Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Is Twitter Left Twiddling Its Thumbs?

All the buzz about has users wondering if Yahoo will grab Twitter. The big players have tapped into social media, especially the kind that has a "Flavor of the Month" sensibility like 140-character IMs. Is anyone really surprised at how the microblogging world is playing out?

To be honest, I admit, I've been tweeting for quite a while now, so the appeal of "status update" tools is not lost on me. I think of Twitter (and clones) as a true virtual water cooler of the Web. It's more spontaneous than a blog post, and more entertaining than adding to a forum discussion. And it lends itself nicely to the mobile community, for those of us who can't quite get enough of being plugged into group interaction. Meanwhile, I'm still admiring Google's predictable move in acquiring the next big thing.

Looking at the edgier and more robust social networks like Second Life, I recognize that these communities court an entirely different consumership -- and it doesn't attract the same type of buzz at all. In SL, you don't just jump on board then blast off a few missives to anyone who will listen. You've got to actively engage in mastering the features and functionality or your experience becomes, well, less than stellar.

Bottom Line: If you are popular or successful in Second Life, it's not because you posted 5,000+ non sequiturs, with many a "hello" to new followers. So while users like and are climbing with their incessant chatterings, the real staying power may lie in building a presence in the 3D virtual world, which means the Google acquisitions team won't be far behind.

1 comment:

J. Patrick Greer said...

In recent months I settled on Twitter because the conversations I had already been engaged in were there. That being said I do like Jaiku better in the fact it lets me do things I need third party web sites like Twitterfeed for Twitter. Interesting enough some of my more "plugged in" and closer twitter friends have asked for Invites to Jaiku. I have had a Jaiku account since I first learned of it a few months ago and I use it as an aggregator.

I personally wish some of these tools and online communication things would combine. For instance I would love to have a Jaiku group within Gmail or something to that effect.