Where does Twitter go from here?

September 28, 2009

Down, I think.

Yeah sure, they got a $100 million in investment capital (jeez, 1999 deja vu all over again?) and a capitalization of $1 billion. Their timing was superb, if not incredibly lucky because now the word is building that their phenomenal growth rate has slowed or completely stalled.

The innovation they brought to communications was and is hugely important. Even though they didn’t intend it, Twitter has done more than anyone or anything to bring the capability of virtually instant communication to the crisis communication and emergency management world. For that I am very grateful, and the citizens and consumers receiving much better, faster, more relevant content from the organizations important to them are grateful as well.

But, unlike Facebook, their innovation was shallow. Basic functional capability (text-to-webpage, sign up followers, auto distributions) are readily available in a multitude of ways. And Twitter was saddled by a focus on “I’m eating a ham sandwich” messaging. Maybe that’s where the traffic is maybe that’s where the dollars will end up showing up once the venture community comes to its senses. But they didn’t address some fundamental needs that those who wanted to use it for more than sandwich and coffee chatter really needed.

The real problem they are facing is that even the constant feed of sandwich and coffee messaging gets tiresome. Very few of Twitter users continue to use it consistently. And I’m guessing that even those who have adopted it as part of their lifestyle (like my daughter and her husband) may find it tiresome after a bit as well. Maybe not.

My guess is something else is out there aborning. Maybe that will have its 15 minutes of fame, or maybe even change the world more substantially. We shall see.

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2 Responses to “Where does Twitter go from here?”

  1. Jaime Says:

    I see a lot about Twitter. Everything from praise to scorn, but I think this is the first real blog/statement that has caught my attention. Not simply because you’ve stated the facts: Twitter has reached its peak, but also because of how you state why. Twitter is a run and go sort of addiction for most people. They run to it and by the time boredom sets in within the weeks, they go on to something new. Run and go.

    I’m one of those who signed up, said, “So this is it, huh?” and now my account just sits there save for when I tweet back at someone else or feel an obligation to post something.

    Anyway, I came across your blog, basically, through google books. Your book pointed back to your site and your site pointed here. I was searching for more information on seo optimization when Now Is Too Late 2 came up somewhere in the top ten.

    I started out reading in the middle of the book where my search took me, but sooner than later I started from the beginning.

    The entire point to all of this is to praise you. Your content, your writing style, and your points are impressive enough and intriguing enough that I started out knowing nothing about Crisis Management, but ended up reading an entire ebook that has nothing to do with my life or my world, except that it was interesting and provided compelling information and tips that may someday be useful.

    So thank you for the excellent read and for the potential usefulness I may find from this in the future.

  2. gbaron Says:

    Jaime, that is one of the nicest compliments I have ever received on my writing. I will savor that for a long time. Thanks much.


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