Twitter: Where off the record is on the record


There can be few people who wouldn’t agree that Twitter use by people is very much part of the mainstream these days. Even if you don’t use Twitter yourself – meaning, you don’t have a Twitter handle nor do you actively read other people’s tweets – I think you’d agree that you’re exposed to Twitter activity almost anywhere, from mainstream media reporting use, television shows, sport events, gossip about and by celebs… the list seems endless.

Embracing the mainstream is now what Twitter itself is doing, The Next Web reports, as the social network’s first TV commercials were broadcast on US television over the weekend during the 2012 Pocono 400 NASCAR race, promoting the NASCAR hashtag.

[…] The [first] ad features driver Brad Keselowski, who finished in a disappointing 24th place, using his phone to share his point of view with the world.

The ad […] is part of a series of similar ads promoting one URL which immediately redirects to The new hashtag page is simply a Nascar branded page with a stream of tweets, and people strongly related to Nascar and the race.

Of the seven ad spots The Next Web shows, one in particular caught my attention as it pretty much sums up for me the new reality of social sharing and how anyone can repeat on Twitter (and anywhere online, for that matter) anything anyone says – whether they’re aware of it or not.

(If you don’t see the video embedded above, watch it at YouTube.)

“Where off the record is on the record,” the tagline says. I’m sure Twitter intend the ad to be taken light heartedly and in a positive light, as part of its overall messaging about the NASCAR hashtag.

My intent with this post reflects that, too, highlighting another milestone in the broad mainstream-penetration of a social connectivity tool like Twitter.

But note that tweeting something you see on TV about two people talking like that also reflects changing behaviours in society: when people have the means to broadcast such a thing to their friends and others – ‘share it,’ as it would be described – via a tool such as Twitter, they will do so.

However you look at it, I say be aware that what you say privately in public may not turn out to be private, even if you think no one can hear you (or read your lips).

Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

  1. Brigitte Grisanti

    Hash tags have so much power on twitter.Many shows have hashtags posted now.You can talk people on the show.

    Brigitte Grisanti

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