Four Twitter Observations

One:  Twitter is actually a lot of fun.  I suspect this is part of its popularity.  Things to enjoy include putting a whole page worth of data into 140 characters (Haiku for modern times), hearing engaging snips about your friends’ days (and yes, what they had for breakfast is generally noise.  But there are clever fun updates like sold a story, got a ticket and the cop was cute, walking on the beach in Hawaii, found a new way to use Twitter….).   There’s also art out there:  Fiction flashforwards at Outshine.  For those who think tweets are not haiku enough, there’s always Twitter Haiku.

Two:  Twitter is making changes in the world bigger than 140 characters.  I was at a meeting of local CIO’s and the presenters mentioned that Twitter was driving their social media efforts, including the blending of departments.  Twitter is becoming a choice application for emergency management departments in governments.  I heard a story (unverified) that a JetBlue customer sent a Twitter complaint and a stewardess was by his side in moments helping him out.  I did find an interesting article on corporate Twitter accounts that included JetBlue.  And then there was that revolution in Moldavia.

Three:  Business models are being built on Twitter.  Just look at the list of Twitter applications.   Tweet Stats says I tweet 2.7 times per day.  That’s not very much, but in spite of that, Twitter Grader gives me a 93 out of a hundred, and ranks me at 132,139 out of 2, 120, 676, apparently based on some analysis of who I follow and who follows me.  And that list is really just end user applications.  I hear rumors of many corporate apps.

Four:  Twitter cannot die.  I mean, of course it can.  I’m a futurist, after all.  Just like we bought into the Internet gold rush ten years ago (what fun!  VC for everyone, and private jets for all geeks), and the housing bubble (it can’t go down, buy and flip, buy and flip!), we’re in what may be a Twitter bubble.  There is no business model.  We are all having great fun and many people are making peripheral money from Twitter, but the company itself hasn’t figured it out yet.  Twitter has been a surprise success from day one, and so a rabbit may appear from Twitter’s hat, but short of that it’s going to have to go to Google or Microsoft or some other corporate data manager.  Maybe Amazon?  At that point, it may lose its cool new start-up cache.  Still, that might be better than a popped Twitter bubble.  An awful lot rides on those 140 character Tweets these days.

1 thought on “Four Twitter Observations”

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