Thursday, 12 March 2009

What is Twitter and how does it work?




My first thoughts when I saw Twitter was "how does this work and why would anyone join?" I had a google and still couldn't work it out.

I understood even less how it was valued at roughly $250million based on it's business model - the idea of a business model based on an individuals status posted on a website using less than 140 characters seemed bizarre.

A few weeks later I think I have a better idea of how it works but only based on my limited observations and cynical thoughts. Twitter users seem to approximately fit four profiles:
  • Your average person.
  • As above but with a blog.
  • Someone who blogs often and has a revenue stream from their blogs/ web activities.
  • Spammers
I'm sure if I was writing a sociology essay I'd get a D+ for such sweeping generalizations but I'm sure you get the idea.

Anyway, I started as a Type I, Twittering the odd thing I'd done, read or planned to do. A stream of consciousness as and when the inclination took me.

I'm now Type II - I started a blog and sometimes posted tiny URLs to my blog in Twitter (dreams of huge revenue streams still on hold). Still haven't really got the hang of it but trying to make sense of it. This is probably why I only have a handful of followers and am neither bothered by this nor doing anything to increase it.

Type III is a big step up from Type II and uses Twitter to fully support their blogging and other web based activities, from magazines, photographers, brands, comedians, etc., creating a "stream" that provides snippets of information related to their profession and to their web activities. etc. I'm guessing this group gives the Twitter business model it's greatest value, both from the number of followers and regular Tweeting. I follow a few Type IIIs because of their niche and the content of their Tweets.

Type IV I categorise as a spammer and are best avoided unless you want 20 status updates a day. Their blogs and websites provide no real content other than "how to make money from blogging", "make money from Twitter", "be an Internet entrepreneur" and other dross. All their Tweets link to their infomercials and they probably use automated software to update their Twitter status with essential links to their crap.
I make sure I don't follow any Type IV Twits.

Please note this blog post isn't meant to be taken too seriously but is my ill-informed opinion based on what I've seen over the past month or so.

Feel free to leave a comment whether you agree or not. And my twitter is http://twitter.com/mhuk if you're interested :)

1 comments:

Yalçın AYDIN on 21 March 2009 08:19 said...

The same goes for me. I signed up with curiosity but couldn't get the aim of the system much, it seemed odd enough to not visit again for the 2nd time :) If you want to update your friends then facebook looks much friendlier than twitter to me.

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