Tuesday, June 9, 2009

If Local Motors matters then Twitter matters - and vice versa - It's all about Local

(Time Magazine Cover)

Now that it is on the cover of Time and has been featured on Oprah, it is unlikely that most have not heard of Twitter.

For the last year or so I have been trying to explain to myself and to others what Twitter is, and it is only in the last several months that I have come to at least a more concrete answer to that question. Ashton and Oprah do a good job giving examples (such as the power that Twitter returns to the individual over the news media) but those seem to be "effects", not an answer to what it is.

Said simply: Twitter is a broad window into what and where people are feeling, doing, and saying.

Said more technically: It is location-tagged, microblogging over text.

Let me recap:

If the telephone let us talk one to one across the wire,

If the TV let one broadcast to all across the airwaves,

If google let one search and be targeted by all companies based on those search terms across the internet,

If blogging let one write letters to all who cared to check-in and to read across the 'net,

THEN Twitter allows all of us to talk to all of us across the phone and the internet.

Got it?

I know...I know, of course you get it, but what does this mean? really?

Again, more answers.

Time Magazine (courtesy of Douglas A. McIntyre) gives a list of the 10 ways in which Twitter will change American Business:

All these are true, and the detailed (click-through) descriptions are good. However, I actually think that this list can be boiled down again to one simple phrase:

"Twitter is a broad window into what and where people are feeling, doing, and saying."

Though Local Motors is not in the same business, it actually matters for the same reason that Twitter does. We access and deliver local content to the people who are interested - open and available at all time for people to see. Our micro-factories and regional focus on car manufacturing, selling, and service is a return to a connectedness between company and consumer last seen in the days of Wally's Service Station in Mayberry.

(Andy Griffith at Wally's: http://www.imcdb.org/images/059/119.jpg)

We use 21st century tools to re-establish this connection, but the connection and the feeling is the same. We want to know what you are thinking locally and we want to deliver that to you in your auto experience. It should be no surprise that we also therefore use Twitter (#localmotors, @localmotors, @johnbrogers).

Gone is the days of the Mass product and the Dealership.

Use Twitter.

Use Local Motors.

Take back Local relevance.

(For a great simple tutorial on how to get started in Twitter, checkout this tutorial from viddler.com)


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