Creative Strategies

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Why Twitter is like Stargate Universe

I am a SciFi Space geek. There is really no denying it from my part. I am, however, a selective SciFi Space geek. Firefly = like. Battlestar Galactica = not so much. Star Trek: The Next Generation = like. Star Trek: Voyager = enh. Stargate: SG-1 = years of SciFi goodness.

With Stargate's latest installment "Universe" a few weeks old, I've seen some resemblance with companies just starting on Twitter. As with the show, organizations are stuck in a new place and their surroundings are strange and daunting. They may not have intended on going there, but they're stuck now and there's no turning back.

In SG-U, they're on a spaceship, built by humans, but using an ancient language that few know how to translate. With Twitter, many people do not understand the terminology at first. ReTweets? DMs? Txt spling 2 fill 140 chrctrs? But constant usage with it helps a user learn and start to use the language themselves.

As many companies start on the Social Media path, they lack the resources (people and time) to effectively manage their chosen streams. This lack of power can cause outages in message and customer service, besides the helplessness that is felt when the Twitter service goes down. Destiny, the ship in Stargate Universe, is low on power and resources through the first few episodes. While there are no "Fail Whales" in space, the outages interrupts their chances to figure out what's going on and how to save themselves. Having the right power and resources will help an organization reach their Social Media goals, just as we trust the people on "Destiny" will be safe if they spend time on the issues and work together.

As in most high stress situations, the people that are resourceful and can handle the pressure start to shine as go-to people and as leaders. On SG-U, not surprisingly, the stars of the show are the most creative, educated, and have the best leadership skills. As in your organization, there are people who start to shine when others give up. The same will go with your Twitter account. If you have a team working on Social Media, you'll find that one person who is willing to step up and help push the team forward. And if not, then you'll either go into history with the rest of the first season failures, or an alien race will come save you. Neither has happened on Stargate yet, and hopefully that won't happen to you.

In the end, it's about survival. Organizations have swarmed to Twitter and those that haven't yet are fighting to stay relevant. That may be a strong statement, but do you know of any companies who said "we don't need telephones" that are still in business? It's about communication, and those that don't communicate will fail.

As Stargate Universe continues it's premier season, how will your first season on Twitter turnout? Will you fight through the struggles and stick around for awhile? Or end up on a discount DVD rack?

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