Maybe I Was Wrong…

The longer we live, the more we learn.

I may be changing my opinion of Twitter, which is a much nicer way of admitting that perhaps I was wrong to bash it in earlier posts.  But my support of Twitter comes with a caveat – it must decide if it wants to be an information tool or the go-to toy for the bored and banal.  Big decision.

Twitter must declare itself.  Yes, it’s trendy and cool to claim to be an open-source site that let’s the market decide where to take it.  But, left to their own devices, the “market” could take it right down the drain.  Twitter should be very concerned about two recent facts:  60% of users abandon the service within one month, and 69% of the general public say they don’t know enough about Twitter to have an opinion about its future.  If I had more than 25 million users and these statistics, I’d be very worried.  They tell me that, although people have heard about you, they either don’t like what you are or don’t know you well enough to have an opinion about you.

The first rule of strategy is to have one.  What is Twitter’s strategy?  What do they want to be when they grow up?  LinkedIn has a specific purpose.  Facebook claimed a very specific space early – although as they try to become more generalized, they run the risk of alienating their original core franchise.  MySpace has died on the vine because they let users take it in their own direction, which was, ultimately, the wrong direction.

To use it correctly, Twitter takes time.  It takes time to find smart people to follow who are putting out useful information and links.  It takes time to find interesting information on your own and share it with your followers.  I probably spend close to an hour a day reviewing information and posting tweets in an attempt to stay on top of trends and news and share interesting information with others.  Surprisingly, I’m finding it time well spent.  For now.

It’s getting to be the moment of truth for Twitter.  What’s it going to be – a useful information sharing tool, or simply a torrent of mindless drivel that no one really cares about?

I hope they are courageous enough to take control of their strategy and their future.  And I hope they continue to prove me wrong.

~ by chuckmattina on July 31, 2009.

3 Responses to “Maybe I Was Wrong…”

  1. Excellent commentary for any company investing in social media.

  2. Great analysis of Twitter! I too hope they choose the path of information sharing tool. Also, here’s a link to a great recap of a conference call about how to use social media, Twitter in particular – http://prtini.com/broganshankmanharocall/

  3. Some recent data shows that Twitter is not being used by teens, which is not surprising. My guess is that they are completely satisfied with texting, which offers more privacy than Twitter. Absent a clear strategy, teens are defining Twitter’s value on their own, and it doesn’t appear to be worth much to them.

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