Archive for social networks

Life with Twitter Continues

Posted in Social Networking with tags , , on May 4, 2008 by webzealot

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, 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.


My First Week with Twitter

Posted in Social Networking with tags , , on March 21, 2008 by webzealot

twitter.pngSo after all the hype and hub-bub from the TWiT Geeks, I finally decided to check out Twitter. I mean, seems like half the world must be on it based from all the hyperbole.

Well, yeh, everyone is, if your world is somewhere around 950,000 folks.

I signed up Monday. Sign-up is quick and easy. What’s not so easy is figuring out exactly what happens next. All you see is a web form that asks you what you’re doing, and only gives you 140 characters to do so. Hmm. Okay.

So, I started adding friends. Started with Leo Laporte. He’s the only person I know for sure is on Twitter, although he doesn’t know me from Adam. Then, I looked at who his friends are, and I recognized some names. Still, none of these people know me, but that’s okay.

I posted a few things. Nothing exciting. Then I get an email. Somebody is following me… On Twitter? Yes, on Twitter! Then another email. Than another…

Now, after my first workweek, I am following about 30, and being followed by about 20.

On top of that I was on Steve Gillmour’s NewsGang podcast on Thursday. A brush with fame? Hardly. But it was fun.

Okay, I think the hype is more than the reality. Twitter is a blast. It really is. But is it all that? You can make a few friends, and there’s some interesting dialog… But color me skeptical.

I’ll keep using it and see what comes of it.

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