Some Twitter Thoughts

Now that twitter seems to be a media darling and an acquisition target, I thought I would share some of my observations.

1. Tweets are the blog posts you thought about writing, but didn’t feel they had enough substance

2. Twitterers are older. Myspace started around music and students. Facebook started around college students. Twitter was started by old people. Relatively speaking :). It could be the first new social media platform to start old and get younger, but there really is no assurance of that. I don’t know that twittering will get big for the 18 and younger set.

3. The challenge of Twitter will be its anonymity.  It’s the same problem myspace has.  @collegehottie can be a 60 year old pedophile who pushes a Tweetup and creates a problem.

4. The plus for twitter is that can reduce text messaging minutes. Particularly for broadcasting to a group of friends.

5. Twitter will need to create a groups or list function with a private option and soon. Otherwise Facebook can create a twitter like “skin” for its users to do the quick updates that twitter options. FB seems to be trying to find their way there now, recognizing the threat of Twitter.  FB updates seem to be in decline as users utilize twitter for this function

6. While there is a growing market for 3rd party twitter apps, twitter cant depend on them to expand the platform. The beauty of twitter is its simplicity.

7. The beauty of twitter is its simplicity. It works perfectly and quickly on a phone. Translated, its the ultimate time waster for the 30 plus generation.  You are never bored when you have a phone and twitter, no matter where you are. Thats the key to its success.

What are your thoughts on the future of twitter and its uses. Im curious.

121 thoughts on “Some Twitter Thoughts

  1. I have a Twitter account.

    At the same time, with so much technology available, and everyone talking on their cell phone, texting or now twittering, it makes me wonder,

    Does anyone simply pause and think anymore?

    Or just enjoy the moment?

    We live in such a hectic world. It seems that stress continues to increase. Why not simplify your life, and minimize all of these gadgets?


    Eat Well. Live Well.

    Comment by -

  2. My thoughts on Twitter

    Comment by Paramendra Bhagat -

  3. Good information about Twitter.

    Comment by Joko Susilo -

  4. Though I have a twitter account and used it quite a bit for some time, I only now use it at events, conventions to keep pace. It is a time suck.

    Comment by Chris -

  5. As we’re seeing that Twitter is becoming a good marketing ploy, couldn’t we all go on a grassroots MFFL campaign on Twitter? Just saying free press could pay off.

    Comment by M. Kiley -

  6. A friend and I made a bet on our beloved Mavs in Twitter. Mavs fans in Twitter — show your support!

    On a serious note, Twitter gives us a way to build and grow relationships in 140 characters. Plus, it helps me remember to check out blogs of the people I enjoy reading.

    Comment by Meryl Evans -

  7. Twitter allows you to do what FB and Linkedin promise. Meet other like minded people without going through the tedious process of having to be in a clique already, or get somebody else to admit you into theirs. You can simply block your cyber stalkers or blog trolls, because of the sheer volume (which you can control by deciding to follow as many or as little of twitterers as you want) you can choose not to respond to somebody. And personally, for filmmakers this is a great resource for stimulating conversation, for information and meeting colleagues who you might never meet in person but are doing interesting things. Also, the public nature of the service paradoxically makes the space feel safer….

    Comment by Shashwati -

  8. Mark, I couldn’t agree with you more. I am 27 and to be honest Facebook seems like a complete waste of time to me. People 30+ on myspace need to consider the possibility they may be a pedophile…. (j/k)
    Twitter to me allows me to quickly say “hello” to anyone in my business community network. It can be my cousin (best friend) in Iraq working as a contractor or a Microsoft performance point partner letting me know the latest little tweak (WITH LINKS!) that he has found to incorporate the business into Amazon’s EC2 platform.

    Simply put, Twitter is a business tool. CNN has realized that mobile alerts fall (for the most part) on deaf ears. AT&T, VERIZON, SPRINT…are you listening? With 3rd party apps on a smart phone, you’re able to dumb the text messaging. Twitter integrating private tweets and lists would do nothing more than increase the user experience and increased market saturation. But the question will be “can you make money on it?”

    For now, I absolutely love the tool and believe it to be another way to stay in touch at your availability.

    Comment by The Avid Techist -

  9. I’d love to see a more creative, fictitious approach which essentially will serve as an ad. I’d follow Michael from The Office tweet about his work woes Mon-Fri, or even something as far fetched as Batman fighting crime. With TV especially, you can enhance the experience between shows with something like this…almost as if they need to follow tweets in order to fully understand the story/season at hand.

    Personally, I worry that legit Twitters could be considered digital vanity, and think it’ll actually create a larger social issue in due time…kind of like a messianic or celeb complex for the masses…but business is business, and I’m not sure anyone will cite a big-picture ethics problem at this point.

    And with that, back to our regularly scheduled programming….

    Comment by Todd -

  10. I’ve been on twitter for a year now and find the “age group” pretty funny – I think an interesting phenomenon when it comes to social media is all the TWEET-UPS – talk about getting rid of the annonimity issue

    Comment by miamism -

  11. Mark, I am fascinated with your perspective on Twitter. I agree with the need of group and list functions. There are plenty of third party apps that help with filtering all the digital noise. I hope twitter offers filtering or group functions soon. Yammer seems to easily offer private channels, why can’t twitter do the same?

    I am a huge fan of Twitter and find it a great tool to use while in a meeting or conference by using hash tags to keep the twitter stream a bit cleaner. I believe a lot of the other social media platforms will be adding similar technologies.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    Comment by webtechman -

  12. Twitter is an on line journal writen by people to share with people. People don’t have to sit in bed and write with pens and paper to get down their thoughts. Nor do they have to spent twenty or thirty minutes writing their entries. It’s quick and easy. Yes, I agree to compete with other sites, they will have to add on line chat service. It’s too bad too. I like it the way it is.

    Comment by Kimberly -

  13. Pingback: Some Twitter Thoughts « blog maverick | PLACEVISION

  14. I believe twitter will die out once another app comes in.
    I remember there was a similar application to twitter that was hot before twitter came along.
    Similarly, Friendster was hot before MSN Spaces came along before Facebook came along.
    Similarly again for xanga to wordpress to blogspot.

    If you asked me, there is no differentiation in any of the apps.

    I would say it is more of a FAD application like many of the others.

    I can’t understand why Google would want to buy it. Was it because of the userbase? But is the user-base ingrained with so much loyalty that they would not move to something better. What if Google can create something better than that.

    Comment by as -

  15. Twitter is CB Radio for the internet. Breaker 19, break break.

    Comment by Jim Louderback -

  16. Twitter is nothing but a browser based chat application that runs a huge chatroom. Just a reincarnation of IRC of the 90’s. In the future it’ll either get more stable, crash less and scale up or will be replaced by another web app. So it is BB’s-> IRC -> zzzzz -> Twitter -> ???

    Comment by Mehmet -

  17. For me, Twitter has completely replaced news aggregator sites like Digg and Delicious. I get all my news via RSS feeds and Twitter now. Like people above have mentioned already, Twitter is SO useful to filter and find the news that matters most to you.

    And you’re absolutely right about the simplicity factor. Even if you don’t get tweets on your phone, there are applications that make reading and delivering tweets easy (TweetDeck, obviously). About the cost of receiving Tweets on your phone in Canada: I hear cell phone companies are getting some competition in upcoming months, so I’d expect data packages to reduce in cost in the near future. I’m considering buying a Blackberry for the Wifi almost purely for the fact that I can stay connected to people via the messenger and Twitter.

    That said, I don’t think Twitter will reach the mainstream anytime soon… it is a lot of techies/geeks, marketers/communicators like me, and media junkies who use Twitter to its fullest potential right now. It’s also being used, to some extent, as an emergency response tool, but with the prevalence of fail-whaleness, I don’t think organizations would rely on it as their first line of defense — ever.

    Twitter is being used by an older demographic, but I can see it reaching younger people, too. It’s one more way to social network. In a way, new applications connecting people via internet are reminding us what it means to be human, IMO. Six or seven years ago, I would have probably thought twice before meeting someone offline who I’d “met” on the internet; today, via Twitter, I really have no problem at all – in fact, I’ve met more people this year alone at the Government 2.0 Camp in Washington than in the previous 10 years I’ve been on the internet. I think anonymity is always a problem when distinguishing avatar vs real-life person, but for some reason, tweeters seem like a transparent bunch (more trustworthy somehow?).

    Do you think as the ubiquity of internet/broadband use rises, the line between online and offline personality will become blurred and, eventually, disappear? I really think so. Twitter is providing one of those bridges between offline and online, IMO, and that’s why it will last – maybe not as (please, buy them, Google, oh please), but certainly in some shape or form.

    Comment by meznor -

  18. I really think Twitter is a time waster. We can do more by using our time to create things that will build capital and improve the lives of ourselves and others. I’m in my 20’s, my life is full already with charity events and my business ventures, so I don’t have time to waste on Twitter. Twitter can’t make my life richer!

    Comment by A. Fox -

  19. We did shots at Jake’s in Bloomington one night. Here is what I think about Twitter.

    “Twitter Is Toast: Flutter Is The Future Of Nano-Blogging (Video)”

    Most of our lives are not interesting enough for Twitter. Chance it could collapse under the wieght of its own narcissim. Most tweets ooze a substantial amount of nothingness.

    We have a Twitter account simply to broadcast our bailout stories. Here it is

    I think it has value for news organizations and news reporting, event planning, protest organization, social protest in general.

    Actually, I see its greatest value ultimately in providing a framework for mass expression.

    So, now that I’ve ragged it, you could help the cause of The Daily Bail mightily with the simple act of folowing us on Twitter. We exist for the simple purpose of bailout education. Help us out.



    Comment by Steve in Bloomington -

  20. Twitter is blowing up, the results speak for themselves. If you are trying to sell something promote something get word out its a dream come true. I have a sprots website and I don’t have to worry about google traffic so much we get the majority of our traffic via twitter
    by the way our twitter handle is

    Comment by TRAVIS -

  21. I am new to Twitter and really enjoy it. Its so much easier to write a Twitter post than a whole blog. I collect old movie posters and memorabilia, and now can just twitter my collecting buddies about new purchases, auctions, Ebay listings. Very Cool

    Ralph DeLuca
    Madison, NJ

    Comment by Ralph DeLuca -

  22. I think most of what you have said in describing Twitter is true. I do agree with the other commenter that it is a good platform to post a one-liner about your blog post and send people a link to read the full post.

    My take is that if you did nothing but just built a following, and followed a bunch of people and just observed by reading what other people tweet about you will learn a heck of a lot. If you follow people in your specific industry it can be a great resource of information and you will find yourself bookmarking a lot of websites for future reference, websites that you would have otherwise known nothing about.

    I do think that in order to become a profitable company they must get their heads around the monetizing model and be able to do it in such a way that it does not interfere with the user experience.

    Thanks for opening up the discussion Mark.

    Jason Coles
    3 Dogs Marketing

    Comment by Jason Coles -

  23. one great aspect of twitter is the 140 character limit; it forces concise comments in an age of information overload.

    Comment by Henry McGovern -

  24. Pingback: Local e-business sites embrace Twitter to grow « Jeff Pelline’s Blog

  25. my social network is starting to look like my coffee table with 5 remotes, except I paid for the 5 remotes.

    Comment by Henry -

  26. I think Mikey nailed it. CB radio for the new millenium. It’s a time-wasting endevor without much redeeming value. So what that the Hudson plane crash ‘broke on Twitter’. Who really cares when Shaq burps? It’s the new Hampsterdance.

    Comment by doug -

  27. Twitter is a digital CB radio for corporate America. It’s soulless and vapid and nobody’s listening.

    Breaker, breaker good buddy! What’s your twenty?

    Comment by Mikey -

  28. Twitter makes us whore our words. We have lost the true sense of communication. What you might consider a brilliant statement by twitters is but senseless gibberish of hollow thoughts. The more the Net gets advanced the more we as a society fall victim to our lechery as a whole. There so so many great ideas on the Net to make us grow but many will spoil it for all of us with their vulgarity.

    Comment by tone -

  29. The day I twitter or follow twitter-er-ers is the day I have too much time on my hands. Twitter adds no value to communication IMO.

    Comment by Matt -

  30. Hey Mark. Personally I think anyone that is tweeting while they should be doing what they are getting paid to do or actually doing apparently has had too much time on their hands.How can you be paying attention to anything and doing that? Gotta run… Thanks for the thoughts.

    Comment by Frankie from Lawnside -

  31. Twitter is something ABC / ESPN needs to stop talking about during a nationaly televised Mavericks game. All of the commentators spoke about twitter more than the game going on in front of them yesterday.

    Comment by Steve -

  32. I think as more people obtain phones and activate twitter on their phone, it will grow. I think twitter should advocate for groups, rather than the random set up they have now.

    Comment by Paul D -

  33. I’m 28 and out of my 300 or so facebook friends only one of them uses twitter. Most of my prolific texting friends have unlimited plans and want more control over who receives their messages.

    Twitter will be largely irrelevant in two years. It looks like it’s starting to slow down in google trends.

    Comment by JoshT -

  34. I started Tweeting on my Crackberry and gave up out of boredom. I don’t see how people you don’t personally know would want to know when you grab a latte or hit the gym (or vice versa). At least Facebook updates are directly towards people who are “friends” (assuming you’ve met them at least once in your life?). I agree with you that it’s good to avoid texting and group notifying, but Facebook does the same. I disagree that it’s more for older folks. I’m 34 and I don’t care what people my age (or older) are doing. I want to read about 20-somethings partying or suggesting the latest viral vid. I agree that Twitter needs groups to join.

    Go Cubs! Go Cream and Crimson (next year).

    Comment by Elliot Thresher -

  35. How about Twitter enabled consumer products?

    The washer/dryer that notifies you when your clothes are ready, or the refrigerator that Tweets you to let you know you’re out of milk.

    There’s so much debate about Twitter from a social networking standpoint, that people are ignoring its potential of being a true messaging platform.

    Comment by Kyle Getrost -

  36. What about Twitter enabled consumer products?

    The washer/dryer that notify’s you when your clothes are ready, or the refrigerator that tweets you to let you know that you’re out of milk.

    I surprised that there has been so much attention paid to Twitter: the a social networking technology rather than Twitter: the messaging platform.

    Comment by Kyle Getrost -

  37. What’s Twitter?

    Comment by Raymond -

  38. Twitter is anarchy. That is, everyone is talking at once and there are some interesting voices. But who actually listens? Relatively few. The suggestion that groups are necessary is perhaps the most important point to make about Twitter. Not that it is wildly popular or that it is inherently intriguing. But your voice is lost in the rising wind of any mega network. So individual groups are needed – and right now – or Twitter will begin to lose its appeal.

    Comment by Gary Wells -

  39. Hey,

    The recent rumours of Google to buy Twitter – can see that to kill it. If the Twitter search allows people access to really relevant content (as they perceive it), then any other search engine such as Google becomes more obselete. We all know how much content poor info is thrown up by key word searches – if Twitter eliminates that. Oh boy. Think about it.. you follow 100 people & receive info/feedback consistently from them. It’s natural that any search results from those 100 are going to be way more influencial in your mind that a random Internet search. A great place for brands to interact with consumers!


    Comment by Al Hunt -

  40. Paedophiles can be any age. The idea that they are all ‘old’ people is not only ageist but it is also dangerous because it lulls young peopler into a false sense of security.

    Comment by Gary -

  41. Psh…I’m young. And we plan on taking it over, as we do all networking sites 🙂

    Comment by Kellie -

  42. Convention/casino/cruise at check in would save some time finding activities ,colleagues, eats and comps.

    Comment by Dave Rapp -

  43. I found Twitter to be a lifewaste. I was shocked at how very quickly I became addicted to it, and how quickly I forgot about it when I stopped the tweeting and canceled my account.

    Comment by Sarah Green -

  44. Mark
    – First – Is that really you on Twitter?

    – Second, instead of trying to get as many followers as possible, i’m culling mine down to just the ones that interest me. The people following 2,000 or 50,000 people cannot actually follow any topic or any person

    I’ve received some good tips, good sports info and good information about biofuels, algae etc

    Comment by @craigblanton -

  45. My Facebook usage has gone WAY DOWN since adopting Twitter as my favorite way to keep up with and update friends.

    Comment by Jesse Barron -

  46. Pingback: tweet tweet, tweet tweet! | FPSA:joe

  47. This may sound a bit strange, but my thoughts are that we are essentially evolving into a connected organism, and like biological evolution, certain capabilities will develop and then either die off or change into something that lasts.

    Things like twitter are basically stimulus/response mechanisms, and because of their immediacy and broad personal reach, they are more effective in generating a response than other mechanisms that came before. If you think of the last two decades in terms of the development of a central nervous system for the human race (the internet), the first real changes were the publishing of news articles online and the broad adoption of email and IM that enabled sharing. This point-to-point model has shifted over the past few years to one where a higher percentage of people are using social networks where the ‘neural connections’ (your list of friends) are established ahead of time with the express purpose of generating and processing stimuli. So now, a simple status update or tweet can generate a huge and immediate response.

    So, through technologies like Twitter, I think the human race is becoming more sensitive (per the scientific definition) than it has been in the past. And like any sort of evolutionary process, some changes will lose out to others. My guess is that the next stage of evolution will be about filtering and discarding unnecessary stimuli.

    Comment by not sure -

  48. Facebook is quickly becoming simply a photo-sharing utility for me. Because 90% of my “friends” on facebook are not my close friends, I really don’t care what they’re up to. Twitter, on the other hand, has my closest friends and family and I really enjoy sharing my daily thoughts with them only and seeing only their updates.

    I don’t think it would be that hard for FB to create a Twitter function where FB updates are texted to your friend. It’ll be hell to navigate through controlling which of your 500 friends you want device updates to and from, though.

    Comment by David -

  49. I use TweetDeck search to keep an eye on what the Tweet-verse is saying about my company, everything from angry complaints to deals found, and all in near-real time. I have yet to reach through to contact someone, but a conversation with PR on Monday should greenlight that.

    Comment by Jeff Henderson -

  50. on twitter for about a month now. at the moment, the most useful aspect of the service for our business appears to be the “Live Chat” component – in a customer service sense. i find that people ask more direct questions about our products – something they might not do with email – ie, on the top of their mind so they pound out their 140 character question. again, something they could easily do w/email – but seem more moved to do so on twitter. this Q&A tit for tat is useful at some level – but annoying at others – ie, nut jobs sending etc. we’ve recently started asking customers in our store to create twitter accounts so they can get “twitter only” specials. early indications are this might be a cheap interaction with customers, but, as the the number of people they follow grows our “tweetie pie” specials may get lost in the growing nest.

    Comment by Jeff (NAKEDpizza) -

  51. The big problem I have with twitter is the “marketing” aspect. If someone posts a fun or useful link that’s cool. But some tweeters are just posting links to pics of themselves or following me because they happen to have my email address. I don’t know them and they certainly don’t know me from anywhere. One “person” decided to follow me but has never posted anything or responded to my hello.

    All of these sites are great for finding people, and keeping up to date in some manner, but I’m already bored with myspace, I’m sick of all the stupid apps on FB, and Twitter isn’t on my daily waste some time list anymore. I think eventually something else will replace all of them eventually, especially if folks start to use phones that have good web browsing experiences.

    Comment by Sidney M -

  52. Twitter is real time happenings. The search function of twitter is the hotness. what are you interested in? Search it, find folks interested in the same stuff. and apps/communities like add HUGE value to twitter! go team!

    p.s. The back and forth between “celebs” like you and Shaq creates a unique transperancy never before available. you are creating history mr. Cuban! cheers.

    Comment by BOTD -

  53. People don’t see the point of twitter until they have something to sell or promote. As far as a communication tool between friends it’s worthless, for e-business its good

    Comment by TRAVIS -

  54. I agree with you on the age remark.

    I’m not that old and so I better like the gang that’s on my messenger list and reads my status messages over night.

    Comment by ijof9 -

  55. I’m surprised how popular twitter is. I thought it would appeal to younger kids, but seeing how my friend (who is 29) has become some web celebrity through it, I see that it appeals to a much older crowd. I’m 25 and I see no point using Twitter. I like Facebook and I’d rather waste my time on there.

    Comment by Dee -

  56. I doubt twitter will ever become profitable.

    Comment by David Griffin -

  57. it is like bubblegum and cotton candy – worthless. A simple idea that has no legs as a longstanding technology. Throw it onto the trash heap with Plaxo and probably soon to be YouTube based on their latest yearly loss of $470 Million. Thinks its the free storage YouTube or is there actually a business model inside all that waste. Everyone stands around gaga about Twitter but in the end it is worthless. They should sell when they have the chance before their tomstone goes next to Napster.

    Comment by M -

  58. MC, try TweetDeck for the grouping and lists. Your Twitter experience will never be the same. TweetDeck allows you to grab sooooo much much from Twitter.

    Comment by bret -

  59. I think Twitter lends itself well to automation: If I want to follow the No24 bus it could tweet to let me know it’s running late. Far more efficient from the service providers end than trying to manage “txt updates”

    Comment by Tristan — April 3, 2009 @ 4:06 pm

    Mark ^ this is the one. This guy right here might have hit the nail on the head.

    The thing I appreciate about Twitter’s genius now is that it’s so simple in its genius that I never saw it coming. Open ended possibilities that I’m still trying to wrap my mind around. The idea of Twitter as essentially a platform for metadata and metacommunication is extremely compelling.

    Comment by blyx -

  60. Hey Mark,
    Love HDNET, but you need some better basketball announcers than you had for the CBI. thanks

    Comment by Malik -

  61. Pingback: Terror in the Heartland » Mark Cuban on Twitter

  62. Mark, do not be swayed by the hype of Twitter. Look at what it offers – communication. Now, look at all the other methods of communication. You familiar with the whole product concept? Facebook offers a far more extensive line of communication opportunities. Ironically, Twitter’s simplicity, the concept that yielded so much success, will likely be the cancer that eats away at its membership and usage.

    More importantly, there are more interesting startups than Twitter. Nanotechnology is imperative to our standard of living. Materials that make our every day life possible will peak. Copper is expected to run out around 2100, but that may be much quicker as globablization continues.

    Eh… I kind of think your blog is boring. Some people told me about it and thought I should check it out. It lacks a debate on the wide spectrum of business opportunities out there. The real debate should be about final innovations. Lets chart how we want civilization to be when there are no more innovations to discover. How do we get there? Nanotechnology, artificial intelligence, robotics, fusion, cultural innovations, social changes, etc… It is not only about making the next product. Technological advances tend to outpace social advancements. If people do not get socially smarter, a bunch of relatively idiotic people could obtain weapons that destroy the state of the world. These weapons could be social you know? Anyways, I just wanted see what you think of all this.

    Comment by Joshua -

  63. Mark,
    When the iphone provides video recording capabilities
    And twitter adopts a compadable embeded video option that will work with the Iphone,Will Twitter grow in popularity? And will people then choose twitter over embeded video email if it could be set to private?
    Short Video tweets to the ones u love and those you allow to receive them.

    Comment by Mike -

  64. I am not sure the anonymity is a challenge. Just like blogging, lots of people don’t want their real world friends/coworkers to read some of the stuff they write on their blog. It’s a huge contrast to how they use Facebook. I know people who use Facebook for friends/family and Twitter for people they don’t know but share common interests, which is a much larger number than their FB friends list.

    In some way anonymity is a great appeal as it does things Facebook cannot give you, therefore part of why Twitter is so successful (so far).


    Comment by walkingbetween -

  65. I enjoy Twitter but have some reservations about people’s overestimation of it’s value. It provides terrific entertainment and an opportunity to connect, but it’s too easy to delude yourself into being productive when it’s only being busy. I wrote a blog about it earlier this week.

    Comment by Sam -

  66. Predicting the future of a technology like Twitter is exceedingly hard. I doubt that the founders would have predicted the current uses of the technology just a year or two ago. Still, an interesting thought experiment.

    I think Twitter, or something like it, is here to stay. For me, it has become a valuable tool in filtering the volume of information available. RSS streams are nice, Digg is good, but Twitter lets me find the articles and thoughts that are interesting in a quick an simple way. That’s a valuable service.

    I think Twitter is substantially different than FB, at least today, because it is public. My FB page is really meant for friends and family. It’s fully of more personal items. Twitter is more about engaging with others, strangers on a different set of topics and ideas. My thoughts on the future of Twitter have a different audience than my vacation photos.

    There are many challenges for the future of this sort of technology, but most are surmountable. Lots of companies are using Twitter just to post links to their blogs, or send out marketing messages. So SPAM is an issue. But, we just un-follow them (I did this to TechCrunch and others today, RSS is plenty for them).

    I think the need for some sort of group or semi-private space is important. We want to share some things with anyone who will listen, and others with just a select group. Today, many people just use different services for this (I use FB for more private issues, and Twitter for public ones). There’s a big opportunity for someone can make it easy for me to combine those two pieces together easily.

    Comment by Jeff Keltner -

  67. i found this blog post fm steve rubel posting a link to it on twitter 🙂 hmmm…if nothing else, discoverability might get an uptick.

    Comment by direwolff -

  68. It’s a FAD! They still may sell and make a lot of money but it’s just an IM client for SMS.

    Comment by geewhiz -

  69. I really think twitter should not make it long term as it is one of those “new” things that is more of a fad and will not last long. However, Google must think it is a big deal and see applications that have not happened yet. I also think FB’s platform will last longer and more worthy of investment. I don’t see older people wanting to twitter for a long period of time and think FB would be more suitable for this type of thing. I don’t know how you make twitter popular long term…….

    Comment by Dennis Etnier -

  70. Facebook’s new interface is a direct shot at Twitter, and I think that it actually does a better job at presenting the information than Twitter because it’s such a pain to tell what each comment is in reply to on Twitter.

    Comment by Dave Johansen -

  71. Mark, do you have any thoughts on how to monetize Twitter? It seems like thus far they’re just going with the “get successful and get bought by Google” model of money making, which doesn’t seem like a good long term money making solution to me.

    Will advertising space be enough? Would putting ads on it discourage people from using it?

    Comment by pcrackenhead -

  72. I think Twitter lends itself well to automation: If I want to follow the No24 bus it could tweet to let me know it’s running late. Far more efficient from the service providers end than trying to manage “txt updates”

    Comment by Tristan -

  73. I just think its a fad.
    like myspace (which is a dying fad)
    like facebook (which will end up being a dying fad)

    tweeter is the new fad… which will go away.(but probably be aquired for huge sums of money and will never pay off for the buying investor in the end)

    I like and use linkedin a lot. There is a definate. Strong market for that product. its great for vendors/HR pros/Sales etc. people contact me there and i make contacts there all the time. If any of these ‘social spaces’ had long term appeal as an investor i would put my money there.. .. and well maybe


    Comment by savednoteguy -

  74. Mark I think you makes some good points but have really underrated Twitter. Facebook has not managed to connect regular folks to regular folks in the same way Twitter’s doing. These connections form the basis of a new and profound social communications paradigm [insert orchestra music here]

    Comment by JoeDuck -

  75. “Twitter will need to create a groups or list function with a private option and soon. Otherwise Facebook can create a twitter like “skin” for its users to do the quick updates that twitter options. FB seems to be trying to find their way there now, recognizing the threat of Twitter. FB updates seem to be in decline as users utilize twitter for this function”

    I think FB should have a private or ‘invisible’ status as Yahoo does. The fact that you ‘silently’ cannot log onto FB to even do a simple status update is why more peeps are tweeting the updates. In this manner, you do not get barraged w/ IMs when feeling anti-social on a social site.

    Comment by Birdie -

  76. Pingback: Daily Research » Shared Items - April 3, 2009

  77. I’m surprised by Twitter’s seeming lack of foresight. It’s almost like they didn’t expect this to work.

    Comment by Les Brown -

  78. RE:
    3. The challenge of Twitter will be its anonymity. It’s the same problem myspace has. @collegehottie can be a 60 year old pedophile who pushes a Tweetup and creates a problem.

    Not going to be a problem at all due to opt in. Same reason business who try to use it to broadcast their message, they will FAIL…it’s all opt-in. You don’t put your location, URL & name all that will happen is you will enter into the Tiwtter cesspool of AutoFollowers & spammers.

    Comment by Jen Harris -

  79. I am “old” by your definition and none of my thousand or so contacts are on Twitter. all my younger contacts use Facebook like crazy, but as yet I’m the only Twitterer in my group.

    I’ve Tweeted a few times now to get the hang of it and so far my only followers seem to work for you!

    I thought it would make a good way to promote my Blog, but my industry is too narrowly defined to need to tweet to the world.

    Comment by Rick Restell -

  80. Twitter is the future. I don’t agree that it will overtake FB or email. Texting on the other hand will be a thing of the past as smartphones continue to offer cheaper or even free internet.
    Twitter=Instant access to the world like we’ve never before seen.
    My brother is on it… he’s 19. I’m 23, but thats about how many followers I have too. haha.

    Comment by slippke -

  81. Mark,

    Great post, as usual.

    For athletes, Twitter has some very useful applications but only in the context of a larger online branding/marketing strategy.

    Check out the following if you have a chance:

    For Athletes, Unless You’re Shaq (and Even Then), Twitter Isn’t Enough:

    Comment by David Neiman -

  82. I am a new lawyer and all during law school they told us to make sure we don’t post anything scandalous or anything that might raise an employer’s eyes. There are stories of firms having fake accounts or younger people in the firm that find ways to access possible new recruits’ myspace and facebook pages to see what type of person they are hiring. I think the same protection might be needed for who is following you. Like Mark said, not sure if that attractive girl is really a young attractive girl or your boss. One stupid post could ruin you.

    Comment by Sean -

  83. i was never bored before twitter.

    Comment by Tom F -

  84. I used it for awhile, but it didn’t hold my interest very long. There’s definitely some coolness to the immediacy of tweets, but the time investment was more than the benefit in my case.

    Comment by Tom -

  85. @Ed_Dale has used Twitter as an important part of his business for quite a long time. He posted a rant against mindless auto-following and for what he feels are the legitimate uses of Twitter here

    Personally, I follow less than 100 people, and don’t pay attention to very many follow requests, for the same reasons that Ed mentions. Otherwise, Twitter inundates you with loads of irrelevant information from people who you have no connection with, whose qualifications you may not know. Too much noise.

    Comment by Jim -

  86. I think twitter is a fascinating tool for celebrities and athletes and other famous people to connect with their fans. It lets people feel much more connected to the stars on their terms rather than through the paparazzi or news outlets. I also think that ghost twittering threatens that connection and will turn many people away from twitter.

    Comment by Sarah -

  87. I didn’t even know about Twitter until the marketing guy at my job asked me to set up an account. I always relied more heavily on Myspace and secondarily Facebook to communicate. I think it is because my job revolves around visual communications, like the graphic arts. Myspace was always more flexible, and my job seemed to gravitate toward a younger audience. The thing is though, that I am almost 30 years old. I feel like my peers were always on Facebook and then after that, Twitter. I never really knew why they like them so much.

    Long story (relatively) short, I am using Twitter daily now. What I love about it is the access that it gives you to people that you normally wouldn’t get to communicate with – like yourself, Mr. Cuban. Also, I like the fact that at any given time in the day, I have almost instant access to stuff that I wouldn’t normally know about or that it may have taken days for me to find out about previously. I think, in the end, its just easy to use and its fun to read the random things people write. Therin lies its strengths.

    Comment by Josh -

  88. What does everyone think about the acquisition rumors as posted on TechCrunch:

    I would be surprised if Google bought Twitter.

    Comment by Geoff -

  89. Absolutely agree with everything. Simplicity is key. I can, however, see it trickling down to the younger demographic.

    Comment by jdiaz -

  90. PS – you should definitely use Disqus for comments…creates accountability.

    Comment by Chris Hamoen -

  91. I think there is a difference between twitter and facebook status. Twitter is microblogging, while facebook is a much more personal “what are you doing now”. Twitter certainly is used for that – but that’s not it’s power/usefulness. Example of twitter power would be stocktwits.

    Reading about eating a bag of ketchup chips belongs on facebook..:)

    Comment by Chris Hamoen -

  92. Wasn’t it you who said the internet is dead?

    Twitter is email with a different looking inbox… nothing more… not practical for most businesses, nor will it be adopted widely enough to force users to switch away from their email… and really, shouldn’t our innovations be directed elsewhere these days? How much more efficient do we need communication to be? We have email and instant messenger, and both plus text messages on our phones? We need ANOTHER space?

    Follow me here…
    Stories carved on walls, stories written on parchment, stories written in books, periodical publishing, Pony Express, Snail Mail, Fax, Email, Text Messages, Facebook, Twitter…

    Improved efficiency to a point of diminishing returns, IMHO.
    We probably could have stopped after faxing, but for sure, we’re fine after email.
    Text messages are short emails on phones.
    Everything beyond this, well, just because it CAN be done, doesn’t mean it SHOULD be done.

    My life may be faster, but where is the real innovation?
    Where is the innovation that will improve our lives, not only the speed at which we live them?

    The last “web innovation” I saw, that actually makes your life better is Jott. And that is only because it takes the voice, and converts it into text platforms using text messages or emails.
    Goog411 also can be helpful. These kinds of innovations are far more practical than the ego driven popularity contest that is social media…

    That being said, if I was in a popularity business, like celebrities and artists, I’d certainly want to use any and all platform necessary to keep my raving fans updated and engaged… but most people aren’t, and most people don’t have a need to use Twitter as a platform, when the aforementioned email or phone call will suffice most of their customers.

    We need the best and the brightest focusing their attention elsewhere…

    But as Dennis Miller used to say back when he was a Democrat and FUNNY… “That’s just my opinion, I could be wrong”

    All the Best,


    Comment by JH -

  93. You can actually setup a FB app that will allow your tweets to flow through as a FB update. That’s what I’m doing now with pretty good success.

    Comment by PT Money -

  94. A venture that’s genius in it’s utter and complete simplicity.

    Interesting how Twitter bit Facebook’s ‘status update’ concept and scaled it down to it’s own, stand-alone entity. A wonderful platform for those who’re looking to gain a reputation among online communities without having to deal with mutual relationships – that is, it’s a “stalker” platform. Users can follow you but you don’t necessarily have to follow them.

    A great promotional tool but I fear it’ll be overtaken by business and promotional ventures as opposed to individuals with legitimate social interests. I’ve already had to deal with blocking companies and business ventures that I haven’t heard of and don’t want following me.

    Your final statement is very true: if you’ve got a phone and twitter access, you’ll never be bored so long as you maintain a core of followers and followees.

    Let’s hope that it’s able to maintain it’s simplicity without going the route of other social networks in over-complicating itself.

    More than anything, it’s surprising how it can provide a feeling of such intimacy. It’s like have direct access to individuals you never would’ve thought you could. Jon Favreau is a great example. I follow the Iron Man director but he doesn’t have to deal with following me. I can view his pics, sent directly from his phone, that tour his house on his on-going Geek House tour venture. I feel like I’ve got a direct line into his personality and have gained enormous respect for his commitment to fans.

    It’s truly annoying though how some use it as a simple this-is-what-I’m-actually-doing tool (i.e. “sleeping”, “at home”, “at work”) not realizing that it’s more than just “What are you doing?” – it’s what are you doing, what are you thinking, what interests you, what do you think interests others, and moreover, what makes you who you are.

    People hate, but it’s a genius venture and social community game changer.

    Comment by Tim Strube -

  95. How will they eventually turn their popularity into a profitable business? Ads?


    Comment by Will -

  96. Mark,
    You are right about twitter being great because of its simplicity, however it does so much more. It can obviously be used as a marketing tool for people who have blogs/websites etc. Another valuable tool is…you are a billionaire yet i can comment on one of your ideas and you can see it…If it interested you you could respond…no other site or platform has that kind of reach. Brands will also find it valuable…One of my friends on twitter was blogging about how awsome the suites were @ the wynn las vegas and what a deal he got on it…He has roughly 300 followers…what is that worth to wynn to have reached 300 people with a third party confirmation of how great their rooms are…bigger picture would they pay influential twitterers to post…would be a lot cheaper than any add….would love to know what you think as well…obviously you are more than welcomed to email me…I won’t hold my Laker bias against you
    Thank you
    Sarkis Mkhitaryan

    Comment by sarkis -

  97. I use Twitter for short updates, questions my peeps can answer, or just to get a quickie off my chest. FaceBook is too heavy weight and their idea of my home page is a mess. The fact Twitter is a smaller community, for now, is a plus too. Wish I could do a mashup of Blogger and FaceBook. That would be something really useful…

    Comment by Ron -

  98. i use twitter to communicate directly w/ brands and companies. amazingly, twitter is often better at getting you connected to a bd team at, let’s say an IAC company, than calling or email. it’s remarkable, but try it.

    Comment by matt g -

  99. Hey Mark,

    I think the mistake people make when they think about this is twofold:

    1) They refer to Twitter itself vs. the implication of a real time service LIKE it seeping into our culture, and

    2) They think of it from their point of view upwards, not from the macro perspective down, and see how they could positively affect real social and economic change.

    To the first point, doesn’t matter whether it’s Twitter or something else that comes behind it – the value of an ability to publish thoughts in real time to a world that is more connected, more open, more social, and more real time is profound. Google wasn’t the first search engine, and Facebook wasn’t the first social network. To me, Twitter’s the opening statement of what will be a broader conversation on how to harness a real time web, so the focus on them as a company to me is irrelevant. What now, and what next, are the bigger ones?

    To the second point, most people that don’t get Twitter think of it from their own lives up, as in “why would I want to broadcast the fact I just went to the bathroom”, and “why would anyone care”?

    But what about the macro possibilities down? Consider:

    – Citizen Journalism: (ie: the news that a plane crashed in the Hudson was broken by a Twitterer; over 80 tweets / minute were happening during the Mumbai terror attacks; an activist arrested in Cairo successfully mobilized his followers to help him get freed)

    – Finance: (ie: day traders sending out real time trade ideas to their followers)

    – Film releases: (ie: some theatres in Brazil allow people to vote via SMS for what gets screened. Imagine a DIGG like service for AMC’s that were connected to Twitter, and people got to decide what got shown in their areas?)

    – Activism: (ie: mobilizing peaceful demonstrations, harnessing awareness for causes, etc.)

    – PR: (you celebs get to control your OWN PR for a change, as we can go to the horse’s mouth and get responses on things we read about you.)

    Millions more examples, and we’re just evolving.

    The issues are immense, but the possibilities are endless.


    Comment by Marc Rigaux -

  100. I think Twitter will continue to grow in popularity with celebrities and reporters, but FB will successfully compete with Twitter for “average” users interested in Twitter-like activity. Facebook has already built itself a huge user base and will continue to expand its functionality to meet the demands (i.e. fads) of its audience. In my opinion, both will continue to grow and succeed, but on two very different trajectories.

    Comment by JMC -

  101. I agree that twitterers are older. It seems to be perpetuated by business people who have invented the notion that twitter is a vital component of marketing and personal branding on the web.

    But I do think it’s here to stay. The live search is a valuable tool to find out what’s going on NOW in the world.

    Personally I’m not a fan.

    Comment by Eric Holmlund -

  102. As a communication consultant and someone who has been successful professionally by building relationships using Twitter and now as a result teach people effective business communication strategies on Twitter — I can tell you, Twitter has revolutionized the way many people think and do business.

    Michel Fortin, I highly respect you and your work, but disagree with your point about Twitter becoming a wasteland for spammers. The very fact that each user decides who they can follow means “spam” cannot be possible. Spam is the pratice of sending people information without their wanting it. If I’m following you (which Michel, you know I am :-)) then I can unfollow if I don’t like your tweets.

    Further Twitter ocassionally “cleans” house and regularly watches out and bans accounts for suspected “spam” activity. It seems to this user, Twitter is on top of that as much as can be. No matter where there are forums, groups, and various forms of social media, there will be people who try to use it for improper means.

    Twitter can be a time suck — if you let it. Just like email, texting, instant messaging and all the other many electronic ways of communicating with people — you must manage your Twitter time to be most effective and efficient.

    It will be interesting to see what the future holds for Twitter and how they will ultimately monetize what is a hot global phenomenon — even if it is just for us geezers & old folks. LOL

    Comment by Felicia Slattery -

  103. I read a tweet a while ago that said Facebook is for people you used to know and Twitter is for people you want to know better. That pretty much sums up my use of twitter/facebook. If facebook was smart they’d acquire or at least partner with Twitter instead of trying to compete head on. But you’re right twitter does need some sort of grouping functionality. Threading functionality would be nice as well.

    Comment by Brian Bordeaux -


    Sorry, Mark

    Comment by Bob S -

  105. I think that Tweets are most likely fair use to the public, not copyrightable 😉

    Comment by Trent -

  106. Google is definitely the highest-valued user of the technology for the moment. I hope they play nice with Twitter. This is a classic bilateral monopoly negotiation. Not unlike Netscape and Microsoft back in the day.

    Comment by Michael F. Martin -

  107. I read an article that Twitter might replace RSS. Obviously not the functionality of the reader that you chose, but as a means to subscribe to someone’s content. I don’t know, could be possible. Not only do you get links to the blog content, but also those 140 character bits of potential genius as well. (Number 1 on Mark’s list.)

    Twitter is here to stay, that’s my call. Or a service that’s very much like it. It makes it so easy to communicate with tons of people on the channel of their choice. That’s valuable.

    Comment by Tom -

  108. Let me tell you something Mr. Cuban. I think these programs are just ridiculous. I am 22 years old and 4 months ago deleted my facebook, myspace, and twitter accounts. They are just a distraction and a colossal waste of time which could otherwise be used to be productive and create something in this DE-industrialized country of ours. You see, you hit it right on the head we are in this economic predicament precisely because of these “technologies.” They have run our country into the ground because we have tremendously wasted productivity and the “asian savings” transferred to us from other countries and essentially run up a huge credit card on non-essential discretionary items over the entire U.S.A. We need to all get rid of this stuff and be much more aware of the situation we are ALL currently in. We need to invest wisely and turn this country around NOW. NO MORE SPENDING ON WASTEFUL ITEMS. I did reset my facebook, but i deleted ALL of my friends and kept my immediate family because it is the only way to stay in touch, with them living in Guadalajara and Cabo. We need to RE-INDUSTRIALIZE THIS COUNTRY and produce items to export. This is the ONLY way out of our predicament.

    Comment by Andrew Bost -

  109. Now that Google is in talks with Twitter to buy it, I wonder how viable and monetizable it could become. I agree that it’s simplicity is one of the major benefits, but I’m wondering if, unless Google buys them out, their platform cannot be expanded in other ways to make it profitable somehow. I don’t really see it.

    On another note, I’ve posted an article on my blog about the nonsense of some of Twitter’s features, particularly the who auto-follow fiasco. (I won’t link to it here, but simply click on my profile link in this comment to see it.)

    I think that, if Twitter doesn’t shape up and clean house, it will become another MySpace wasteland roaming with spammers and undesirables that will only kill or at least significantly reduce their business model, and their usefulness, over time.

    Comment by Michel Fortin -

  110. tweets are only mini-blog posts for public figures. For everyone else(who doesn’t have a blog or would ever want to blog), twitter is the modern day IRC – a chat room, but one where the you can be in and broadcast to multiple ‘rooms’ at once, where each user has individualized rooms depending on who they listen to or what keyword/memes they listen and search for. The strength of twitter isn’t necessarily mobile – while this was the original business, it’s moved beyond that. My entire twitter community operates via web apps, (whichever one they like), and monitors it all day.

    Comment by ando -

  111. Yeah good point about the search, to be able to target users based on keywords, there is nothing else like that. If I want to find all the users who are intersted in Cubs at this very moment I can talk to them about an article I wrote and that makes for a great connection

    Comment by TRAVIS -

  112. Not one mention about the value of real-time search. This is the real value of Twitter and it’s the bridge from Web 2.0 to the Semantic Web. Come on, Mark.

    From MC>Actually i discussed search in the past. I use Big Buzz

    Comment by Bobby J. -

  113. Twitter feeds are a bit like market prices in the sense that they give immediate access to dispersed bits of information that otherwise would require hours of separate interactions. This fact reveals the potential for this technology that remains still largely untapped.

    Also, I disagree with 5. And for reasons that could be inferred from the analogy to market prices — the openness (and simplicity) of Twitter are what has helped it succeed.

    Comment by Michael F. Martin -

  114. I disagree twitter is here to stay for sure. Even if they didn’t add one more new users the existing users will keep it going plus many media outlets are now using it to disimentate information. People who don’t like twitter are just the ones who don’t have use for it.

    The anonymity problem is only a problem if you cant decipher whos who or what, or that you put yourself in a position to rely on the trustworthiness of a fellow twitter. Twitter has and will help business and persons get the correct twitter handle.

    Comment by TRAVIS -

  115. I”m JT and I am a twitter addict. It started off as just a cool way to keep tabs with famous people and see what they go through everyday. But the more I found friends, companies, and news outlets the more I got drawn into it.

    I think my favorite aspect of Twitter is that you can control or limit your exposure to tweets. You can set yourself up to get a full assault of tweets no matter where you are by turning on device updates to your cell for everyone you follow or pick and choose to filter your exposure.

    I also love some of the 3rd party apps that are coming out. My favs are the twitter gmail gadget, tweetdeck on my Mac, twitterfon on my ipod touch, and twibble on my Nokia phone.

    I do have some of the same fears that you have concerning it’s anonymity. That’s one of the biggest reasons why I hate looking at my MySpace account. It’s just a pile of garbage and spam that I get from it. I’ve gotten some spam from Twitter, but it seems like by the time I look into it the twitter folks have disabled the account. So I guess they have the same thoughts. But I agree there should be a better effort to identifying people. Especially for well known people such as yourself. Maybe that aspect will develop into a paid service from Twitter. I might be willing to pay $10/$20 for that assurance.

    True story, I’m a huge Chicago Bears fan living in Dallas. I found out about the big trade for Jay Cutler through twitter. Before it was on ESPN, sports radio, or any other media outlet, I had the info from a Bears beat writer on Twitter before he got a chance to write a column or blog. It doesn’t get any better than that. Info at the drop of a dime.

    Comment by JT -

  116. Hi from Puerto Rico,

    I think Twitter is great, but not a great business. I don’t see myself paying to tweet or paying attention to any advertising on it. Also, there is a problem with the ‘followers competition’. People are just trying to get more followers and I think many peopler are twitting but not may are listening. Apps like TweetDeck are great in that they allow you to filter and create groups of people you want to follow. If it wasn’t for TweetDeck I would’t follow any tweets. The tweets about how to use Twitter for business, how to increase your following and how to make millions online with ebooks and affiliate programs are just too much. Just too much twitting about Tweeter.

    Thanks for sticking with Barea!!!


    Comment by Edgardo -

  117. I believe twitter will become less relevent as time goes on. I first started a twiiter page for our cavs fan site ( to drive traffic and let people know about updates. The people we initially followed posted interesting content and were on twitter to share information they thought people would be interested in. Now people are joining twitter just to join and it is getting bogged down with meaningless chatter. As most fads go, the more that partake, the less meaning it retains.

    Comment by Kevin Zoss -

  118. The only thing I’m using Twitter for is to push updates from my blog > twitter > FB. It works great as a intermediate platform to move ideas out.. but I don’t actually interact with the site itself.

    There’s a very large noise:signal ratio IMHO, and as someone who enjoys focusing and removing myself from the matrix, there is no way I’d use a mobile application (I barely use my phone as it is).

    I can’t see how the content provided by a large group that is avoiding “boredom” is a worthwhile read. It’s great for celebs though! 🙂

    Comment by Chris -

  119. I am over 30 – but as my Canadian telco charges 25 cents per message (on top of 120/month data plan) I won’t twitter any time soon ….

    Comment by Elliot Ross -

  120. I agree basically with everything that you said, however, I think that the biggest users of Twitter are writers and marketers, who now have a reliable audience for their posts (more eyes see it) than they did with just random blog posts.

    I disagree that Tweets are just blog posts with no substance; from what I see, they are more links to larger posts, like headlines in a newspaper.

    Comment by Michael Dillon -

  121. I think Twitter will struggle to find adopters amongst the late teens/early 20s. I’ve found myself sending far fewer text messages to my friends. I’ve also noticed a huge drop off in short, pithy emails between my friends and I. A lot of that happens on Twitter now, and I suspect that will only get bigger as people start doing messages that only certain followers can see (ie friends or colleagues etc).

    I suspect a lot of mobile carriers are looking on with jealous eyes….

    Comment by Eamonn Carey -

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