The Added Value of Twitter is in the Little Things

Twitter - Jerry Taft
Jerry Taft, long-time Chicago TV weatherman is an avid Twitter user. Thanks to his recent tweet I got a twinge of nostalgia, imagining the news team I grew up with in the ’80s.

Twitter has not even come close to beginning to lose its edge in my world. Many of my closest friends and peers do not use this — but this was much the case with AIM and Y! Messenger in years past. Twitter (and the numerous search engines built upon its API) enable each user access to immediately strip any and all degrees of separation from one’s self and one’s interests of the moment.

When Cubs season came around, I immediately searched Cubs on Tweetscan and added about a dozen folks who were tweeting from Wrigley on opening day (Another search tool launched more recently is Summize). The majority of people I follow are in Los Angeles. I do have a habit of adding folks depending on what locale I am in — I want to hear the local noise (which I can find by searching TwitterLocal or BrightKite). There’s a Twitter wiki with an up-to-date index of all tricks and tools for enhancing the Twitter experience here.

The way Twitter works is much more dynamic than instant messaging. What Taft tweeted above — in <140 characters, an hour or so before going on air -- was only seen immediately by a handful of people (a portion of his 77 followers who happened to be following their Twitter feed at the time). However, his announcement of the Ch. 7's new team -- and the fact that it's the same team that me and my peers grew up with on Ch. 5 in the 80s -- can also be found on Google (which crawls and indexes Twitter daily) and in posts such as this one, (especially after I put the names Magers, Yu, Giangreco, and Taft in text). It may seem subtle, but Taft is promoting his newscast in a very nuanced and personalized way. There isn't such a mention of the reformation of the classic Chicago news team on the ABC7Chicago website, or elsewhere for that matter.

What’s the point of all the noise?

I find it hard to cut down on the number of people I follow (currently over 400) because each and every one of them adds value to my daily life. It may only be one in every ten tweets that does anything for me — often less, but, as with anything today, it is easy to turn on and turn off Twitter. And later, to do filtered searches. Alas, too much time on Twitter can get crazy, for example, a friend comments on a friends tweet and suddenly there’s another person you’re interested in following.

It’s not about who you know or who follows you. With Twitter, it’s about who you follow, and how you choose to use the little 140-character gems of wisdom and added value in your life.

I Shot the Photo for a Nuveen Ad at Wrigley Field

The Art Director of Nuveen Investment’s PR company (Fallon) contacted me a few months ago via e-mail asking if I’d be willing to let Nuveen use a photo I took at Wrigley Field last August for a print ad.

cubs wrigley field ad nuveen

The photo was uploaded into my Flickr account and was well-tagged. I license all of my photos with a Creative Commons attribution non-commercial license, meaning that anyone is free to use the image with attribution, except for commercial purposes (I since changed this particular photo to all-rights-reserved to make it even more clear that I wasn’t willing to give it away to Nuveen).

Although I suspect the photo has been on display since the beginning of the season (I’m told it is one of eight on display in the entry way of the skybox area near the ticket booth) I was finally notified today of its use and agreed to terms to license it for the rest of the season. I must say I’m very happy to report that the Creative Commons system works, I’ve made money from shooting a photo that was discovered on Flickr and never expected to, and even though the ad is pretty stupid, at least it’s not above the communal urinal in the men’s room.

An interesting aside, the original photo was in color and was taken during the Chicago Air & Water Show. The jet pictured in the original was rubbed out for the ad.


  • On BART headed to drop stuff at hotel. Then? #
  • Mounting @schwaggin wagon bound for @mashable party. LQQK out yallz! #
  • At W last call 4 burgers #
  • At the w bar trying to get a not overcooked burger w @ibcj peepin the @coolkids in the corner. Hiya #
  • @researchgoddess had great tweets from @w2e yesterday. Happy to be up here to experience first-hand today. street, coffee, badge, hereicome #
  • @researchgoddess def. hope to meet you today. @briansolis i can haz liveblogging from commnext? Wine later? conf. in Sonoma… geeez #
  • Retweeting @evernote: Evernote hits 1 million notes! To celebrate, open registration today only. Go here: #
  • @zittrain video preso in effect @w2e – supposedly he’s awaiting your questions here: #
  • i don’t like meebo chat module, but i love the idea of real-time q&a sessions. JZ IS in the "room" answering questions. #
  • @tigerbeat if you can’t get into the room you can check the @zittrain @w2e chat log here #
  • @candycat dancing ensued. but it wasn’t pretty ;-P did you find fun? I need to see ur friend americano ASAP. can you arrange for this? #
  • sorry all, can’t help but retweet @NicoleJordan: Financial Times: Silicon Valley investors discover LA’s star appeal #
  • here’s the no-reg-required link for FT article: #
  • LULZ Web 2.0 Expo keynote exit song is (Wham) "Careless Whisper" / (Bon Jovi) "Wanted Dead or Alive" mashup. Coffee Time! #
  • Blogtropolus – Photo: #
  • DO WANT: an iPod-disco-makeout PortaPotty #
  • @marcohansell i’m @blogtropolus… blogging! come thru. #
  • patron, makers, anchor steam and some tasty wines @blogtropolus. I may be working but that doesn’t mean it’s not beer o’clock #
  • OH: Q: "Can I videotape you?" A: "As long as I can video you videoing me, yeah" #

Web 2.0 Expo — So Far So Good

Morning keynotes offered a mix of gloom and doom (Zittrain, Andreesen) as well as glimpses of a hopeful future (Yahoo! Openness and Current News)

More to come. Here’s a photo of Erica Ogg and me at the Yahoo! Brickhouse party last night. Good times seeing lots of familiar faces and reminiscing about Annenberg with Erica.

I was also caught in action by Dan Tentler in Mashable’s post about their party at Mighty.

Andy Sternberg and Erica O. at Web 2.0 Yahoo! Brickhouse

photo by Brian Solis