Come to Mardi Gras; It's My Tweet

A Twitter Experiment That's Fun and Educational

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Tom Martin Tom Martin
If you're thinking of skipping the largest free show on earth because the economy sucks and you want to save the money -- shame on you! But at least now you can not only be at Mardi Gras virtually, but get an insider, local's-eye-view at what is arguably one of the most interesting events in the world.

I'm conducting what I believe to be the first large-scale Twitter experiment and you can play along. If you choose to do so, you'll get a live (visual and verbal) stream of Mardi Gras beginning Feb. 20, and finishing on Fat Tuesday via my Tweetstream.

Armed with only an iPhone and a mobile Twitter client, yours truly is going to live tweet the entire five-day melee that is Mardi Gras. One important note: If you're hoping to see lots of pics of a certain female body part, move on because this is a PG show (and, frankly, that has been done to death).

No, my Mardi Gras stream will be an in-depth look at the Mardi Gras you never see on TV or websites. A Mardi Gras filled with fun, food and, yes, plenty of beverages. We'll answer questions like "what's up with all the ladders?" and others that I'm sure folks will Tweet in.

We'll be sending pics of floats, frivolity and anything else that just looks damn interesting. And let's face it, come Monday and Tuesday of next week, when all of you are reading another installment of Ad Age as you sit in your office working, you're going to wish for a little distraction. And I'll be providing it to everyone that follows @TomMartin.

Let me be clear. I'm doing this for two reasons. First and foremost, because it just seems like an interesting thing to do. But second, because at the end of my little test, I'm going to do a bit of analysis and report that information back here in a future Ad Age post so we can all get a bit smarter about Twitter. Heck, that alone ought to be reason enough to play along, don't you think?

And there you have it. The world's largest free show on earth just got larger via Twitter.

If you want to see what it is all going to be about, and you are on Twitter, just find @TomMartin and start following me.

If you're not on Twitter, you'll need to get an account. But don't fret, that takes all of 30 seconds. Here's your first lesson.

  1. Just pop over to Twitter.com.
  2. Once there click on the "Get Started Now" button.
  3. Then just enter your name, your email address and pick the username you want (hint: best to use your own name if you can get it) and then click "Create my account." This will then drop you into your home page.
  4. Then select "Find People" from upper right hand navigation system.
  5. Then, using the "Find on Twitter" tab, search for TomMartin. Click my beautiful mug shot to go to my Tweetstream.
  6. Once there, click the "follow" button and that is it. You are officially coming to Mardi Gras -- my Tweet.
  7. Click the "Home" button in the upper right hand navigation area and you'll be back to your home page where you can watch Mardi Gras live without ever leaving your desk.
I hope all of you will choose to play along. I think you'll enjoy it, learn a few interesting things about Mardi Gras (that you probably don't know) and you'll become better marketers because you'll finally learn about one of the newest, hottest social media platforms around -- Twitter.

So sign up now and be sure to tell a few friends by e-mailing this article to your network, posting it on your Facebook page and tweet it out to all of your Twitter friends.

See you on Friday.

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Tom Martin is president of Zehnder Communications, with offices in New Orleans and Baton Rouge. He can be reached at Tom.Martin@z-comm.com. Or follow him at @TomMartin.

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