Lola (woof woof)
twitter.com/pawluxury

Doug MacMillan

February 13, 2009 10:03 AM

Peter, we don't have one official Twitter feed. But we have something that's arguably better: about 40 BusinessWeek writers and editors are constantly twittering about their beats. You can find @'s for all of them here: http://www.businessweek.com/blogs/whatsyourstoryidea/archives/2008/12/the_twittering.html

One person definitely worth a follow is @JOHNABYRNE - that's BusinessWeek.com edi-in-chief John Byrne, who delivers live updates of our news meetings and more.

@CruiseSource

February 13, 2009 04:19 PM

Hey Doug -

Great meeting you at the awards ceremony! The Shorty Awards was an incredible experience. It was excitign to get the opportunity to meet so many innovative users of Twitter and other Social Media Apps. I really appreciate that you took the time to interview me for Business Week!

BTW - The Link to the SoFresh Social Media Cruise that I mention in the video: http://tr.im/SoCruise - it was a little tough to hear...the date is 11.12.09! - Rich Tucker

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BusinessWeek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, Douglas MacMillan, and Spencer Ante dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. One of the first mainstream media tech blogs, Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.

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