And so it came to pass. The #140Conf was a huge success. Quite pleasantly choreographed, especially for an event that was being held for the first time in Kenya. Discussions were very informative. Many like me who mostly use Twitter as a chat room got to realize that it is an even better marketing tool than any marketing agency you can think of (don’t even think of quoting me!). It also made me realize that really, there is never good, bad or negative publicity. What tends to be negative is the reaction of the individuals, or in this case the companies (giggles) receiving the publicity. While most journalists would not agree, it has pretty much been determined that Twitter is beginning to act as a very good source of all kinds of news, breaking, business or otherwise. Companies have been jumping on board to take advantage of this very interesting phenomenon that has grabbed the country by storm.
The greatest advantage of online marketing and publicity is the fact that, as they say, Kenyans have very peculiar habits (don’t look at me like that! This is very true). When they like something, they go all out for it. Twitter is one such platform. While I believe that Facebook has not done so well in terms of business/social uptake, Twitter is flying way high, and companies like K24, Kenya Airways, Mama Mikes, Toyota and the like have not been left behind in joining this very free and vast marketing media.
Other than marketing and chat room that Twitter has become, it has also been very instrumental as an online real-time update forum for humanitarian issues, e.g. disaster updates. Ushahidi has widely and successfully used twitter to give a play by play update of what is happening, where help is required, and disaster recovery efforts as they happen. Wildlife Direct has also joined this bandwagon, and are always informing us of the events happening in the wild, ensuring that some of us who like paying visits in our minds can do an even better job with twitter on our side. As one of the panelists said, what twitter has done is give a voice to people who are otherwise very good in what they do but would not have had a chance to prove this. You get the choice of following (or unfollowing) individuals who you feel have a lot to contribute especially in any sphere that interests you.
So, what am I saying? I think I am beginning to get poached into the techies side of life, and I might just like it! Thanks to the organizers of this and other events, I think we are in for a wonderful ride as we fully embrace the effects of online living. And thanks to another panelist, I get to join one more list!