So Twitter is buying and building Twitter clients. I don’t find this surprising at all. In fact, I said as much in September 09 at a Twitter conference in LA on a panel that Guy Kawasaki was moderating. I said in the following video that I thought Twitter would buy Seesmic, the company that makes one of the most popular Twitter clients. (If you’re interested you can watch my comments by fast forwarding to minute 31.25 and listening for about 90 seconds. There’s also a segment that I like from minute 12.30 for two minutes talking about why I think people wrongly obsess about their number of Twitter followers and had a nice little debate about it with Guy. Short answer: quality is more important than quantity).
So why did I believe it was the right thing for Twitter to acquire a Twitter client? First, I believe that Seesmic has an excellent product – especially the web version of their product and that having another senior and experienced exec like Loic Le Meur would be great for Twitter. I guess it may be impractical for Twitter to acquire Seesmic given it has raised considerable amounts of venture capital (reportedly $12 million) but the broader point for me is that I always believed Twitter should control the client versions of its product.
Think about the creative tension.
How do your friends, colleagues or admirers find you on Twitter? One of the obvious ways is to click on “Find People” on Twitter and search for your name.
But one of the oversights for many people is that they list their Twitter handle as their name making them very hard to find in Twitter Search. (e.g. if I listed msuster as my name rather than Mark Suster)
If you findy anybody who has done this please forward them the link to this post, which is –> http://bit.ly/15foOH and let’s make Twitter and easier place to find people.
UPDATE: People have made the fix and say they still don’t appear in the search results. It takes a while (a day or more) to get your name propagated in Twitter’s search index. Be patient – it will appear.
I’ve posted three people’s examples to the left.
First is Amanda Coolong of TechZulu. If you search for her (as of July 10, 2009 at 5:45pm) you will get no result and the text, “did you mean Amanda Choong?”
Second is Jen Raymond. Search for Jen Raymond and you’ll get 2 of them – neither one is the Jen Raymond who works for Pfizer and lives in Santa Monica.
There is much confusion on how to use the Twitter @ sign – even amongst daily Twitter users. So as part of my ongoing series Twitter Insights, I wanted to cover how the @ actually works (even experienced users may be surprised by some of the points)
1. When you use the @username (e.g. @msuster for me) the message you write appears in my @msuster inbox on Twitter.com and on any of the desktop or mobile clients. Great.
2. This is a good way to call something out to my attention since it is narrower than just broadcasting hoping that I might see the message
3. It is also a sign of attribution when you retweet a message by another user (e.g. RT @msuster). People also use it in other obvious ways including suggesting users to follow such as #FollowFriday @msuster
4. You can send an @ message to anybody – whether or not they follow you. You can only “d” people (direct message) who follow you.
5. I am currently not overwhelmed with people who @ message me so I read all of mine. Usually in a timely manner.
When Twitter first became popular with niche crowds in 2007 it seemed to take hold initially with bloggers. People had been steadily blogging for 2-3 years and this crowd seemed to bifurcate.
On the one hand were the blogs that “blew up” and became real businesses like TechCrunch, GigaOm or TalkingPointsMemo. On the other hand were everybody else including those that tried to make a full time of it like Robert Scoble as well as those that did it as a side job like VCs, CEO’s and start-up entrepreneurs.
So Twitter was initially billed at a “micro-blogging” platform. It seemed to save all of the bloggers from coming home at the end of the day from whichever conference they were attending and have to turn in long-form content like a journalist. Suddenly it was about very frequent commentary in a bite-sized format. Whew. Now we could all sleep more. Or could we?
So with the metoric rise of Twitter now forecast at 45 million as of August 3rd, 2009 (and rising fast), has Twitter Killed the Blogger Star?
I would argue it’s the exact opposite. I believe that Twitter has sparked a resurgance in blogging. Here is some anecdotal evidence:
This post is part of my ongoing series Twitter 101 for all those that still “don’t get” Twitter. I’m now moving from the 101 basics into the business applications. I think we all know by now that a conversation is happening on Twitter and that this extends to talking about brands.
Twitter is the new CRM (customer relationship management) channel. The volume of Tweets is enormous and growing at a rapid pace so tools are emerging to help brands manage this information.
In an earlier post I spoke about the asymmetric nature of Twitter vs. Facebook. It turns out that this difference has a huge impact on the business applicability of Twitter that nobody could have anticipated. On Facebook (and nearly all social networks that preceded it) the relationship was always reciprocal – if I accept your invitation to follow me then I have to follow you. The default setting and behavior on Facebook has been “private” and therefore you need permission to follow my status updates. It is a closed, two-way relationship between users in which brands are not invited into the discussion.