Friday, April 18, 2008

Who broke my Twitter?

Twitter is a conversation tool – I consider it to be a revolution. 140 characters long messages to say it all. No bullshit, no turning around. Just plain instant thinking.

I’m a big Twitter fan – that’s no news to you. 1200 followers, 4000 tweets, 700 direct messages…impressive you think. Well no!!

Some guys decided to break the rules –yeah…I know there are no rules. Anyway Jason Calacanis decided to be #1 tweeterer and offered a free mac book Air to reach 20.000 followers. Since then Twitter has turned into a racetrack. Schumacher aka Scoble was leading for many months, Barack Obama came in and broke all the figures with over 23K follower…and no ones give a shit…

Twitter is hijacked from its primary purpose. Here we go with EgoTwitter. Mine is bigger than yours 

So you can ask me the difference between my 1200 followers and that new guy who registered last week and already has 2000 followers- and the answer is: NETWORK. Like many-hopefully-we build a network over time creating an interesting noise; sharing tips; helping out. Like a relationship.But you can’t buy friends. Never worked!! Twitter is no exception.

Paul Walsh is launching a new venture and to drag new users- he uses that stupid trick: Buy the audience. It doesn’t look too good for a start- unless your business is boring… Sorry Paul !

I’m not against giving away prizes…or receiving prizes…in fact one idea will be to have a group contest where all prizes would be presented. Few mac book Air – Steve Jobs will be happy; cards; travels; phones; plasma…I think its called eBay ;-)

But here – if you want to break Twitter and get 40K followers you can do the following. Register @HugeBoobs, upload a picture of a nice blond with prominent 00 and start twittering of your loneliness; add every single user on public time line for 3 weeks and BINGO!!I can guarantee you’ll end up in top 10 users. No give-away – just grabbing the attention.

Moderation, no moderation THAT is the question! I followed Shel Israel’s interview of Twitter founders –BTW Shel was really good on this one; Loren Feldman really saved Shel he just doesn’t know it yet. Anyway - I saw a product manager giving numbers; stats; I hate that mostly in a conversation tool. Do you do statistics about your friends? How many time they called you today? Do you rank keywords in your conversation? That’s bull…

There are 2 kinds of usage. First one I’ll call it Broadcasting Mode. Fucking annoying. I un-followed Guy Kawazaki for this reason.200 tweets per day with hyperlink.Duh!! Have you heard about RSS feeds?? What are you trying to do? The worst usage someone can do of Twitter is definitely Broadcasting. At least if you think of getting into it be very specific in your profile and avoid: “prolific blogger avid for new conversation…”.

Second is called Conversation Mode. The only interesting one. Open text message platform making an incredible noise based on sharing; debating and creating content. Everyday I find interesting stories cool links helpful tips and meet incredible people. I selected 3 service providers found on Twitter. Just like that! Twitter is delivering 5% of its potential; we can do much better if we de-pollute our timeline.

I understand they have a business to run BUT they must understand Twitter is driven by its population – not the other way around. We decide what we want it to become. No one else! If I had the audience I would prove it by launching a strike. No tweets for 4 hours to stop few egocentric guys from using OUR tool as a self-promotion platform.

I may be naïve - you’re right I can hear you- everyone is promoting himself on Twitter. Ok ok…but let’s put some efforts into it. Start a conversation. Do not buy my friendship with a laptop or a GPS! Buy it with words; trust and confidence.

You can have no rules when there is an auto regulation – Wikipedia kind of. Twitter does not have it yet! I hope they’ll get it before it looses its momentum. This is the only place where I see a failure.

PS: 2 things I want to add. Don’t ask me for lists. Black list; white list is not my cup of tea. I’d rather change people than ban people. No one deserves to be put aside. Secondly I don’t like boycotts. Something I can’t and won’t do.


Ike said...

For what it's worth, Guy Kawasaki deserves huge props for his turnaround on Twitter.

He now follows more than follow him, and the VAST majority of his tweets are engaging in conversation with others. He takes on all who speak with him, and with a layer of listening and civility that outstrips the other A-Listers you might mention. Always gracious, and he remembers things from convo to convo.

Thaumata said...

guy has responded to my tweets a few times when they weren't even @ him, so i'd say whatever he was doing before, he's doing less of it now.

i can't stand scoble or arrington, though. one day, they're both going to realize the OTHER one thinks he's king of SF and they will have to duel. they are so full of themselves it makes my brain hurt.

but yes - twitter became a lot more interesting to me when i stopped using it as a way to contact many friends on their mobile at once, and starting viewing it as a public conversation where you don't backtrack to catch up. i really enjoyed this post, and actually, i was afraid you were one of those follow-everyone people, which is how i got here. nice to meet you, and see you on twitter. :)

Radioactive Jam said...

Seems I've inadvertently done well by paying little or no attention to most of the Big Ones on Twitter. :)

And I think you're right: 300, 500, 1200 well-networked followers make more sense and have way more inherent value than larger numbers accumulated for the sake of what amounts to an ego stroke.

Bill (bc on Twitter)