When a Tweet isn’t a Tweet


I recently reviewed Twitterville by Shel Israel and in that book he mentioned the fact that Astronaut Mike Massimono did not physically Tweet from space back earlier this year. When I initially read that an astronaut was Tweeting from space, I like, most others wanted to believe that he actually pulled his mobile out (or at least his laptop) and typed up the message himself while floating miles above the earth. Unfortunately, that was not the case and Astro Mike had entrusted a NASA team member with his Twitter account log in. He radioed in and told the team member what to Tweet.

I was surprised to find myself feeling like this was “cheating”.

The digital world has many kinesthetic people feeling like the Internet is not real. Intangible. Recently though because of mobile evolution, many are starting to feel like digital is real. Now with Geotargeting and the promise of location based services, Twitter users are creating the most tangible interactions to date.

After thinking about Astro Mike’s Tweeting I realized that Tweets must be:

  1. physically created by the user (not automated through third party tools)
  2. real-time

These rules show that micro-blogging is decidedly different from traditional blogging (sounds funny to say traditional blogging) and is even more conversational. Some businesses use Twitter as a distribution tool, but the real strength is in the interaction.

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