The dulcet tones of John Dankworth and His Orchestra, Return From the Ashes
When I've complained about the short-sighted writing about black folks and twitter (whether satirically or earnestly), what I've really been looking for is for someone to go deep with what we know about the different ways people are interacting in the digital space broadly. Basically, take findings like this from the Pew Research Center and go all in.
Minority Americans are also relatively likely to use digital technologies to keep up with what’s happening in their neighborhoods. This is especially true of folks who don’t know many of their neighbors by name—tools such as blogs, social networking sites and neighborhood listservs can serve as valuable tools for keeping up with local issues.
This requires more research but this suggests some completely different views of services like Twitter, not just because of some racial factor, but because of how a broad range of social elements impact how we interact in both the digital and physical worlds. It also suggests some different views on community and it's importance to individuals that feel increasingly disconnected from their neighbors in a way that's distinctly different from generations prior.
That's powerful. Forget the hashtag nonsense, let's talk about this. And, then, let's showcase what, based on that same research, seems to be a gap in the marketplace:
That's a giant hole that, at this point, seems woefully under-fulfilled. Who is serving this need? And, if you are, are you doing it in ways that resonate with these communities? Are you on myspace and facebook? Do you have mobile apps? Is your app going Android first?
Minority attitudes towards social media also diverge notably from those of whites. For example, minority Americans were very active using social technologies to share information during the 2008 election campaign. And when we asked about government outreach using social media, minority respondents were significantly more likely than whites to say that this type of outreach “helps people be more informed about what government is doing” and “makes government more accessible”. They are also much more likely than whites to say it is “very important” for government agencies to post information and alerts on social networking sites.
What's your strategy for reaching an audience that leans heavily on mobile devices (non-Apple mobile devices) and is thirsty for deep and meaningful interaction via social media? If you think you can do it the same way you're doing it for your larger customer base, you're wrong.