Has Twitter jumped the shark? Or is it just becoming mainstream?

Mack Collier posted a question on his blog Viral Garden: Has Twitter jumped the shark?

Quoting Mack:

Twitter is slowly turning us all into broadcasters.

That seems to be the case among the people I am following. Even among my close contacts, I’m noticing that there are few actual conversations happening, it’s mostly a stream of personal updates, with the occasional link thrown in.

Well, this is exactly what happens to any online service that becomes popular. Popular meaning adoption by “the masses”.

Newspapers allowed commenting on their online news items. Over time, the comment streams were overtaken by people forcing their personal views down your throat.

E-mail used to be a great conversation tool. Then spammers found its possibilities, with the result that some 80% of all e-mail whizzing around in cyberspace today is spam.

Twitter, too, used to be a great conversation tool. Broadcasters have now found its possibilities.

All of these phenomena are based on the fact that flooding your potential with your own agenda works. Why would it be done if it didn’t?

The big revelation is that you can’t have meaningful interaction with the entire world. You need filters. Scale down your follower count, be more choosy. Find the people you really want to interact with. It’s your responsibility to determine the proportions of how much

  1. gratification
  2. controversy
  3. other people’s experiences/wisdom
  4. noise

you’re willing to receive. Nobody else will do it for you.

Yes, it will be painful to find that some of your friends may not be friends at all. Why would it be any different from the real world?

And yes, it will take time and effort. Then again, when did shortcuts ever work?

(By the way, if you’re a non-native/non-US English speaker, Wikipedia will tell you what “jumping the shark” means. I had to look it up myself 🙂 )
Posted via web from Unorganized thoughts around marketing

Comments

  1. Mack Collier - April 3, 2010 @ 21:55

    Kimmo thanks for the link and mention! I think you are right to a degree, as ‘the masses’ have joined Twitter, it’s definitely becoming more of a broadcasting tool. What I think it really pushing this is location-based sites/apps like FourSquare that seem to be training us to think that everyone needs to be updated on our every movement. I don’t need to know where my friends and family are at every second.

    I think Twitter still excels as a channel to exchange and share information, especially in real-time. Thus, it will continue to be very popular. Just a shift in usage, I think some of it is due to ‘the masses’ arriving as you said, and I think location-based sites are also playing a role.

    Have a great Easter weekend!

  2. Mike Zavarello (@brightmatrix) - March 7, 2013 @ 14:42

    One of the best analogies that I’ve heard to date about Twitter’s evolution is that people are now “talking past one another.” I agree that the tendency to share every bit of minutia about our lives is making everyone else tune out and filter their streams, making the concept of following/followers largely irrelevant (for example, other than the narrow utility of direct messaging, why bother following anyone if you’re simply going to ignore them?). Mark has it correct that Twitter’s value remains real-time news aggregation, but I believe more than just the unwashed masses flocking to Twitter are guilty of too much out-of-context chatter.

    Kimmo, I’m glad you reiterated the call to folks that their channel is their own, and if they don’t like what they see, change the channel. I believe folks are too tied down to a misguided sense of obligation in social media, and they are burdened with connections that really aren’t necessary. Take no offense to the “unfollow,” folks. You’re someone else’s TV channel. 🙂

    • Kimmo Linkama - March 8, 2013 @ 19:25

      Thanks for your comment, Mike! I’m thinking that the value of Twitter today is — funny enough — just the flood of content. It’s just that you absolutely need to filter it somehow, either by using lists or doing searches. Even with my relatively measly 800+ “friends”, it’s becoming impossible to really follow the stream. Either you pick people or you pick topics. The downside, of course, is that you’ll end up ignoring most of your sources and come across tidbits only by chance. As you put it, you’re someone else’s TV channel (great analogy!).

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