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Speech to Inform: Twitter

Informative Speech Outline General Purpose: To Inform Specific Purpose: To inform my audience of how Twitter has changed the way we communicate Central Idea: Twitter has revolutionized the way people all around the world communicate, bringing the entire world into the same conversation within seconds. I. Introduction In the last century, the world has been introduced to many new modes of communication, some more revolutionary than others. In the past twenty years we have seen several that have really changed the way we communicate in our daily life.

In 1991 we were introduced to the mobile phone, that now 82% of American’s have. In 1996 and 1997 e-mail and instant messaging become a popular way of communication, especially to avoid expensive international shipping charges. Instead documents were sent electronically. In the mid -2000’s came the popularity of short message service/ more commonly called text messaging. As this new decade has just begun, a brand new, revolutionary mode of communication has entered with it. In 140 characters or less I will tell you that- Twitter is changing the way we live. (web: switched. com) II. Orienting Material

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Interestingly enough, some are still completely unaware of this new form of communication that is linking the entire world into the same conversation. With over 11 million users worldwide, me included, Twitter is a rapidly growing micro blogging social network. In the time it takes to order a latte from Starbucks, followers (people who “friend” one or more twitter account) can get updated on what their brother ate had for breakfast that morning, John Mayer making a joke about how his laptop is so hot he could make a Panini in it, and the morning’s latest news from everyone’s favorite silver hared newscaster Anderson Cooper.

This mix creates a brand new media experience unlike anything else, the intimate input of friends and family blended with a little celebrity obsession. “In short, [Time Magazine insists that] the most fascinating thing about Twitter is not what it’s doing to us. It’s what we’re doing to it. ” (Time Magazine) Transition: I bet you’re all wondering how this micro blogging phenomenon got its start. Body: I. According to the Los Angeles Times the founding document that created Twitter is by Jack Dorsey, sketched out on your ordinary, everyday, white legal pad.

Jack let his ideas flow out of him and on to this sheet of paper. (Newspaper: Los Angeles Times) A. In efforts to get out of their most recent creative slump, board members of Odeo, a podcasting company, spent an entire day brainstorming. The result of tireless hours of innovation was “stat. us,” their working title. (Show “Stat. us” original Document) After a long time “name-storming” the word twitch seemed to work, until it didn’t create the “imagery” they wanted in their head. Searched for words right around it and found twitter.

The definition for twitter was “a short burst of inconsequential information,” and “chirps from birds. ” The word twitter sparked just the image they were looking for. B. The idea of twitter is to get people communicating about the simplest moments of their lives, mobally from anywhere, using a common platform. In the quest to the “common platform,” the three founding men, Stone, Williams, and Dorsey caught the text messaging wave of 05’ and 06’ and decided to ride it right into their idea of twitter.

As far as text messaging goes, most phones are limited to 160 characters before they split into a separate message. With desire to keep it all in one single message so people could “tweet” (the verb to twitters noun: the action of a single twitter update) from their phone, they decided they would allow 20 characters for a username and 140 characters for the message itself. This innovative idea is what brought Twitter to the masses. Transition: Sure twitter is a great idea, but how did they manage to introduce twitter to the world? A.

The first real test of twitters endurance and usability was at South by Southwest (SXSW), a four day interactive film and music festival in 2007. Conference goers were encouraged to use twitter to share their experiences at the festival, partly by 60 ‘’ television screens showing a constant live twitter feed of the conference. According to gawker. com Twitter usage went from 20,000 tweets per day to 60,000 over the weekend. Receiving rave reviews, the founders of twitter won the festivals web award and accepted in their award in 140 characters or less. web: gawker. com) B. From the very beginning the most notable Twitter user was singer-songwriter/ guitarist, Dave Matthews. When he first started using twitter he would only tweet from his phone so he had no clue how many followers (people who “friend” another person”) he had accumulated. Matthews was known for tweeting things like “I wonder if snail farts smell if you’re close enough to the snail’s butthole to smell something so tiny? ” Only realizing how many followers he had when Rolling Stone Magazine featured the rockstars of twitter.

Since that Article was published Matthews has quit using twitter but other celebrities have just begun. Some of the most popular celebrity Twitter users are Ashton Kutcher, Ellen DegGeneres, President Obama, Oprah, and John Mayer, each with over 2. 5 Million followers (Magazine: Rolling Stone) C. Celebrity use is what has encouraged the masses to join. I personally joined because one day John Mayer challenged his followers to a task tweeting “Ernest Hemingway once claimed he could write a great story in six words. What’s your six word story? Mayer then followed up by posting his own, and while he reposted some responses from followers, one of his, Taylor Swift responded with her own six word story. Then I wanted to make one, so I quickly set up a twitter account and responded with mine. This cyber world connects everyone in ways we never thought possible. Artists are posting home recordings of their music, for followers to download for free, actors are posting trailers from their upcoming movies as soon as they see them. Transition: At this point Twitter has 11 million users worldwide. Let’s look into how the regular Joe uses Twitter A.

Major news events often break on twitter. The biggest news event of the summer, the death of Michael Jackson, was easily found and constantly tweeted during the late morning and early afternoon of June 25, 2009. I was informed of the death via twitter, and I’m sure I wasn’t the only one. Regulars and Celebrities alike sent their love and condolences to the Jackson family through twitter. When the earthquake struck in Haiti three weeks ago today, twitter was used from under rubble, to help rescuers find those trapped underneath, let family know they were k, and to give the world a clear picture of what was going on. Twitter also became useful in raising funds for the cause and spreading awareness. B. Trending Topics? A trending topic is a word or phrased most used on twitter. Every single night the word “goodnight” is trending because everyone is say bidding farewell to their followers for the night. Sometimes events like the earthquake in Haiti, and Michael Jackson’s death have words like Haiti, and MJ trending. Often times heavily followed users, usually celebrities have the power to trend a topic.

For example during the first week of June, John Mayer and his friends were “making up” Spanish words over dinner coming up with the word pedamundo. Liking the sound of the word Mayer then twitters it and a follower informs him that this word means “drunken party world” this started a three day campaign for Pedamundo weekend. This included Mayer and his followers defined Pedamundo, their newly christened holiday, and the made up word was trending for the next five days. Now the term is retired until the week before the second weekend of June, Pedamundo the official kickoff of the summer party season.

Transition: At this point I hope you all have a fairly good picture of what twitter is and how it has changed the way we communicate in our daily or hourly life. I. In summery you have learned how twitter came to be, how it was introduced to the world, how people use it every day to tweet their favorite celebrities, raise awareness, and tell their followers what they had for breakfast. II. As Twitter has evolved into the newest major mode of communication, it has solidified it’s place in our culture today, just as electronic mail did 14 years ago.

The Journal of the American Society for Information Science & Technology described Twitter as “the electronic word of mouth” and as seen in the case of Michael Jackson, the Haiti earthquake relief efforts, and even pedamundo as silly as it sounds, they must be right. III. I would like to conclude with a selection from an article featured in Time Magazine in early 2009 “For as long as we’ve had the Internet in our homes, critics have bemoaned the demise of shared national experiences, like moon landings and “Who Shot J. R. ” cliff hangers — the folkloric American living room, all of us signing off in nison with Walter Cronkite, shattered into a million isolation booths. But watch a live mass-media event with Twitter open on your laptop and you’ll see that the futurists had it wrong. We still have national events, but now when we have them, we’re actually having a genuine, public conversation with a group that extends far beyond our nuclear family and our next-door neighbors. ” ? Documentation Bibliography: Douglas, N. (2007, March 12). Twitter blows up at SXSW Conference. Retrieved February 1, 2009 from http://gawker. com/tech/next-big-thing/twitter-blows-up-at-sxsw-conference-243634. hp WEBSITE Jansen, B. , Zhang, M. , Sobel, K. , & Chowdury, A. (2009). Twitter power: Tweets as electronic word of mouth. Journal of the American Society for Information Science & Technology, 60(11), 2169-2188. Retrieved from Academic Search Complete database. JOURNAL Johnson, S. (2009). How Twitter Will Change The Way We Live (in 140 characters or less). (Cover story). Time, 173(23), 32-37. Retrieved from Academic Search Complete database. MAGAZINE Kreps, D. (2009, May 19). Dave Matthews Blames Rolling Stone for Ruining Twitter [Electronic version]. Rolling Stone.

Retrieved January 31, 2010, from http://www. rollingstone. com/rockdaily/index. php/2009/05/19/dave-matthews-blames-rolling-stone-for-ruining-twitter/ MAGAZINE Sarno, D. (2009, February 18). Twitter creator Jack Dorsey illuminates the Site’s founding document. Part I. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 31, 2010, from http://latimesblogs. latimes. com/technology/2009/02/twitter-creator. html NEWSPAPER Stevens, T. (2007, November 14). 82% of Americans Own Cellphones. Retrieved February 1, 2010, from http://www. switched. com/2007/11/14/82-of-americans-own-cell-phones/ WEBSITE


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