Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Twitter Isn't Popular, nor "THE NEXT BIG THING", It's Just NEW and Therefore INTERESTING

The MOST under-reported 'social networking tools story' of 2010 is the explanation of the human nature that lies behind Twitter hyperbole: in times of upheaval and uncertainty, as the sheer quantity of new tech overwhelms us, we look to "seers" to tell us what's next, what to do with it. Geeks are, by nature, early adopters, so listening to them gives us a false impression.  (A Dec/2010 Pew Research study shows only 6% of US adults even have an account and just under half log into Twitter less than once a week.)

Twitter is a big deal, but not for the reasons most of us assume.  It's technology provides the world's first free, global, instantaneous, accessible to all (if they have Internet access), news service. Period. It cannot pass the 'novelty test' beyond that function. Sure, geeks and celebs are tweeting about their every act and thought in an attempt to 'be famous', but that wears thin VERY fast (whether you are reading it, or tweeting it -- unless you have extreme OCD). 

The same can be imagined for the future of Facebook. Most adults who try it very quickly recognize that there's way too much worthwhile going on in their lives to invest any precious time in posting to Facebook -- its greatest value outside of keeping in touch with people you were never all that interested in is keeping tabs on the teens in your life (they have few real responsibilities, hence LOTS of time to invest in trying to be popular on Facebook). Facebook MIGHT morph into something truly valuable, but that transformation hasn't happened yet (the latest 'amalgamation of all your social media' concept they've introduced could be it) and a lot of Zuckerberg, et al's attention is focused on doing just what none of us want, pushing ads at us.

Yes, there are big new things coming down the pipe that will transform our lives, and fully addressable advertising is one of them, but Twitter and Facebook are just baby steps towards the next big thing, not big things in their own right.  Smartphones and tablets are a GIANT step towards the future, as is the wireless broadband that enables them. 

Key to what will become actual addressable advertising will be ads that are more or less always 'pull', never 'push', that is always asked for by the consumer, not 'pushed' at us at every turn whether or not we're in the target or interested in buying.  Keep tuned, dear readers, as has been the case since 2007, you'll read about what is really big in the evolution of marketing first here!

Oh, and Wikipedia is Dying -- told you so!

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