Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
June 25, 200910:04 PM

The Power Of Intent

The word "should" is more powerful than you might imagine. How do you think people should Blog, use Twitter or post videos on YouTube?

I'm just as guilty as the next person when it comes to "should"-ing all over people. We tend to make grand assumptions in hopes that people do things online the way "God intended them to be" - whatever that means. Does that mean that anything goes? Does that mean that there are no rules? Absolutely not, but - as the famous saying goes - "the inventor rarely knows what the invention is for." The fact still remains that if you're reading this Blog posting, you are clearly an early adopter. The majority of people do not understand what Twitter is for, so they use it how they know best (to follow Oprah or Ashton Kutcher - they're simply not interested in any form of conversation), at the same time, people like me mouth off that Twitter isn't really doing what it was "supposed to do" (see: Half Of Your Twitter Efforts Are Wasted - The Trouble Is We Don't Know Which Half).

Who says anything should be used in one specific way?

Let's take a closer look at Twitter to better understand the power of intent. If you're a company and you would like to notify those interested when you post a news item or add a product line, but you have zero interest in engaging in Twitter much beyond using it to simply broadcast those news items, who is to say that this is not the "right way" to use Twitter? If there are people interested and following those tweets (however big or small the group of followers may be) and as long as it is tightly tied to an overarching business strategy, why not use Twitter in a way in which many of us would think is counter-intuitive?

Your intent is not my intent.

It's beyond the concept of "live and let live" - all of these platforms, technologies, tools and channels offer a myriad of ways to connect and build community (or simply drive sales), and while there are many among us that are seasoned veterans mingling with those fresh out of school, you don't need a college degree or fifteen years in the business to understand what your consumers want and how to give it to them.

Intent is everything.

If broadcasting in a conversational channel works for you, who is anyone else to judge?

By Mitch Joel