The era of the webtarts

How a simple button is changing sign-in attitudes and behaviours

Last Thursday I realised, quite by chance, that I had posted 1,002 tweets. The 1,000th one had been posted earlier that day and was a moan about not being able to attend Wimbledon because of work commitments *sigh*

It seems a long way since my first post and my doubts about communicating with such an abstract audience. The fact that the 1,000th tweet was such a mundane observation as opposed to some carefully crafted message says much about the role that Twitter now has in my life: a quotidian activity, rather than a special one.

Through this platform, I learned about the earthquakes in Japan and New Zealand and about the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt. That’s where I first heard that Bin Laden had been found, that Peter Falk had passed away and that Prince William was engaged to Kate Middleton. I kept in touch with @Open_Sourcing when she was stranded abroad because of Eyjafjallajökull’s eruption. I learned more about the work and interests of @admutum, @TonyPatterson and @FinolaK and I am now looking forward to catching up with them at the next Academy of Marketing conference. I never met @Ox_Bex but breathed a big sigh of relief when I learned that her son’s bullies were unlikely to cause him further trouble. This is a truly fantastic platform.

What concerns me, though, is that I may now be turning into a webtart.

What is a webtart?

Well, I will let you @felixvelarde explain it himself:

Do you recognise the symptoms? The webtart is someone who promptly signs up to websites or posts on blogs that offer the option to sign in with the user’s Twitter or Facebook account. That same person would, otherwise, (or has in the past) shy away from using e-mail sign in for that same purpose.

It is very interesting how the Twitter or FB sign in impacts on behaviour.

Maybe it is out of convenience – that is, it is easier to sign-in with Twitter or FB than with your e-mail account.

Maybe it is a halo effect – you trust Twitter or Facebook and, therefore, implicitly trust the website or blog in question.

Maybe it is the familiarity – you realise that commenting on blogs, etc… is just another facet of your online presence. Maybe it is all of them. Maybe it is something else, still.

What is your experience? Has your behaviour changed and, now, you regularly sign in with Twitter or FB? I suspect Felix and I are not alone.

What is the main reason behind your change in behaviour and attitude?

3 thoughts on “The era of the webtarts

  1. @David: Not sure about that. Though, maybe SM log-ins are the fast food of business cards…@Dilip: Oh, that’s a pity. I really liked your presentation last year.


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