Saturday, April 17, 2010

What About Twitter..?

When you go online, you'll find millions of people using Twitter every day. It may appear as though everyone knows what it is and how to apply it in a private or work setting. However, this is not the case "in real life" (i.e. not online or in cyberspace ;-).

If you ask any person "on the street" about Twitter, most people have not even heard the term. It's true! My questioning people has lead me to an estimation of about 6 out of 10 actually still don't know anything about Twitter. OK, so it may vary both demographically and geographically, and it certainly does. But here's my point: Even though Twitter has the fastest adoption rate online ever, most people still don't know about it and are missing out on this amazing communication tool - big time!

Yesterday I did a quick poll among some enlightened friends and contacts (just simple unvalidated questions), and even here the statistics reveal "ignorance" or great potential, to put it that way:

Among experienced every-day computer users the big majority still don't understand or use Twitter.


  1. I don't find this very strange actually. With all the new technology hype these days it is just to much information for people. Does all this really make you more effective, what do you learn, and is the information you'll get have any real value to you? How much time do you need to spend each day to keep updated on all and everything? As for myself i still find the best information in the good old discussion forums and search engines. I have a twitter account and most of the things i have there is information that i really don't have any use for, it is very much like all the groups in facebook where the intention is good, but in the end it don't give you anything useful. I don't find the social information very useful to me either. I reopened the facebook account again a couple months ago.. and its still the same information there... 98% of it i could live without knowing. And do i really have to update my status all the time? It is a strange thing i have noticed. Those who work with IT / computers etc each day, are those who use this kind of technology less than others. When i get home from work, i almost never login to msn, i might check facebook and twitter, but not every day. We might be tired of all the buzz from work maybe?

    The grumpy internet guy:)

  2. Excellent feedback! Here's how I see it, Pål:

    (1) It depends on how deeply your industry has adopted and applies the social web. (Almost like Facebook og LinkedIn without friends and contacts.)

    (2) It depends on how much value your industry can extract from virtual interaction right now. (It might still take a few years until e.g. taxi drivers will benefit from Web 2.0.)

    (3) It depends on your own role and creativity. (I've seen amazing financial results generated by others as well as myself, but it depends on what opportunities one creates, proactively.)

    To summarize:
    My experience tells me that everything starts out as "fun toys" or experimental tools. For instance, as an early IT Consultant I was involved in a project where we tested out this "electronic mail thing". Today, the whole pilot project is laughable. Tomorrow, however, we'll be laughing at e-mail as something com--plete--ly out of date as a way to communicate. Interesting how innovation changes paradigms!

    Bottom line:
    I believe, already at this point most people can, if the really want to, extract great value (both business wise as well as privately) from the social web. However, one needs to be careful that it doesn't suck you into worthless and time consuming activities that produce neither benefits nor fruitful results.