A post on the Social Media Marketing Institute's Blog recently asked people to make up an analogy to best describe Twitter (without using the word 'network').
Here is my best shot:
You go to the NAR Annual Convention. There are 500 booths. Each with different conversations happening at each booth at the same time. Some of it could be considered just noise, as you don't care about those companies/products/services/latest news. Some of if could be considered good information, as you do care. You chose which booths you want to pay special attention to. At the convention, you may run into people you know and catch up with them while walking around. Also, as you are walking around, you'll naturally hear other people talking to each other in the aisles.
- The convention = Twitter
- The conversations happening in the individual booths that anyone can join in = Thread or themes tied together by a hashtag (#)
- People talking to each other in the aisle, while everyone walking by can publically hear them = @ replies
- People who go behind the booth curtain for a private conversation = Direct message or DM
- When you exchange business card with someone = "Following" or giving permission to connect
Anyone got any other ideas?