Reuters interviewed a bunch of brilliant media and advertising tycoons about their Twitter usage.
The responses were funny and, in some cases, endearing. (WPP's Martin Sorrell said he's so old, he's about ready for the glue factory.)
But the answers also revealed that the tycoons have only a rudimentary grasp of what Twitter is.
Specifically, they don't yet understand that Twitter is a revolutionary new interactive media platform and media distribution system, an interactive "cable company" for the digital age.
For example, Maurice Levy, head of Publicis:
"I hate the idea that I would have to share things which are not for sharing or which are superficial..."
He said he kept tabs on social media in a professional capacity but he did not need to tweet to understand the importance of Twitter.
"I understand how to wash dishes. I don't do it regularly," he said.And Martin Sorrell of WPP:
"I have enough to do answering your emails," he said. "I'm 66 years old. I'm almost in the glue factory."And Arnoud Nourry of Hachette:
"I think communicating with text only with a very limited way of expression is not my style."And David Carey of Hearst:
David Carey said he tweeted mostly corporate promotion and saved personal information for his friends and family.
"For the rest of the world, I don't think they are interested in who I had dinner with ... or where am I going for vacation," he said.Thankfully, as anyone who uses Twitter regularly will tell you, the "who I had dinner with" and "where I am going on vacation" and "sharing things that are superficial" aspects of Twitter are the most annoying and lame parts of it.
Specifically, they're the same as boring television or bad newspaper articles.
Most widely followed non-celebrity Twitter pundits quickly grow out of the "what I had for breakfast" updates and other personal obsessions and start tweeting stuff that is interesting, informative, or entertaining to their followers--the same as all great media content is. And that's why they're widely followed.
For celebrities, meanwhile, Twitter is a way to communicate simply and directly with your fans, while humanizing yourself in the process.
For everyone, Twitter is a way to jump right into the conversation, in real time, without requiring everyone else to shut up to hear you.
And for all Twitter users, Twitter is a portal into the whole world of media--a constantly updating "ticker" serving up the best and most timely text, video, photographic, and audio content from around the world.
You can't get that from any other media or communications system. And that's why 50 million people a day use Twitter--not because they care about what someone else had for breakfast.
Media Tycoons Say They Understand Twitter But Have No Time For It -- Then Reveal They Don't Understand It