Obviously they can’t kill Twitter, but what about the Twitter spirit? Over the last 4 months or so Twitter has begun to look more and more like high school. Everyone’s trying to be one of the cool kids rather than sharing their own greatness.
How do you become cool on Twitter? The perception is that you do it by having the most followers. I’m excited that there’s talk of not listing the number of followers on Twitter pages anymore. It would drive people to pay more attention to how interesting your content is.
Many internet marketers are selling programs and schemes to get thousands of followers overnight. This has caused some Twitter veterans who offer quality content to sit by and watch others get tens of thousands of followers more than them by gaming the system.
And now Ashton and Oprah have had a highly publicized and highly financed campaign to ensure that Ashton became more popular than CNN on Twitter by being the first person to reach one million followers.
The backlash has begun with a site popping up that lets you see if someone was on Twitter before or after Oprah joined and encouraged her lemmings to follow suit.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but Twitter veterans are noting that once you’re following over 2,000 people it’s hard to find the signal through the noise and it’s hard to keep up with the people that really add value to you.
As Twitter continues to evolve and devolve simultaneously we’re all finding new and different ways to keep it working as a valuable communication tool. I’m keeping my eyes on Gen Y and how they use all social networking tools. What they do today is what we’ll all be doing tomorrow.
I’m amazed that there are still many business people who don’t get Twitter and dismiss it ignorantly. They don’t understand why they’re being lame while thinking that it’s a fad rather than a revolutionary communication tool. It reminds me of the 1980′s when most people thought rap music was a fad …and look at the impact it has on our culture 29 years later.
If you’re looking for how to use Twitter to build your business read this great post by Chris Brogan. Just know that it’s about the quality of the people you follow and the quality of the conversations, not the quantity.
Think of Twitter in the context of a romantic relationship. Is it more important to spend a ton of time with your lover or to really be present having interesting conversations, laughing and doing fun things together whenever you are together even if you don’t connect very often?
Twitter is a tool to build meaningful personal and professional relationships unless you use it as a mindless distraction to fill up time.
Twitter is invaluable if you’re in the right conversations and irrelevant if you’re not.
Either way, don’t be swayed by the celebrity popularity contests and don’t assume someone with 10,000 or more followers is tweeting valuable content. Read their posts and decide for yourself. Life’s too short to be a mindless follower running off the Twitter ledge like a lemming.