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Summary:

News that a new company or celebrity has adopted Twitter is now daily fare, and with people offering up $250,000 for as-yet-unavailable “spo…

imageNews that a new company or celebrity has adopted Twitter is now daily fare, and with people offering up $250,000 for as-yet-unavailable “spotlighted” accounts, you could say that the micro-blogging service has reached its mainstream tipping point. But all this Twitter fever, and a number of the money-making strategies that the company has its eye on might actually end up undermining the real “community” that has driven its organic growth.

The main problem is the erosion of Twitter’s perceived authenticity. The NYT reports that celebrities like 50 Cent and Britney Spears have hired ghostwriters to pen their tweets. (Yes, a hired gun to write all of 140 characters of text). While it’s common practice for public figures of all kinds to have staff write their blogs, memoirs and even articles under their byline, Twitter’s primary appeal is that it’s supposed to be a real-time stream of genuine thoughts and actions (no matter how mundane).

Bringing in a writer who’s trained to either type the most provocative tweets, or worse, tweet solely with the intention of driving sales, diminishes that authenticity. It’s also “especially disappointing” when it comes to replies, according to one user, who found out that Internet guru Guy Kawasaki had a team of ghostwriters manning his Twitter account.

One way to combat that trust erosion is to be completely transparent. For example, Tweets made by Spears’ staff are now clearly marked as such. But other celebrities like Shaquille O’Neal argue that Twitter is a way to really connect with fans without the traditional media constraints, and that it’s too pithy a channel to warrant bringing in a professional writer: “It

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  1. Of course… look at all the celebs and the president for example… they don't have time to tweet.
    Try the <a href="http://sthrt.com">best homepage</a>

  2. Kawasaki having his response FAKED is especially disappointing. Makes me wonder who wrote his books and articles. They could all be faked.

    Of course it could be that the comment was faked/untrue.

    This is dangerous territory. Whether true or not, his credibility takes a hit at least to me, all because someone wrote something and claimed it to be true. Who to believe?

    Jeff Bach

  3. This is quite very disappointing especially to fans out there who’re expecting too much to their favorite celebrities. Still, most of us are still expecting that our favorite celebrities handle their own twitter account.

  4. Blogs that Make Money Tuesday, March 31, 2009

    Wow it seemed that for a while more people were making money off Twitter that Twitter was!

    Twittering is an art and you have to know how to mix biz and pleasure. There are a lot of marketers on Twitter that have this art down without having to pay for tweets and not lose followers in the process.

  5. If someone can make a job out of Tweeting for someone else, then let them. Ghostwriters may undermine the authenticity of the connection between Tweeter and tweetee, but this is how ideas evolve. Let's watch and learn.

  6. Houston Search Engine Optimiza Wednesday, April 1, 2009

    It makes total sense as most writing and marketing jobs are delegated on the web. Copy is huge and can be taken to many places. Twitter is no exception.

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