Just what is digital, exactly?

I’ve seen a few comments bouncing about Twitter and other places debating the meaning of the word digital, and why it hasn’t caught on in some places at all.

I’ve also seen some people saying that ‘digital’ is an unhelpful term, given the broad range of things it seems to describe.

I’d agree that it isn’t perfect, however, it’s what we’ve got. May as well make the most of it.

My definition of digital is:

The delivery of information, interactions and services over the internet.

However, that’s not all. It is also:

The approaches, skills and behaviour that have been popularised by digital projects.

Hence agility, responsiveness, user focus, and so on are all ‘digital’ even though they don’t specifically require the internet.

Your mileage may vary, of course, but this definition works for me, and hopefully for those I work with.

What is Twitter for?

Whenever I mention Twitter to anyone who wasn’t previously aware of it, the first question they ask is always ‘What is it for?’

Like many social web services, it can be difficult to explain the concept of Twitter. I find it is best to respond with another question: ‘Well, what is talking for?’

‘Er, telling people about stuff. Asking questions. Finding out what’s going on.’

That’s what Twitter is for, too. It’s just like talking.