Trying to explain Twitter to the uninitiated can be a challenge. Twitter is so new, so different, and used in so many ways, it’s difficult to wrap your arms around it. I’ve come up with a couple of metaphors that seem to get the point across pretty well – I’ll share them in a sec.
But I’m betting the collective wisdom of TwiTips can come up many more, so maybe this post can help lots of people get a handle on a tool they really need to understand if they’re involved in any kind of business at all. Twitter is a tavern. You walk into a crowded bar and there are all kinds of conversations going on. At first it sounds like a lot of noise, but if you listen closely you’ll realize these conversations run the gamut – deep, serious, funny, irrelevant, irreverent – you name it. Sometimes business deals get done. Sometimes you’re just killing time. You drift in and out of these conversations, but you always leave the bar knowing folks a little better, knowing what’s going on a little more. That’s what Twitter is like.
Twitter is a three-ring circus. Let’s mix metaphors right away and say that Twitter is the Wild West of social media. Anything goes. At the circus, there’s nothing but action. Something amazing is going on everywhere, and no two performances are alike. But every performer is pushing the limits, trying something new, taking chances on a big stage. You don’t really know what to expect – all you know is the ordinary rules that apply to everyday life are suspended and that something marvelous is going to happen. That’s the attraction, and that’s what Twitter is like.
Can Twitter even be boiled down to a simple metaphor? If it could, that would be nice, because it would save new users quite a bit of time and frustration. So how about it – how would you describe Twitter to a newbie?