My first interaction with Twitter was about 9 months ago, and I got bored after a week – for various reasons, but the main one was that I couldn’t use it “on the go” easily with my mobile phone. I mean, what’s the point of micro-blogging if you can’t fire a thought off into the Twitter-sphere from anywhere?
Yesterday, I installed Twitterberry on my phone. The fact that it integrates into my Notifications (thus giving me the ability to trigger a sound on receipt of a tweet [rhyme!]), and the presence of an application icon means that I know when I get a reply and easily see when those that I follow tweet – that’s as “on the go” as I need. Twitterberry has the potential to keep me tweeting for quite a while…
The more I contemplate the Twitter model (metaphor?), the more confused I get. I understand the concept, and I see why “making waffles for little people” or “having a beer at the Gruene” can have value to the immediate “followers” around you. What I don’t get is why no-one has come up with a viable business model for Twitter.
Is it because the power of the model is at the limits of comprehension? It’s not MySpace or Facebook – neither of those models belie the abstraction that they are. It’s difficult to use them casually, without sitting down at a keyboard and logging in to interact with the site. Twitter is different. It enables random expression of consciousness by huge numbers of people in a public space. The ability to trend and aggregate the thoughts of so many people is something that any number of industries (think Marketing, Advertising, Sales, etc.) must regard as some sort of Holy Grail – and now that they have it, what the hell are they going to do with it?!
I look at services like TwitScoop, and I feel like I’m looking at the thoughts of millions of people. I see applications like TweetDeck, and I see R&D deptartments scrambling to define a paradigm – and failing. It’s been 3 years since Twitter was launched. Many rumours have circulated about it being bought out, yet none have panned out. It attracts masses of venture capital, but it generates no revenue. Something different is happening here, and I don’t think anyone has quite figured it out yet. It’s kinda like Cloud technology – good idea, but what’s the best way to utilize it?
I’m going to keep tweeting for a while, I reckon – follow me if you like!