Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Is Twitter dying or morphing?

I saw an article in today's Financial Review 'Twitter and the twits that tweet'. Australian traffic to the Twitter website had, according to monitoring company, Neilsen, declined by 28% in October 2009, while comScore had traffic down by 8%. The article noted that the measured decline to the website may actually reflect a trend to tweeting from other access points like Tweetdeck.

Of all the social networking sites I have looked at, Twitter is the one I find hardest to fathom, at least in its current form. Twitter CEO, Evan William's own Twitter entry yesterday said: 'Many of the great businesses of the next decade will be about making information about our behaviors more visible.'  What the hell does this mean? Does this mean businesses infiltrating our privacy, our yearning for celebrity, even our pursuit of individual relevance? Who wants to be more visible? I blog about brands, marketing and communications built around personal experience. Yes, this does provide some glimpses of what I've been up to. But frankly, I don't think anyone wants to know, or necessarily has a right to know, where I've eaten, slept, banked or wanked.

It is impossible to predict where Twitter will end up. I think I can see a trend, but it is probably only one of many, including possible oblivion. Twitter is being used by some organisations and community groups as a tool for collaboration. I think there is a future here. Eventually, most of the innane domestic affairs publishers will bore themselves into obscurity and  I think Twitter could become a platform utilised by common interest groups to coalesce, whether commercial or community based. The business advantage may ultimately be free use of a collaborative platform, rather than the endless pursuit of consumers totally immersed in their own trivia.

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