Just this last week, @googleafrica fired up and started tweeting. Now, this account has been around for a very long time and was completely unused. I can’t really fault them for just wanting to hold it. Given the massive adoption rate that Twitter has seen, it was inevitable that they could easily lose out on what is there name. From the first tweet on January 6th, they’ve already amassed 200 followers. Not bad. Not bad at all.
Anyone who reads my blog with regularity knows that I’ve been very critical of the Google Africa blog with what I feel is good reason given that it doesn’t relate pressing news or give much information in general as to Google’s work in Africa–and Google does a lot of work in Africa. I’m very curious to see how the Twitter account will work out.
I find blogs to be more of a broadcast medium and Twitter to be more of a social medium. For the Twitter to go anywhere, that will mean engaging the audience a great deal more than the blog does. It’s obviously too early to pass any judgment on this, but I am curious as to how they’ll approach their Twitter account. Of course more than anything, I’m really interested as to the “Why now?” element in all of it, except that it’s the start of a new year.
On a separate note, they’re following 43 people. If you look through that list and are familiar with Twitter and bloggers in Africa, you’ll see a lot of the same names are on other lists. It’s a bit scary to think that the list of those important to Africa (a continent of one billion people) on Twitter is just 43 people. I think that more than the tweets they produce, who they follow in time, or put on lists will be more interesting if they work to engage the Twitter medium more.