Recently I attended a delightful wedding. It was perfect. Admittedly there were flaws, such as a cold and windy day, and the bride's boat being stranded in Lyttelton Harbour. But the flaws just added to the perfection. (The clouds were aesthetically pleasing. Coastguard came to the rescue so the bride was only fashionably—not worryingly—late.)
The speeches were also perfect. Notes were abandoned and the father of the bride was sincere, funny and fluent. So were all the speakers (sincere etc., not abandoned). They kept to the time limit. And with one exception they told us what we wanted to hear: something personal, amusing, generous, good-hearted, inspiring—and totally relevant to the occasion and the audience.
One person, known and loved as eccentric if not perverse, broke the rules.
He gave a little sermon, not a wedding speech. He reviewed the movie Avatar and advised us all to go and see it. Then he asked us to stand up, hold hands, close our eyes and recite together, "Lord, we are all one."
The sound of eyeballs rolling thundered around the hall as we obeyed. It was seriously weird, in the context of a wedding breakfast. Me, I was thinking, "He's acting like a priest. But he's not a priest or even religious, so who is this Lord we're addressing? His meditation guru?"
Anyway, no big deal, and at least one of the 86 guests thought it was lovely.
As an analogy for tweeting, the wedding speech model works, don't you think?
On Twitter, we're still struggling to get the right balance between marketing, personal, responsive, useful and inspiring. It's not easy.