You never know how users will end up using your technology. Sometimes they end up using your product in creative ways that you could not possibly have thought of on your own. This is why many entrepreneurs learned to embrace the idea of "letting a thousand flowers bloom," an idea that people like Guy Kawasaki have been preaching seemingly forever. "When people use your product in an entirely new way, embrace the change," Kawasaki often says. This is an important tenet of evangelism. In this short presentation below, Twitter co-founder Evan Williams talks about a similar idea: growth coming from unexpected uses invented by users themselves. The presentation itself is simple and short (you can see some snaps I took below), but mainly I thought the topic itself was interesting and timely. I don't know if there is really a "right way" to Twitter (see this David Pogue article), but it's certainly a segment of social media that is misunderstood in spite of its simplicity. My favorite part of Twitter? Being limited to only 140 characters. Watch the talk below or here on TED.
One's person's view from the audience.
Below are a few snaps I took from the audience (I could have uploaded one of these to my Posterous page live which would have appeared as a Tweet as well in only a couple of seconds, but I didn't).*
My favorite bit is after the presentation when Chris Anderson takes to the stage and points to a live shot of Twitter and examples of tweets of this actual talk. I love Chris' tongue-in-cheek tweet the best (last one on the page).
• Chris Anderson's Twitter page
• Presentation Zen Twitter page
• TED Talks Twitter page
• How to talk while people are Twittering (TED Blog)
* (Note: I would have twittered and uploaded photos from my iPhone in Long Beach, but the price is far too great for my fellow Japanese iPhone users and me when we visit the States (and I imagine vice versa). I'm still recovering from the shock of a $2200 iPhone bill for two weeks of use in the US at Christmas (only $50 of it was for phone use). This was about 45x my normal monthly bill in Japan racked up in two weeks: live and learn.)