I suppose a lot of people are either fascinated or confused by Twitter these days. I’ve been actively using it for a few months (observing, primarily), my initial interest being simply to learn, experiment and get somewhat immersed in yet another social phenomenon. It would appear that this makes me about 3 years late to the game given that Twitter started 2006, but a recent survey indicates that although a whopping 88% of Americans have heard of Twitter, only 7% currently use it, so it’s still early days. Prior to this I was resistant for a number of reasons, including but not limited to:
- 140 characters? What’s up with that? Visions of being inundated with valuable content like “Awesome. Ur 2 kewl. Going pee now”. I understand the SMS message size limitations and all, but still.
- The latest scoop on all the hottest celebrities! Every minute of every day! Sorry Ashton, Britney, Ellen, Kim, Oprah, etc., I’m sure you’re very nice people but I’m just not that interested. Plenty of other ways THE MAN has to distract the masses and manufacture consent.
- ADD afflicted need only apply. Blogs and books are just too long and have all those silly word thingies and like reading lots is like hard and stupid and stuff and it like makes me tired and did you see what Kim Kardashian just tweeted! Looks like a perfect way to insidiously promote Attention Deficit Disorder as a positive lifestyle choice.
- I didn’t think of it first. But it’s got me thinking of the NEXT BIG THING: hyperlocalnanoblogging. The rules: 20 characters max, numbers permitted but no vowels. We’ll call these small messages toots. Sample toot from @BrtnySprs: “00ps 1 f0rg0t 2 p00”. Still working on what’s hyper or local about the whole thing, but I’ll get there (suggestions welcome). People can post their own toots, reply using burps, or send private messages via…. Well, don’t want to give too much away just yet. You have to admit, hyperlocalnanoblogging just screams hip and au courant. Angel investors, feel free to contact me for more details.
Then there’s other potential roadblocks to getting engaged with Twitter, like finding the time for it, wondering why anyone would care about mundane aspects of someone’s life, etc. Regardless, I’ve settled into Twitter now, got TweetDeck all columned up and organized, and I’m slowly getting oriented,and reasonably proficient. And, perhaps most surprisingly, actually getting quite a lot of value from it.
What to expect? In August 2009, Pear Analytics looked at 2,000 US-based tweets over a 2-week period and came up with the following categorizations:
Net-Net: 41% of tweets are “Pointless Babble”, whereas 9% “Pass Along Value”. Not so promising. Perhaps things have evolved since August 2009 and the signal to noise ratio is increasing, or I’m just getting lucky and finding the right 9%. More exploration required.