I love movies, and I love the Academy Awards show. I’ve watched it each year for decades, but I did something this last Sunday that I’ve never done before. I tracked comments on the show via Twitter. There were about a thousand “tweets” on subjects related to what people were wearing, what jokes worked or didn’t, snarky comments about acceptance speeches, critiques of commercials, etc.
As you may know, Twitter is a “micro blogging” technology that I like to call a “presence management” tool. Think of it as “broadcast instant messaging” where you send out 140 character messages to your “followers” people who subscribe to your Twitter feed. I usually write about where I am in my travels for work and what I’m speaking about. My feed can be found at: http://twitter.com/billpetro
I have about 70 people who follow me, and I follow about the same number, it’s rather symetrical. But Sunday night, people used a feature of Twitter in an innovative way: by flagging your “Tweet” (message post) with the string “#aa08” they could be tracked by various other tools, like “Twemes” at http://www.twemes.com/aa08 that show just post related to the Academy Awards 2008 show.
It was like a real-time “Mystery Science 3000” event where your buddies are sharing sometimes hilarious comments about what’s going on. One I laughed out loud for in particular was “Ron Weasely wins best Supporting Actress award” referring to the red haired character in the Harry Potter movies. Briton Tilda Swinton won the award, and has bright red hair (though you’ll remember her as the White Witch in “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.”)
What’s amazing is the ecosystems that are growing up around innovative technologies like Twitter. This tool has often been called a solution in search of a problem. I think we’ll be seeing other applications of this kind of social technology.