Life with Twitter Continues

The very first post in this blog was about my first week with Twitter. If you’ve read it, you know I sounded a bit skeptical. I wasn’t really sure I “got it” as far as what all the hype and hub-bub was about.

So now that I have been using Twitter for a bit, I thought maybe it was time to revisit the topic… And the truth is, I’m not sure my opinion has changed. I’m still not sure I get it. But, I am using it. Using it a lot in fact. And recommending it to others. Just call me a walking/talking dichotomy. Here I am referring my friends to this thing which I myself seem strangely skeptical of.

But it does have its hooks in me. I check it just about every day, usually several times a day. I am following close to 50 people now, and for some reason I have managed to attract nearly 100 followers of my own. I have installed a couple of Twitter clients, and I occasionally find myself texting in updates via my BlackBerry.

So what gives? I have given it some thought, and I can only come up with one conclusion. It’s ego. Yeah, I hate to admit it, but that’s what I think is going on here.

I’m not proud of this mind you. But the fact that there are nearly 100 folks out there (most of whom I have never met) who care enough to read short little updates about me several times a day… Well… You’d get a big head too. Now I realize that most (okay, maybe all) of my followers are just skimming my updates for something that catches their eye. For the most part I’m sure they are ignoring what I write (with the exception, of course, of my Mom http://twitter.com/mary1014), but just the thought that maybe, just maybe these people care… Boom! There, my head just grew two sizes.

I can see where Twitter does have some practical uses. My Mom does now get a virtual play-by-play of my life, probably more so than she does in our weekly phone calls. Usually she will ask “So what’s new?” to which my inner-teenager rises up with the stock “Oh, nothing really.” Now with Twitter on the scene, I find she asks me questions that take me a second to figure out… Then I realize “Oh yeah, I posted that on Twitter…” So, she’s probably learning more about her grandchildren than she is ever likely to learn from me directly!

But aside from the practical (or impractical) purpose of Twitter, there was the looming question in the back of my mind… How does it make money?

The answer dawned on me about a week ago. Simply put, it doesn’t. At least not yet. What Twitter is all about (and I suspect a great many other of these little nifty Web 2-point-oh aps) is that what this is really all about is eyeballs. Get lots and lots of traffic on your site. Make it indispensable. Then when the time comes, and you have a proven track record of a few millions visits per day, a player like Microsoft, or Time Inc., or Google will swoop in and write the big check. If you are willing to sit back and wait for that day, then the paycheck can be big… Big enough to justify the lack of revenue leading up to that point. That seems to be pretty much the way it played out for YouTube, MySpace, and others. It’s the Field of Dreams principal. “Build it, and the money will come…” Or at least you hope so.

In the meantime, I dig Twitter. It has grown on me and become part of my daily routine. Enough so I don’t mind that it may be my set of eyeballs that helps to make somebody a millionaire some day.

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2 Responses to “Life with Twitter Continues”

  1. Good post. I was telling some friends about Twitter last night and they looked at me like it was the dumbest thing they had ever heard. Explaining Twitter is not a very easy thing to do, especially for something that is so simple. I personally know NO ONE I am following and vice versa, so like yourself, am not sure what draws me in. My biggest challenge has been finding interesting twitterers to follow. Most are computer geeks that make me feel extremely inept. Kind of like being in a crowded room where you are the only person speaking English. But until Twitter becomes mainstream I will plod my way through looking for other runners, golfers, beginner guitarists, etc. that share my intersts.
    I started a blog about the same time I joined Twitter, mainly for my own amusement. The only people that would stumble upon my blog come from Twitter. I certainly don’t tell many people about it or publicize it in any way. In other words, I am not really committed to any of this. The only thing I am sure of is that I will be back tomorrow to catch up on the ramblings of complete strangers. Take care and have a great week.

  2. webzealot Says:

    Funny you mention starting a blog about the same time you started Twittering… Same thing for me too! I had never felt compelled to blog before, and still don’t have an overwhelming urge… But the two things seemed to dovetail. Twitter is like “blog lite” with not quite enough room to wax eloquent.

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