The interesting thing they told us is after those remarks they spoke to others who agreed with us.
For those who weren't there, we pretty much said that Twitter was dead.
I know, pretty dangerous blanket statement, huh? So here's what we meant (and by we in this case, I mean me because Sonali isn't looking over my shoulder right now):
- Twitter has become difficult: There was a time where you could meet new people, have insightful comments and linked retweeted, engage in conversation. That has become more and more difficult on Twitter likely because of its growth. There is too much broadcasting and not enough conversing. There is too much clutter and spam. There was a time where a valuable tweet with a link to a cool article was met with conversation and re-tweet. Now? Bupkis.
- Twitter has become siloed: Which is not necessarily a bad thing, btw. I am more likely to be talking to my Rutgers friends, or my #nightlybaconchat buddies on Twitter because hashtags make that easy. Those silos make continuing long-standing conversations easy, it makes starting new conversations hard.
- Facebook is easy: And it now incorporates Twitter. Our colleague Caroline Platt says Facebook has become "the mall of social media" where everything is available and within walking distance. People will gravitate to where everything and everybody is and by extension stay away from where there are too many detours or boarded up storefronts.
- Twitter is too constant: The stream never dies and even with searches and filters it can be too hard to maintain and keep up with.
These are just some of my off-the-top-of-my-head reasons.
For those not willing to buy into my argument, here are some reasons that there still may be some hope:
- It is still a great way to find specific people in specific areas: You can track down journalists and others in specific categories using third-party tools like Listorious.com and Twellow.com. The challenge then is to engage those folks in a meaningful conversation. My argument is that given the breadth of Twitter, that is now much harder than it was two years ago.
- Twitter is still a great place to share an event: the Super Bowl, the Grammys, the Oscars, the overthrow of a middle eastern country, Twitter is great for breaking news and reaction.
- People that want to break news on their own. See: professional athletes and celebrities.
What I haven't really addressed so far is brands. I'm just not seeing it. Maybe for monitoring for reputation management purposes? But for branding, engagement, conversation and eventually social commerce, I'm just not seeing it.
Sorry, Twitter. After two years as a pretty active user I will continue to tweet every night on my iPad to my friends, neighbors, TweetChat friends and colleagues. But call me back when I can once again through a quality tweet out into the vast wilderness and get a valuable replay that starts a beautiful friendship.
Okay Twitter lovers, I'm braced for your comments. Tweet away. Maybe I will hear you.