Twitter Endurance

Countering the Twitter has come and gone SMH article by David Dale we now have now have a ‘Why Twitter Will Endure’ NYT piece by David Carr.

There is no doubt that traffic to the Twitter site is showing a decline with the peak in early August. My own guess is that this is almost entirely due to the increasing use of desktop and smartphone clients accessing Twitter via its API.

twittertrends2009

Source: Google Insights for Search

David Carr’s thoughts mirror my own very closely. One example emphasises the very necessary Twitter curation time. You have to work at Twitter to gain the benefits.

By carefully curating the people you follow, Twitter becomes an always-on data stream from really bright people in their respective fields, whose tweets are often full of links to incredibly vital, timely information.

Many people complain of the sheer volume of information flow even from friends, but David Carr put it well ‘think of it as a river of data rushing past that I dip a cup into every once in a while. Much of what I need to know is in that cup’. The reason this works is the brevity of tweets that concentrate the key information:

The best people on Twitter communicate with economy and precision, with each element — links, hash tags and comments — freighted with meaning.

Twitter as a ‘throbbing network intelligence’ has definite value but can also become a time sink because ‘There is always something more interesting on Twitter than whatever you happen to be working on’. Twitter rationing might well be a common New Year’s resolution this time round.

So will Google real-time social search take over from the dedicated Twitter clients? I thought Kevin Rose in a recent TWIT of the Decade podcast made a good point when said that Google delivers the most recent tweets about a search term with no account of the ‘authority’ of the Twitterer. Apparently Digg will address this problem soon. However if Google just weighted the real-time social search results by my Twitter friends and my other lists the outcome for me would improve. Twitter as the basic plumbing for the information flow will still be there underneath.

via tweet from @timoreilly

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About Michael Rees
Academic in IT interested in Web 2.0 and social media

One Response to Twitter Endurance

  1. Great post. My friend James told me about this blog some weeks ago however this is the first time I’m visting. I am going to undoubtedly be back.

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