Around this time of the year, everyone looks forward to seeing the Google Zeitgeist. The Google Zeitgeist takes a look at what keywords and search terms were most popular in 2007, and what the general public was searching for most in the past year. The word "zeitgeist" is roughly translated as "spirit of the age," according to Wikipedia. You can view the latest one here: Google Zeitgeist 2007.
Hot on the heels of Google releasing their annual Zeitgeist, I ran last week's episode of my Podcast here - SPOS #83 - Six Pixels Of Separation - The Twist Image Podcast - +1 (206) 666-6056 - The Yuletide Log Festivus Miracle Edition - where I asked the Digital Marketing community to submit their thoughts about the year that was (and will be) in Social Media. I was a little flabbergasted to hear so many people talking about the impact of the Micro Blogging platform called, Twitter (you can view my "tweets" in the left-hand navigation under the header, Stuff Mitch Thinks About) - and, alternately, how no one mentioned virtual worlds like Second Life.
I've had some skin in the Twitter world for some time now and described it as Permission-based Stalking back in March, 2006. Now, I believe that Twitter is taking on a more substantial role than the innocuous answering of the question, "What are you doing?" in 140 characters or less. I use twitter as my constant (and consistent) zeitgeist. It has gone from a micro Blogging platform to the Social Pulse.
It's a big statement, but Twitter has become The Social Pulse of life. From breaking news to technical information or from what my friends are thinking about to what I need to be looking at (and thinking about). It's a live ecosystem of zeitgeist that shifts from moment to moment, and it's becoming increasingly more important as a Social Media tool for Marketers to be paying attention to. I've seen a slip in Blogging and Podcasting as Bloggers shift their thoughts and idea to platforms like Twitter. This tells me something. Something beyond the initial gut reaction that Bloggers are getting lazy or tired of Blogging, but rather it's easier, faster and more effective for them to brain dump as it happens in a live and ongoing environment.
Maybe this is what they really meant in the book, The Cluetrain Manifesto, by saying "markets are conversations."
I have no idea if Marketers can play an effective role in using Twitter for their endeavours. I do know that not paying attention to a channel like Twitter will soon be as dangerous as not having any Google News Alerts set or monitoring Technorati for voice of the customer.
Whether you like Twitter or not, it is The Social Pulse. And, The Social Pulse, requires your Marketing attention more and more as the popularity and interest increases. It's fascinating to read and it's even more fascinating to be a part of it.