The Afternoon Report, March 31, 2009

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This information, called The Afternoon Report, is provided by a daily email blast from the publicity firm of Boneau Bryan-Brown, which maintains this blog. This feature does not run daily on The Clyde Fitch Report but whenever The Afternoon Report points out articles of interest.

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When did Twitter take over the universe?
BALTIMORESUN.COM – BY ANDREW RATNER

When did Twitter take over the universe? Or put another way, when did a Web service that transmits messages of 140 characters or less, that apparently makes no money and is used by 3 percent of the U.S. population (and probably less than that) become the greatest thing since mint chocolate chip ice cream? Don’t get me wrong. I like Twitter. It has evolved into a fascinating stew of the macro and the micro – real-time news from around the world and small-scale chatter from around the block. It’s one of the more useful toys on the Internet. And at least for now, it’s free. But it’s one of those technologies that mystifies people even as they become addicted to it, sort of in the way that people began calling their BlackBerry their “crackberry,” acknowledging their unnatural obsession for it. More people are hearing about it than actually using it,” Nicholas Carlson, an editor for the Web site Business Insider, said of Twitter. “A lot of people using it are professional media who already love to talk for a living. We had CNBC on yesterday, and we counted and they said ‘Twitter’ 24 times. The media used to say, ‘If it bleeds, it leads.’ Now if it tweets, it leads.” –

In the 4 1/2 -minute cartoon titled “Twouble with Twitters,” a young man is aghast that his co-worker is unaware of Twitter and exhorts, “You are a young, hip, tech-savvy, 20-something and I will not let you turn into your father.” The co-worker remains unimpressed and can’t see the value in exchanging “detached, bite-sized yippety-yap” with people he barely knows. In a modern twist on The Emperor’s New Clothes, the “Twitterverse” crumbles when the unimpressed co-worker informs all the Twitterers that they’ve been deluded into thinking Twittering is like real friendship. Even one of the inventors of Twitter found it a riot. “That video was hilarious!” Biz Stone, who co-founded Twitter in 2006, wrote in an e-mail response to a question about whether he’d seen it. “Very well done.” (If you’d like to see the video, which I highly recommend, it is posted at the top of this on-line article) –

Twitter has grown so fast, it must be relevant at some level. It has touched a nerve. “I cannot envision that this tool is just a fad; it’s far too powerful and still has so much potential,” said Tracy Gosson, a Twitterer and president of Sagesse, a Baltimore marketing firm. “If they continue to innovate, I would put it close to the evolution level of Google. My elevator pitch for Twitter is that that Facebook keeps you in touch with people you know. Twitter connects you with people you didn’t know you needed to know.”