When I woke up this morning the #ask for London’s Mayor, Boris Johnson, was trending. I don’t know who it is that thinks twitter is the best forum for creating a huge dialog such as this. Twitter is like everyone being shoved into an incredibly large room where everyone talks at once. Every now and then some people say “I like that!” and hit the favorite button. Occasionally someone likes something enough to repeat it word for word so they hit retweet. However there is a lot of ignoring. Not because people are being mean, it is because we are all in a huge freaking room talking all at once. Even the world’s best conversationalist couldn’t handle it.
Then rarely, yet often in recent memory somebody climbs one of the supportive beams to the rafters armed with a flashlight.
“Ask Me Anything!” They scream while shining the flashlight in their face.
“How did you get up there?” The first and decidedly british voice breaks the silence.
“I climbed.” A smug smile crawls across their face, This is going to be easy as pie, the ascentor foolishly thinks.
“What do you plan to do in the new year?”
“Do you blow dry or simply towel dry your hair?”
“Do you like it more when you or your wife wears the Nixon Mask?”
“What is it like to be an asshole?”
“You like having money, how about them poor people?”
“Do you beat women?”
“What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?”
A jolt is sent through the rafter as the supportive beam below shifts due to crushing weight of the mob below. Questions continue to be asked in a din that resembles zombified african killer bees. Which, at this point, being stuck in a room with them would be preferable.
If this were a press conference in the physical world, everybody would be raising their hands. Only people who actually invested in getting there would be there. Effort and resources would have been spent: fuel, time, money. On twitter anyone can pop by and ask a question.
“Would you help me get your Nigerian Prince Cousin out of prison?”
“Buy my book!”
“Buy my book!”
“What’s the difference between a mallard and duck?”
What I am wondering is who are the PR twits that think this is a good idea? Are they young and naive fools fresh out of marketing school? Are they old schmos who don’t fully understand how the internets work, but hear all the kids are using it? Perhaps they are both.
“Hey what are you doing on your phone?” says the old marketingeer as they wipe the cobwebs from their eye sockets.
“I am tweeting!” says the dowey eyed youngling.
“You know how to do that! I put something in my objectives for the year about using twitter in a campaign! With my wisdom and your go getter attitude, we’ll take on the world!”
And you’ll make someone look like an idiot while doing it.