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Is Twitter this, is Twitter that?

1 Apr

twitterificTwitter is (insert other social media site here).  

Everyone and their mom are trying to fit Twitter into a box because they don’t know what it is.  I have seen articles that Twitter is the new Facebook, Twitter is the new MySpace, Twitter is the new LinkedIn…you get the point.  I think the media should stop trying to define.  When they focus on a singular definition for something that can be used in such unique ways, they end up missing the point.  Twitter is something different to everyone.  Twitter for me is about keeping up with my friends, meeting new ones, seeing how crazy people are and learning more about my interests (politics, social media etc).  For friends it is purely a networking tool to meet people in the industry, others do it like texting – as if their life is validated if it is broadcast, other people use it purely to broadcast their blogs or articles. Bottom Line:  there are infinite other ways to use Twitter so if you want to know what it is, you’re going to have to use it.

Facebook feeling the twueeze.

12 Mar

Facebook recently changed their homepage.  Hmm…some features coincidentally resemble Twitter.  For instance, instead of asking for your ‘status message’ I am… they are asking “What’s on your mind?”

You can also direct a “What’s on your mind?” message to anyone…kind of like @.

If I was Facebook I’d be scared too.  They had a lock on the market for a while.  MySpace was lame, and LinkedIn was professional.  Plus no one really respected friendster or any of the other borderline sites.  But now we are being inundated with online social networking.  Too much if you ask me.  Even if you don’t ever play Second Life, you might as well be.

Fun social networking stats

9 Mar

Thanks Adam Ostrow, interesting stuff.

In 2008, users spent 63% more time on member communities than they did in the previous year. However, within member communities, Facebook saw growth of 566% in time spent on it by users worldwide. As has been reported elsewhere, Facebook’s fastest growth demographic is older users – the social network tacked on 12.4 million people between ages 35-49 in 2008 according to Nielsen.

Some other key findings from the report:

– Globally, Facebook reaches 29.9% of global Internet users, versus 22.4% for MySpace.

– MySpace remains the most profitable social network, generating an estimated $1 billion in revenue versus $300 million for Facebook in 2008.

– Facebook is the top social network in all countries except Germany, Brazil, and Japan (Nielsen still has MySpace as tops in US in the report, but as of January ’09, that had changed).

– On Twitter, CNN, The New York Times, and BBC have the greatest reach among mainstream media companies as of late February.

Twitter as a search engine

9 Mar
Twitter Bird

Twitter Bird

As a new generation learns about Twitter it is important to think of Twitter as having a fluid definition.  Gen Y is super aware of the concept of a sexual identity spectrum, well Twitter also has an identity spectrum.  This is what I usually hear from people who don’t “get” Twitter.

‘Why do I care?  Ok, you’re having dinner now.  You’re stuck in traffic now. Boring.’

I understand the sentiment and I think it is kind of lame when my friends Tweet their every moment’s emotion and location.  But, after that stuck in traffic you might find a link to a modern interpretation of Descarte, or a new social media marketing platform idea.  Twitter is everything and nothing.  By choosing who you ‘follow’ you are deciding what kind of content you receive.   Choose just friends and be prepared for a lot of mundane comments.  Choose companies and be blasted by their propaganda…but choose a blogger who has something to say and you’ve got a lot of new original content coming your way.  I’m obviously partial to bloggers, but Twitter is used best when it is eveyrone’s personal search engine.  

I’m not the first to notice this.  Michael Arrington makes some great points,

 

At a dinner tonight with a friend the conversation turned toTwitter. He just didn’t get it, and he’s certainly not the first person to tell me that. Specifically, my friend didn’t understand the massive valuation ($250 million or more) that Twitter won in its recent funding. I told him why I thought it was more than justified: Twitter is, more than anything, a search engine.

I told him what I thought of Twitter as a micro-blogging service: it’s a collection of emotional grunts. But it’s wonderful nonetheless. And enough people are hooked on it that Twitter has reached critical mass. If something big is going on in the world, you can get information about it from Twitter.

Twitter also gathers other information, like people’s experiences with products and services as they interact with them.

Tin Yurl?

5 Mar

No, no, no it is Tiny URL…oh, now I get it.

tinyurl

These tinyurl links kept popping up in my twitter feed, my facebook status updates and my gchat away messages.  I finally figured out that their use, as you can read above, is to shorten a link (duh) so that you don’t exceed your character limit on sites like Twitter and so you don’t send around to your friends this clunky URL that is 5 lines long.  That can be annoying at times, I liked seeing the full link, but they are definitely a new phenomenon that enables a lot more content to be floating around the web.  So, hopefully next time you see one — you won’t have to wonder what it is.