Old people's e-mails and tweeting brands

Adam Tinworth
Adam Tinworth

When I tidied up, archived and backed-up my late parents’ computer files, I noted that a lot of their retired friends had done something very curious with their e-mail addresses, at least to my eyes. Their e-mail addresses read like this: 41highstreet@aol.com

They had imposed the paradigm of a previous age on something new. Letters were delivered to a house, ergo e-mail was delivered in the same way. so they chose their postal address as their e-mail address.

I wonder if brands as Twitter accounts will come to be seen in the same way. In the past, brands had messages and communicated to people en mass. But social media is largely a person-to-person tool. And having a conversation with a brand feels as peculiar as sending an e-mail to a postal address.

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Adam is a lecturer, trainer and writer. He's been a blogger for over 20 years, and a journalist for more than 30. He lectures on audience strategy and engagement at City, University of London.