Twitter Matters #4: social capital discussion evolving

Okay, now seriously!  It is nice to have amusing examples like the one below of how a meme can spread via twitter.

Pointing out a memetic trigger like a “violation of viewing habits” is valuable to this idea of memetic brand building.

But check out this, perhaps more complex example, of twitter being at the heart of the development of shared perception.  Click here to see the whole discussion.

vibemetrix and JBordeaux could of had a discussion like this in person, over the telephone, via email or IM.  But they never knew each other until this conversation broke out.

a chat about social capital

a chat about social capital

That is significant in a number of ways.

1. Their Twitter use made their interests and expertise findable so that they could quickly and easily explore the idea together.

2. Twitter made their exchange findable by others, who could quickly add to the development of the idea or at least follow their thinking.

3. Many who were not trying to find the related discussion have been “infected” with the thinking because they are followers of the users involved in the exchange.  In this case, that may have added up to thousands, with little or no effort on behalf of the original thinkers.  Even though these two users are working at the genesis of an idea, they are thought leaders.

Whether observers accept or reject their thinking is one thing.  The cool point is that they don’t have to go through that thinking learning curve in the same way for themselves.  They have a memetic blueprint to work forward with.

I think there are many productivity breakthroughs to explore along these lines that we are only beginning to see the potential of.

I would be interested in hearing thoughts on why Twitter seems more exciting and/or useful than forums?  Forums also enable people to find topics and related discussions but they always frustrate the hell out of me.  I expect to find what I am looking for, but never can.

Maybe it is because on Twitter, I find what I am not looking for and it is related discussion?

Great comment below by Kim Patrick Kobza, CEO, Neighborhood America re: cognitive outliers, real time group cognition


I have turned my evolving reflections about twitter into a series of posts.  Catch the other thoughts:

Why Twitter Matters #1: Follow me, Follow You on Twitter

Why Twitter Matters #2: Memetic Logos

Why Twitter Matters #3: Escalopter

Why Twitter Matters #5: Twitter and Social Capital

Why Twitter Matters #6: Twitter Love Song

Twitter Matters #7: Twitter Bot Auto-Debate

UPDATE@Nov.4, 2008 – an overview of StockTwits from Stowe Boyd.

UPDATE@Dec.1, 2008 – Tim O’Reilly “Why I Love Twitter”

4 Responses to “Twitter Matters #4: social capital discussion evolving”

  1. Memetic Brand » Twitter Matters #1: Follow Me, Follow You on Twitter Says:

    […] Recent Posts Twitter Matters #4: social capital discussion evolving […]

  2. Kim Patrick Kobza Says:


    This is a great series. Love it. Have been thinking about many of the same things. Also in part by using two new twitter tools: tweet deck and twittelator. Both make twitter far more valuable for important practical reasons.

    My insights would be these:

    (1) The power of twitter is almost infinite in its permutations. Why? Because it fosters real time communication that enables us to discover the cognitive outliers in almost all networks. So we are always discovering the unique and most powerful ideas, an important characteristic of developing total network value and value conversion in any network – as the Value Networks principals would describe it.

    (2) But also, and importantly – twitter is real time. That is what distinguishes it so clearly. The real time component is important because it promotes discovery and social attention and also reduces the search cost of unique information (I am referring to search cost here as an economic term). There is something programmed into our brains that seeks that immediate feedback and stimulus that twitter provides – both by those that are different than us, but also by those that are similar and who hold similar views.

    I believe that twitter is a great example of the emergence of the live Web. Basically, the next iteration of the Web is going to be the characteristic of real time feeds, and aggregation of those information feeds from many sources. This is a paradigm that has driven for instance the financial services industry with data visualization for years. i.e. real time stock quotes and history. Because in the financial services industry – time matters. Another example is the friend feed community for technologists. Very compelling.

    But twitter is having a similar effect in a much broader way – not in just supporting the sharing of transactional data, but the real time development of thoughts, ideas, and concepts – collaborative problem solving embedded in the memes.

    Thinking about twitter as a live web application is very powerful. It is much like friend feed in that way when you use it with tweetdeck or twittelator. The reason that those enhancements are so very powerful is that they enable groupings that in turn create higher degrees of relevance.

    For instance, I have as a group in tweetdeck – my top 15 (you are on it). These are the top 15 most relevant thought leaders that I follow. I find that their shared data is the most relevant to many of the things that I often think about. To take it a step further – the fact that they think about many of the same things makes me want to get to know them and drives a tolerance and sometimes a desire to get to know them through their sharing of social experience.

    I think that the misnomer for most networks is that we put the social side first – it generally doesn’t work that way. We generally have plenty of friends. But if we see commonality of purpose or interest and intellect – it makes us want to be more social.

    It seems like what we are sensing is something bigger here – bigger than twitter, bigger than the internet. It is an ability to in real time connect with new thoughts, people, and content anytime, anywhere, in a way that promotes social interest that keeps us engaged and productive. We are starting to reach a point where the power and value creation is only limited by the processing power of our brains. Maybe we will evolve a little differently.

    One can only imagine where this takes us over the next several years, maybe 5 – 10 years. You are on to a line of thought that is really big.

    Sorry for the long winded commentary. You just struck a chord. K.

  3. Michael G. Cayley Says:

    Don’t say sorry Kim!

    Thank you for that huge contribution.

    It is greatly appreciated.


  4. Twitter Matters #5: Twitter and Social Capital | Social Capital Value Add Says:

    […] Doug Luberts has an interesting post and thread going about Twitter and Social Capital that is a nice weave into the series that I have going on over at about Why Twitter Matters. […]

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