Attack of the Twoons

Este texto pode ser lido em Português aqui
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Last Friday Twitter timelines were invaded by cartoon and comic characters. It wasn’t an ACME spam action, but the second edition of Twitter Cartoon Day, this year tagged as #twoonday.

Once again the organization of this event relied on me and Paul Bradshaw, and it even had a bigger impact than last year. The huge growth in Twitter users since then had a lot to do with it (12 months ago i had 150 followers, now they’re  more than 1600) and it seems they’re always up for some fun. Besides, we announced it in our blogs, at TwitterPortugal, and also on TwitterBrasil (thanks Gabi), which allowed to create some momentum to launch the event.

We put up a map where users could place their location and avatars (it quickly became chaotic because it was a open collaboration), where we had over 150 placements and around 5000 hits in just one day, which makes a small sample of the real number of people who joined this event worldwide. Portugal, UK and Brazil were the most represented.

A Europa invadida

Invading Europe

This kind of participation is every Twitter marketeer’s wet dream come true, since it involves a significant number of people, has viral power and it affects their online experience. Early in the morning a website announced that whoever used the  “Twoonday” code would get a discount in the purchase of one of their products. This was an excellent idea, and a good reaction to a “spontaneous” event like this, and i was surprised it didn’t happen more through out the day. A portuguese Digital Marketing specialist suggested that if he was Disney or WB – who provided most of the toons –  he would roll out apps and tools for those who wanted to participate. It is a good idea, especially if we take in account that is a massive copyright infringement, with all of those copy/pasted images used in personal behalf.

In the middle of the day we had the unexpected collaboration of the misterious LV, that registered the Twoonday.com domain,and that somewhat became the semi-official website of the event. He did some polls and a word cloud, two things Paul and i expected to do, but we didn’t had the time. Despite my inicial doubts, it became very useful to gather some important data to analyze that day. So, LV, merci beaucoup.

Twitter Cartoon Day is – like i said last time -a moment of pure fun. But it is also an important online social experiment, and a moment of community bonding, costumization of the individual presence of each user: one can express himself with his choice, his recognition and perception on the part of the other users are influenced by the chosen alter egos (the choice of the avatar is important in the definition of the online user), and an experience was shared, which reinforces the notion of group, and that becomes part of it’s history. And that is what defines a community.

There were some ideas for Twoonday spin offs, but i feel Twitter has already too many theme days. I thought about having theme Fridays every week last year, but people advised me it was a bad idea. We hardly knew what was expecting us … However, anyone can organize their own party, and, who knows, it might turn into a Twitter tradition.

Above all, it was a different day, our very own online Carnival. I hope you all enjoyed it. I know i did.

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Abril 2009

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