Twitter has the kind of multigenerational staying power that makes its forthcoming IPO a better long-term bet than
. And I believe in the power, the glory, the magic and the ministry of the hoodie.
Twitter connects and stimulates people in so many more ways than Facebook.
I was thinking about it last night.
Recently, my daughter started doing something old school.
She writes letters to the snail mail addresses of the pop band One Direction and the cast of kids' television shows such as
asking for autographs.
When I was her age back in the 1980s, I did the same thing. I'll never forget receiving signed 8 x 10s in the mail from former New York Giants stars Mark Bavaro and Joe Morris.
It was so cool. You send the letter. You lose all hope and forget about it. And then, out of nowhere, maybe nine months later, your request shows up in the mail. I think that happened to me with Rick Springfield.
For a second, I wondered why my tech-savvy kid is doing this. It seems so 1984. She's not posing next to a
Born in the USA
album cover like I was back in the day. She's an iTunes and
I'm happy about it. I appreciate that the way things used to get done still hold some attraction.
But, on the other hand, my kid doesn't have a Twitter account, though we "allow" her to have a Facebook. We're not keeping her from Twitter, she just hasn't asked.
While she knows all about Twitter, I don't think she quite grasps its potential value in her life. That's partially my fault because I have positioned it as "the newspaper" and my source for all things stock market and hockey. That's enough to turn any "One Directioner" off.
You just cannot do on Facebook what you can do on Twitter.
Twitter does a much better job achieving Mark Zuckerberg's stated mission of connecting the world. And as amazing as Twitter founder Jack Dorsey is, I bet that part happened by accident.
I'm not sure Dorsey could have even predicted what Twitter has become.
Don't get me wrong. Facebook has enriched my life. I use it daily. I like it. It works for me. I don't plan on leaving anytime soon. Once you customize it to your tastes, it's a lot less annoying.
That said, you're still limited in many ways. So much of what happens on Facebook revolves around your old high school friends and such -- people who still think Ronald Reagan is president or never shared a seat on the subway with a gay person.
Simply stated, Facebook, for as much as it opens your world, limits it.
My newspaper comparison provides one example of Twitter's relative strength over Facebook as a social network. The notion of Twitter as "the modern day autograph" ends up being another in a long line I have scrawled on a nearby Post-it note (so old school!).
It might seem cheesy, but think about the power.
While some "celebrities" and public figures keep to themselves on Twitter, many others are more accessible than they ever have been -- than they ever possibly could have been.
Part of Twitter's allure is bantering back and forth naturally, but always wondering in the back of your mind who will reply to your Tweet or mention your name.
I don't "fish for mentions" like I did when I first started using Twitter, but, I'm not too proud to admit that it's surreal when Martha Quinn or Giada De Laurentiis replies to me or Jim Cramer retweets me.
When I was a kid, I had an autograph list. Whether in person or through the mail, I wanted these autographs badly.
Chances are you would never get the chance in person, so you did it through the United States Postal Service and fan clubs. Certainly, it would be a much better experience in the flesh, but beggars can't be choosers.
Twitter increases your odds of this type of interaction. A Twitter mention from somebody you dig might actually be bigger than an autograph because you can share it with "the world." Plus, when you use Twitter's "favorite" feature, the "autograph" doesn't turn all yellow around the edges after 30 years.
I know. Sounds cheesy. But, at its core, we're talking powerful stuff.
The newspaper. Autographs. Institutions that stood the test of time. They captivate imaginations and latch onto your strongest desires. That's powerful. And, today, that's Twitter.
At the time of publication, the author was long FB and P
Rocco Pendola is
Director of Social Media. Pendola's daily contributions to
frequently appear on
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