Social Media Top 5: SXSW Fail Whale, Ultimate Insults, & Real Influence

AT&T Leases the Fail Whale for SXSW: It seems that Twitter didn’t make the same leap at South by Southwest Interactive that it did in 2007 and 2008. Part of the reason may be saturation; everyone there is already using Twitter and it’s already old news. Another reason is that AT&T, home network to the iPhones carried by 123% of SXSW attendees, was also saturated. “More bars in more places” did apply in Austin, but not for phone users. Oh well, looks like people talked to the people they were with (maybe time for an update of that old Stephen Stills song for Twitter). Also, it seems the AT&T fail cloud may have drifted north. The connection is not confirmed.

“I’ll Tweet That” is The Ultimate Insult?
I understand what Mitch Joel is talking about: someone quickly forwarding a link rather than engaging and discussing your blog post seems somehow a lesser endorsement. However, I never feel insulted if someone throws a link out there. If a busy, but influential, person, does me the favor of throwing a link, I’ll take it. Creating the chance of other connections being made, other people getting engaged, is still quite valuable– and it does take some effort to forward a link. The ultimate insult? That would be a complete brushoff.

Reports of Twitter’s Death are Immature:
I take some pleasure in forwarding this link to my friend (and former Topaz Partners colleague) Tim Allik’s post taking blogger Steve Rubel’s latest “proclamation” to task. So Twitter is “peaking” because, what, celebrities are on it? Twitter is not mainstream yet, and my previous attempts at fearing Twitter’s stall and demise have consistently been turned aside by a tool that is too simple to die- it;s the cockroach of the Internet. Note Tim’s funny line about “reincarnation.” Now let’s all take a deep breath and remember none of us is smart enough to really know what’s going to happen. Punch me if I ever take myself so seriously that I think people will listen to what I predict about the unknowable.

Eric Pratum: You Hold Your Own Definition of Influence: Eric is right– there are a lot of measures we try to take of our social media activity. Not that some of them aren’t valuable, but in the end we take away what is valuable to us- and the “influential” people may not show up on any list. Who said something smart that made you think, or gave you some information that helped you solve a problem- or helped you get a job interview or a new client? Now that’s influence- to you.

Twitter Idiocy, Animated:
Yes, everyone has linked to this video by now, but it’s too funny for me not to have in my own little archive. Yes, the video treats Twitter like the repository of inane statements the uninitiated thinks it is. But funny is funny, and the people of Current TV understand Twitter, so I give them a pass. Have a laugh, if you haven’t already seen this 1,200 times. (HT: Everybody on the Internet)

Blog readers: I am riding the Pan-Mass Challenge this summer, a 2-day bicycle trek across Massachusetts to raise money for the Jimmy Fund in support of cancer research. Will you join the generous folks who have sponsored my ride? Click any part of this message to go to my fundraising page– and thank you!


  1. Pamela, Thank you for justifying my putting this video up there– I thought it was everywhere (in fact it came up at lunch today), but I wanted to post it anyway

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