#twittersecret - the twitter secret
bloggers and IZEA - the long term relationship?

the twitter secret: conditioning

Twitter conditioning Marcel LeBrun rocked my world.


  • On twitter, the counter tells us how many characters we have left for all remaining "public messages"
  • Most of us start off on twitter by sending public messages or @replies.  The counter conditions us that we cannot send messages longer than the traditionally short 140 character limits.
  • So you cannot send a longer message on twitter, right?
  • Which in theory, kind of defines the platform as short form communications, right?

Now let's think about this:

  • When sending direct messages (DMs) on twitter, there is a similar counter, counting down your remaining characters.
  • So based on our previous interactions, one would think that you cannot send direct messages longer than 140 charachters as DMs - after all, you can't send a message longer than the counter in the public message space, right?

The kicker:

  • your DMs on twitter can be as long as you like.
  • and after hundreds of DMs with dozens of thought leaders, noobs, industry professionals and personal persons, I've never received a DM longer than 140 charachters, until tonight.
  • Then Marcel DMed a 249 character message.

Why this matters:

  • Firstly, we've all been conditioned to obey a rule, much like the button on the TV show "Lost".
  • Secondly, Twitter is no longer a short message platform.  Twitter is a publically short form platform, but a far more viable communications platform for relationship building in private.
  • Longer communications will enable deeper conversations in private.
  • This changes the dynamic. No longer is Twitter a largely public platform with a small private component.  Twitter is truly a conversational hub.