Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Tweet Tweet

Is Twitter a viable social media?

Today, Simon Dumenco of Ad Age Magazine critiques Twitter, a micro blogging site. In "Twitter, R.I.P.? Or Is There Gold Buried in Them Thar Tweets?," Dumenco criticizes the website for not having a revenue plan and accuses journalists of tweeting inappropriate media events.

According to Dumenco,

"lot of media people have been drinking the Twitter Kool-Aid. ... I'm seeing a lot of really smart writers and thinkers devoting way too much time to Twittering -- and to me it's akin to convincing yourself that constant gum chewing is as good as preparing, or consuming, a gourmet meal. Either way, though, I continue to maintain that Twitter is, for the most part, an unnecessary distraction in an already information-overloaded age."

Dumenco highlights a Rocky Mountain News journalist's coverage of a child's funeral on Twitter as the main defense to his argument. With over 3 million unique visitors to Twitter last month, is this the best example Dumenco could find? If you are searching for a bad stalk of corn in a large field, there is no doubt you will find at least one exposed kernel.

Although covering a funeral may be unsuitable for a micro blogging site, Dumenco neglects the established reporters who use Twitter as a legitimate platform to report and connect with people affected by the news. From CNN's Rick Sanchez reaching out to people affected by Hurricane Ike and providing live updates of relief efforts to The New York Times streaming election updates, established new sources use Twitter to effectively reach out and interact with the general public.

In Bowling Alone: America's Declining Social Capital, Robert Putnam addresses the decline of "social capital" since 1950. He highlights ways in which "Americans have disengaged from political involvement including decreased voter turnout, public meeting attendance, serving on committees and working with political parties." Although real life interactions are less common, Twitter has replaced the town hall with the constant stream of public sentiment. Instead of Bowling Alone, Americans are now Twittering together and interacting an array of topics from the presidential election to debating local propositions.

Furthermore Dumenco, critiques Twitter's nonexistent revenue model. Although Twitter is currently not generating a revenue stream, it's only a matter of time. Since last year, Twitter's traffic has increased over 500% and is on track to average 4 million unique monthly visitors by the end of the year.

(10/28/08 Compete Screenshot of Twitter's Traffic)

Without a single banner advertisement streamed across Twitter, it's only a matter of time before one is displayed. If Perez Hilton can earn $54,000 a day by displaying banner advertisements to his 1.5 monthly unique visitors, how much money will Twitter earn with its current user base?

From a marketing perspective, Twitter continues to be a valuable entity to brands. Unlike other social networking sites like FaceBook and MySpace that encourage interaction when a user updates a profile with new information, Twitter encourages regular interaction through constantly streaming updates. Brands are able to establish advocates as Twitteers are more inclinded to click promoted links and burnout is less common as users expect regular updates or tweets.

1 comment:

dating blogger said...

I find Twitter to be great for networking and also a way to interact with people on a variety of topics. It definitely is a way to learn about new sites that might be relevant to yours.