Twitter could possibly be on the verge of mass acceptance…or bring about the downfall of social media, according to the signs we’ve been seeing.
- Promotion by mass media: So suddenly, mainstream media like newspapers, TV news and talk shows are jumping on the twitter bandwagon, making it sound like the best thing since sliced bread. Just like they did with the internet back in the mid 1990s.
- Overemphasis on the technology: So there’s been an overemphasis about the tech aspects of twitter, how you can build a following of 100,000 in a few days/weeks, how you’re able to mass msg them updates.
- Celebrity buzz factor: Now everyone knows that the_real_shaq is well, the real shaq. And that other celebrities have their publicist, manager scraping old interviews and sending tweets out on their behalf, saying that the content is sent in the “spirit” of the celebrity. Authenticity/credibility fail.
But the bigger danger of social media, especially the new wave of twitter’s brand of new social media is that it could potentially be tethering you to your computer instead of freeing you.
Remember the crackberry, er, blackberry?
When blackberry addicts had it with them 24-7 and felt compelled to answer an email the moment it was received? Till now, I know of a number of affiliate managers who keep their blackberry at their bedside and wake up to answer emails the moment they come in.
Me, I’m in the process of cancelling my cellphone to be less accessible.
But here’s why I think twitter might be self-destructive – the design of the system is such that it’s like a 24-hour chatroom, with topics being constantly discussed and possibly buried in a matter of hours.
That means if you want to:
- tap the buzz
- be part of the flow
- be part of the conversation
It means you need to tether yourself to the medium, you need to essentially be watching the channel during the 8-12 hours that the service is at its peak.
So it’s like watching TV, except that instead of being constrained by the content being broadcast by the television network, you’re at times held hostage to the content being broadcast by other users.
If anything, that’s the dark side of user-generated content.
You could read twitter updates on a delayed basis, that is hours or days after they were first broadcast and use twitter as a proxy RSS reader, however, it’d limit the conversations you’re able to conduct, unless they’re highly targeted in nature.
If social media, especially with the vanguard led by Twitter is to evolve to its next stage, it’ll require:
- More flexible content management
- Higher quality filtering and relevant updates
What do you think?