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Twitter – fad or here to stay? June 8, 2009

Posted by Edwin Ritter in Trends.
Tags: , ,

It is amusing to me the consistent number of  people questioning the value and longevity of Twitter.  Mixing metaphors, I find the focus here is between the preacher and the choir here while the congregation is on the sidelines. There is no need to convince the converted. If you know what I mean, and I think you do.* 

Mind you, the ironic part to me is these are posts on the Twitter site.  Tweet equivalents include :

  1. “Do you think this will be a useful marketing tool?”
  2. “Is it just the new thing until something else comes along?”
  3. “Why should I use it?”
  4. “What do I talk about?”

On several other sites, I have read blog posts about it, columnists have written numerous articles, and lately, the mainstream media pundits have discussed at length. I’m sure you have seen and read much of the same.

My answers :

  1. Yes! Where have you been (using my inside voice)?
  2. It is becoming a common and accepted business practice to connect and interact with  customers.
  3. See above.
  4. Talk about what you know and hopefully, something that others will connect with and care about.

Imagine the related ensuing discussion on another topic. For example, a conversation gearheads might have on the comparative automotive merits between Chevy and Ford. Potential quips from that dialogue (diatribe?) would run something like :

  1. “I’ll take a classic ’57 T-Bird anyday.”
  2. “Shelby Cobra Mustangs rule!”
  3. “‘The ’72 SS Chevelle is one of the all time muscle cars.”
  4. “Corvette is the only American made sports car.”

The difference with gearheads is they have the conversation standing next to the car, or whilst enjoying sustenance and an adult libation. Imagine then in the Twitter scenario the debate in merits of Fords vs. Chevy occurred while driving. Doesn’t happen, except maybe in  a  ‘B’ movie scene.  And that’s my point – that scenario is the equivalent of those tweets on Twitter.

I say “Enough already! Move on people.” At this point, tweeting about the value of Twitter is redundant and a waste of time. If you get it, you don’t need to ask. If you don’t get it, observe, absorb and learn. Tangent topics to assess value and measure such as Heisenberg Uncertainty principle come to mind also, but I digress.  Twitter is a good tool; versatile, flexible, quick and reliable. Certainly a powerful and useful communication tool for our time but, it is not a panacea. 

To be sure, I use Twitter myself and have refrained from comment about its’ viability. Referencing Gladwell again, I submit we are beyond the Tipping Point now. There are enough mavens, connectors and salesmen/women that espouse Twitter to agree that it is beyond a fad.  Going forward as the lifecycle moves beyond a fad, the metrics defined and accepted to assess and measure value will mature. We will learn and agree on how to commonly gauge success. Just like we did with measuring horsepower, compression ratios, wheelbase and 1/4 mile times. For me, the SS Chevelle always  was just out of reach, but, that is another story.


*For those who used the Internet (not web) back in the before time, this was the catchphrase for a regular contributor to the Newsgroup for movies. If memory serves, his moniker was BillyBob. His reviews were laced with good ‘ol boy humor and inserted that phrase from time to time. Disclaimer here as the years I read them date back to the early ’80’s.



1. Greg Taylor - June 10, 2009

Hmmm, cogent thought…

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