May 21, 2009

8 Recent Observations About Twitter

I've been on Twitter for a little over a week now and I have some early observations.

1. Twitter is a much more civilized place than the rest of the web. There is far less hostility and anger. Maybe we should restrict all human communication to 140 characters.

2. Twitter needs a "hide" function. There are some people you may be following who are way too prolific or way too dull and it would be great to be able to shut them down for a day or two. (Is there such a function that this novice doesn't know about?)

3. Amazing fact: 1% of Twitterers account for 35% of all tweets. (Correction: 1% of Twitterers account for 35% of all visits to Twitter.)

4. Anyone who actually reads all the tweets he gets is completely and utterly insane. I'm convinced that most people follow other people not because they're interested in what they have to say, but in the hope that they, in turn, will be followed.

5. Twitter is far more "self-promotional media" than "social media." There is very little about it that is actually social. In my circle, the heavy Tweeters tend to be self-employed business people -- especially consultants and other entrepreneurs -- directly or indirectly looking for contacts or business.

6. Also, in my circle of twits, there is far more forwarding of links than expressing of ideas.

7. To be honest, if I wasn't interested in promoting this blog and promoting my agency, I wouldn't spend another minute on Twitter. Whether, in fact, it has any value as a promotional vehicle is the experiment I'm now engaged in. My early take is that it may have some promotional value for small organizations and individual entrepreneurs, but very little for larger businesses.

8. Twitter is like golf. I feel like an idiot for doing it, but I have to admit that sometimes it's fun. I stand by my earlier estimate that 5% has value and 95% is worthless.

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