Feed the Birds, Creative Commons image by McBeth .
When two weeks ago Steve Rubel was arguing that Twitter is peaking I only read the analysis without really being concerned much. Now I already seem to perceive what he was talking about. Is it just me or is there already a Twitter backlash?
When approx. 6 months ago I joined Twitter as a “late adopter” there was an amazing energy surrounding Twitter. People coming up with new ways of using it for all kinds of purposes or even writing crowdsourced posts. Now it seems the daily routine is creeping in.
- People reply less, they just rehash others’ tweets retweeting in a “he say she say” manner, sometimes without even checking the link thoroughly enough.
- New followers appear out of nowhere sometimes based on misunderstandings or automatic keyword matching. In my case all kinds of chefs are following me just because my nick name is Tad Chef. I know what’s cooking on the Web but I’m not a cook.
These people are passive it seems. They rarely really converse but Twitter does not work without conversation. Of course I’m not exempt from it. Ever since I noticed that other people, especially in the SEO and marketing field love to get retweeted I retweet more links by others than I add my own.
So is Twitter already becoming stale like Steve Ruble predicted? Are these the first signs of the MySpace phenomenon where mostly late adopting “me too” users without much fervor populate the place?
Here are some things to think about:
Retweeting more than a few stories does not work, as nobody can visit and read articles all the time. Twitter is for short and concise conversation. So when you have to read a large chunk of copy each time the conversation gets stuck.
#followfriday was meant for introducing one user per day who you should follow. You were meant to explain why this person is a “must follow”. Nowadays I get several tweets with 5 or 6 names each Friday. I seldom click the names as I only see random names. Why should I care for them? Why should I follow them? I’m not into collecting random “friends”.
Replies: Having 800 followers and receiving no replies to my tweets truly astonishes me. When I had 200 of them I got many more to talk to me. I’m not a TV set. If you’re there just to consume my tweets you should rather read my blog or my posts here on SEOptimise.
Of course it’s not all bad on Twitter now:
Self submission is not needed. I can use Twitter like I did StumbleUpon and Sphinn a year ago. No self submission is needed. My blog readers tweet my posts. I didn’t submit my latest post to Twitter at all. I got around 10 tweets anyways.
High quality links rule. I’m still surprised about high the signal to noise ratio is on Twitter. The people I follow provide very targeted and valuable links in their tweets. On other platforms the urge to promote themselves or clients is often overwhelming it seems. On Twitter people have found a healthy middle ground between self promotion and promotion of valuable resources.
Cross pollination happens. People from outside of SEO follow me Twitter. This is different from other social sites where I provide mostly SEO related content. I have been quite multi-faceted on StumbleUpon and still mostly SEO people follow me there. On Twitter I talk mostly SEO, blogging and social media but nonetheless I get people interested in me from related fields like web design, overall marketing, the broader business community as well as completely unrelatd followers.
So all in all there still is a balance of pros and cons but let’s try to keep the enthusiastic conversation on Twitter alive. Otherwise this tool loses its value. I don’t visit Twitter just for links, other sites provide that as well and in far more organized way. I’m on Twitter for the conversation. I guess I’m not the only one.
How about you? Do you think there already is a Twitter backlash? Or did I just fail to use Twitter properly in the recent weeks?
Make sure to come back next week for next Twitter Friday. Due to the Easter festivities it might appear on “Twitter Tuesday” after Easter though.