Bull`s Eye Awards: Influencers of the Year

  • By

    Lawrence Walsh

    | Posted 2009-12-22



The Community as the Influencer

What’s the value of microblogging through Twitter? At Dell, it’s $6.5 million and growing. The tech company has more than 100 people dedicated to generating sales through the popular microblogging platform, and their efforts are playing off with a growth rate of more than 100 percent in the last six months alone.

When Twitter appeared in the social networking world a little more than two years ago, it was a bit of an anomaly. Unlike its cousins Facebook and MySpace with their elaborate personal pages that held copious amounts of personal information and tools, Twitter was distinguished by the plainness of its interface and the limitations on its message—blog posts are limited to 140 characters.

Since then, Twitter has exploded into the mass communications vehicle of choice across numerous business, governmental and social domains. Iranian students and opposition leaders last summer used Twitter to organize anti-government rallies and communicate with the outside world. Celebrities such as Ashton Kutcher communicate with fans and promote projects through Twitter. Ordinary people are scooping media organizations with posts about breaking news. And businesses and industry groups are marking their every move with quick posts to their Twitter followers.

Vendors, distributors and solution providers have embraced Twitter as a mass communication and collaboration platform. While Dell is having tremendous success converting its Twitter followers into sales conversions, other vendors including Microsoft, Cisco, Hewlett-Packard, Symantec and IBM have established numerous Twitter feeds to keep their partners informed about events, program changes and initiatives. Distributors are increasingly communicating new initiatives and support program details through the micro-blasts. And solution providers are talking amongst themselves, as well as to their customers, through Twitter posts. And many solution providers and vendors are using Twitter to track the musings of their favor mavens.

The channel community is increasingly using Twitter to vet and valuate the importance of information. "Retweet," or the endorsement and forwarding of other people’s Twitter posts, is becoming one of the best indicators of how the community perceives the relevancy of information. If something is important, there’s a good chance that the channel is spreading links through Twitter like wildfire.

Let’s put things in perspective. Twitter is nothing but a platform if it weren't for the contributions and use by individuals and the community. As time goes on, and tastes change and technology models evolve, we may see Twitter fall out of favor and replaced by the next new social networking phenomenon. For now and for the foreseeable future, Twitter is the place to be for social communications, and for that Channel Insider confers to it the Bull’s Eye Champion Award for Influencer of the Year.

>> Return to Bull's Eye Winners Page

Lawrence Walsh Lawrence Walsh is editor of Baseline magazine, overseeing print and online editorial content and the strategic direction of the publication. He is also a regular columnist for Ziff Davis Enterprise's Channel Insider. Mr. Walsh is well versed in IT technology and issues, and he is an expert in IT security technologies and policies, managed services, business intelligence software and IT reseller channels. An award-winning journalist, Mr. Walsh has served as editor of CMP Technology's VARBusiness and GovernmentVAR magazines, and TechTarget's Information Security magazine. He has written hundreds of articles, analyses and commentaries on the development of reseller businesses, the IT marketplace and managed services, as well as information security policy, strategy and technology. Prior to his magazine career, Mr. Walsh was a newspaper editor and reporter, having held editorial positions at the Boston Globe, MetroWest Daily News, Brockton Enterprise and Community Newspaper Company.

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