Has Twitter Lost its Way and Relevance???

I am a fan of Social Networking Tools and Web 2.0 Technology, however over the past few weeks I find I have started to ask the question, “is Twitter beginning to lose it’s relevance??”

I have been using Twitter for just about a year now and have been using it fairly regularly to not only talk to people but to also help me do my job and find great candidates for Oracle. Last July I posted a blog entry asking the question “is Twitter becoming the new LinkedIn”

This week with the wide spread coverage of the race to 1,000,000 followers by Ashton Kutcher and CNN and then even more recently with Oprah joining the Twitterverse, I find myself starting to think that Twitter is starting to lose the essence of what made it cool to use. My most recent post was a repost by @lyndons below:

RT @lyndons:the “mainstreaming” of Twitter is a bit like everyone finding yr fav secret surfing spot – and building a resort hotel on it.

I think it is great that people are joining Twitter and using it to connect with each other that is what using Social Networking Tools is all about, however as people start to chase followers just to have followers or start to use Twitter just because it is the thing to do I think then Twitter starts to lose that sense of individual and group connectivity that attracted everyone to it.

I have spoken to some very interesting people on Twitter and had some great online and offline conversations as a result of it – I hope that we do not lose these “real” conversations we are having with each other as a result of Twitters new found celebrity.

There are so many Social Networking sites that are available (and there will surely be new ones being created) that we can not be active on every site. We need to pick and choose the sites that work best for us. I still use LinkedIn, Facebook, Blogging and Twitter regularly and am using Plaxo and Spoke a little bit less than I did 12-24 months ago.

I am still a fan of Twitter and I do think it will continue to promote interesting conversations with each other, however is it possible that it has grown too quickly over the past 12 months to keep pace with itself??

Are you a fan of Twitter or not a fan or have no opinion either way. I would be interested to hear your thoughts and ideas.

11 thoughts on “Has Twitter Lost its Way and Relevance???

  1. I have many social sites to join… Facebook, LikenIn and blah blah;)
    Anyway I’m a fan… of twitter. It’s easy to communicate and promote my interesting.
    I hope you will enjoy with it and share good things as well.

  2. A great and valid post topic, given all the mainstream PR Twitter has been receiving in recent months.
    Celebrities using it as an ego boost or in a competitive fashion as you have highlighted are potentially damaging the value that the site initially offered. As it starts to become more ‘junky’ as we are seeing with LinkedIn groups and so on, those who were initially attracted to the site may source out more grass roots and authentic communication channels that deliver the users real value.
    Like you I enjoy using Twitter and connecting and communicating with a diverse group of people via the platform. However if it does morph into something different, it may loose some of its shimmer and followers!

  3. Very True,David.
    Of late , I too have felt the need of removing the information from a vast pool of ‘not-so-important’ tweets. It look like in days to come it would be difficult to differentiate ‘Twitter’ from websites like ‘Friendster’,’Hi5′,’MySpace’, etc.
    I believe , one possible solution could be channelising Twitter into professional /social /celebrity buckets. In that way needs of everyone could be met and people could also get /pass their information regardless of the high volume of followers and following being added.
    Hopefully ,Linkedin should stay as it is.

  4. Hi Kelly,
    Good point about the recent misuse of LinkedIn Groups and the flood of people using LinkedIn Groups (and Twitter) just to post jobs (if I wanted to view job ads I would search the LinkedIn Jobs site or look at a Job Board). At times I do post on Twitter that I am looking for candidates for a role, but it is not often that I do and it is not the only thing I talk about.
    Using Web 2.0 Technologies to recruit should not mean just placing your job ads somewhere else besides print, paper or job boards, but it should be about talking to each other and creating conversations and communities that help everyone involved.
    David T

  5. We use social networking on our site to enable organisations to easily maintain a bank of staff or potential staff so that they can communicate with them with low admin and risk. I find that some of the other communities are too vague and this means that we end up with vast unco-ordinated groups that are of little value. For example – on linkedin – people connect with me becasue they know me, want to be in contact with me for work, or simply enjoyed something I was speaking at – same with Twitter (although some of the people on my Twitter are just friends). On LifeWorklife.co.uk they only stay in touch because they want to work for me and I can sort them in to they type of work they do. As with all social networks – they maintain their details (skills and contact addresses) which means I dont have to!!!

  6. @David @Kelly @Swapnil I agree with you all. I’ve enjoyed Twitter over the years and have been entertained and informed and met heaps of interesting people through it. I even communicate with some of my clients via it, rather than using “old-fashioned” email. I’ve also found the short sound bytes easily digestible and quick in terms of time investment in commenting and replying. I’ve given up using RSS readers and get all my links via Twitter now.
    On the flipside I always find Twitter light on debate and the tracking of conversations is very difficult. There is a lot of noise and one really needs third-party Twitter desktop and smartphone applications to stop overload. I agree the race to build followers is silly, and I’m turned off by the whole recent celeb stuff. It shouldn’t be about how many followers, it should be about the quality eh!?
    I can see Twitter merging with TV – watching Oprah, Desperate Housewives, or a sports match for example, and the tweets rolling across the bottom of the screen in real-time (with adult controls). I believe Twitter’s commercial model, if it finally unveils, will be in a mass media context.
    Some of you are aware that I have recently launched a new social platform called TribeHQ http://www.tribehq.com – it’s the world’s first purpose-built
    ‘micro-jobbing’ platform – a hash-tag-free application built from scratch, with recruitment hard-wired into the architecture. We developed TribeHQ to combine the concept of niche talent communities with micro-blogging.
    In essence, TribeHQ is a social platform that enables members within the same occupational tribe (eg IT professionals, nurses, teachers, engineers), from around the world, to converse with each other, and with employers about job opportunities.
    We are just about to crank up our marketing efforts. We are still about to unleash more core features that will further make us very different from Twitter in our users eyes – we believe some of these developments will surprise the market. Posting vacancies is free for a limited time. Watch the video on the TribeHQ homepage for more information or read this week’s feature on Techcrunch http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/04/13/tribehq-is-the-micro-jobbing-platform-for-all-things-job-related/. I welcome any feedback and suggestions. Feel free to join the ‘Recruiters’ and ‘Human Resources’ tribes or any of the others.

  7. Its just a cycle. The key is to keeping the relevant conversations with the relevant people. There would be tons of people trying to exploit the viral ability and spam, but that does not change the value of twitter. Email has spam, as it matured spam filters helped us keep email relevant. Twitter is no different, it will mature. Techcrunch has a good article on the hype cycle http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/04/19/bloggers-let%E2%80%99s-band-together-and-stop-the-hype-cycle/

  8. Picking up on David’s point about Twitter and sourcing talent, by all means we should be using all the tech and various channels available to us to source talent. However it needs to be done strategicly, rather than what is thought to be simple, ‘free’ and potentially the ‘cool way’ to be finding people. If anyone has any stats around the number of hires sourced via Twitter and LinkedIn that also incorporate the time spent doing this (as time is $ so nothing is free) it would be great to read.

  9. @Kelly – I agree with you. I think some companies try to be too “strategic” though and plan to the cows come home and nothing ever happens. Lots of HR / recruitment professionals and recruitment advertising agencies really need to better understand social marketing. They need to participate! And look beyond LinkedIn and start participating in other platforms; to see how their audiences communicate with each other and see the possibilities. They need to in some cases ditch the creative and get social, especially if their target audiences are hanging out on social platforms. If an audience reads the employment section of the newspaper and uses job boards then by all means a blended approach is appropriate. There are companies like IBM, Coke, Ernst & Young, Zappos, Sodexo, Deloitte who have been active in the employer branding and/or recruitment space on different platforms – they have people engaging with their brands and been building relationships – building talent communities. Quantitative stats are important but we shouldn’t lose sight of intangible value.

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