The remarkable power of Twitter: conversation, clarification, connection

Today I received an @reply from Evan Williams –not the Kentucky Bourbon which actually comes up on Google before the co-found of Twitter –but the Twitter @ev. Earlier in the day he posted this tweet. “@francavilla Impersonation is not allowed on Twitter. If someone being impersonated contacts us, we’ll look into it and suspend.” (129 characters with spaces)

I asked, “@ev aren’t the madmen characters impersonations?”

(We all know that Don Draper and friends were hi-jacked by fans. After initial complaints from cable network AMC, Twitter suspended the accounts using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act as justification. AMC subsequently returned the characters to their Twitter imposters when Deep Focus, AMC’s digital marketing group, argued that there’s value in giving up some control of their brand to passionate fans. But that’s a subject for a future post.)

Anyway I digress. Shortly thereafter I got a response from @ev. “@edwardboches I don’t think posing as fictional characters is legally “impersonation.” Potential copyright infringement (in that case, OK’d),” making abundantly clear the difference between snagging a real identify versus a made up one. Good to know.

In three tweets: a conversation, clarification and a new connection. Once again, Twitter proves just how cool it really is.


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Cool example, but does bob have as many followers as ev? I'll have to check.

Jake Yarbrough
Jake Yarbrough

I had a similar experience of Twitter coolness yesterday. I re-tweeted a post from Bob Garfield's latest Advertising Age article about the demise of the industry. In my typical sarcastic fashion, I editorialized about the uplifting nature of the story.

Not five minutes later, I got an @ response from "bobosphere". While he sent me to a link to his forthcoming book (not as cool), I was pretty floored by the fact that someone whose opinion I respect could develop a dialog with me on an otherwise routine Monday afternoon.