Adventures in branding: StockTwits

Where traders gather in cyberspace to share tips and commentary. Truth in advertising?

Published September 17, 2009 5:03PM (EDT)

Satire is dead. The Financial Times reports today that Twitter is is resurrecting in cyberspace the teeming trading pits of yesteryear."

Named as one of the most popular online gathering nodes for twittering stock traders: A Web site called... wait for it... StockTwits.

"Real Investors. Real Ideas. Real Time" is the site's tag line. Just include a dollar sign ($) next to a stock ticker and your tweets are automatically aggregated in a streaming twitter feed that scrolls down StockTwits' home page. And I confess, there is something hypnotic about watching the cryptic trader comments roll by. Wanna look at the untamed id of capitalism. Go to StockTwits.

I count myself as someone who is generally delighted with the subversive unseriousness of Twitter semiotics. I get a kick out of sourcing information to a "tweet" or "retweet." I love watching people tie themselves in knots criticizing Twitter for its superficiality and 140-character reductionism. Come on folks: the name of the service is "Twitter!" What you see is what you get!

But... StockTwits? Call me a hopelessly old-fashioned geezer if you will (and you may) -- but I cannot separate the image conveyed by this, uh, bold branding from the visuals supplied by Monty Python's classic "Upper-class Twit of the Year" competition.

By Andrew Leonard

Andrew Leonard is a staff writer at Salon. On Twitter, @koxinga21.

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