Howard Stern discovers immediate return on Twitter

Howard Stern has been having a digital awakening of late and he’s sharing it with millions of listeners on Sirius XM.

After getting a handful of one-on-one demonstrations with many of the top-of-the-line smartphones available today (including some not yet released), the radio icon has been hooked ever since selecting the BlackBerry Bold for his new favorite toy.

Springing from his selection, and not surprising, has been a greater introduction to social media, particularly Twitter.

On this morning’s show, Stern spoke with Jeff Jarvis – author of “What Would Google Do?” – about the immense opportunity presented by Twitter and how Stern could leverage the platform to increase his reach and influence.

Like many not yet ensnared in all things Twitter, Stern has been vocally reluctant to join or spend any time on sites like Facebook or Twitter, but he seems to have acquiesced somewhat, at least when it comes to Twitter.

Jarvis urged Stern to use the platform in his free time to post videos and photos shot from his BlackBerry on Twitter. A few ideas sprung from that conversation and that’s what Twitter is all about: brainstorm an idea or create content, then tell the world.

The show’s producer found an available Twitter handle (@sternshow) and began broadcasting news from the show just as Stern discussed the idea on air. Just eight hours and 19 updates (including replies) later, the show’s Twitter feed now has 8,858 followers.

If that’s not a perfect example of the power of Twitter, I’m not sure what is. I’m willing to bet very few outlets would gain as much attention as Twitter has for the show in one eight-hour span. Email newsletters and site updates are being outdone by Twitter everyday, especially because of the feedback loop that the platform provides.

Before you know it, we’ll be getting much more of our news and updates on things we care about from Twitter and similar services. And while at first glance, it seems like Twitter is only fragmenting the digital conversation even further, I think it’s actually simplifying some daily rituals and leaving us less chained to our inbox.

Friday Harbor - March 2009