SMS is the new black

A review of mass market mobile apps

Twitter – an opinion

Posted by Admin on January 28, 2009

Another chance to read this Christmas post on Twitter.

– – –

This blog was set up to kinda be the antithesis of Twitter (“I know for a fact that my mum will never Tweet – yet her demographic still makes up a huge percentage of an operator’s core subscriber base.”), so I thought that it’s probably about time that I said something about it.

The first thing to point out is that I don’t actually have anything against Twitter itself – you can even find me @patrickjpr (although I don’t tweet much). No, it’s not the service itself … it’s the rabid following it has gained from people in the industry and the fact that it was deemed (by some, many, all?) to be the saviour of the world and the best thing since sliced bread. Someone may even have said it was the new black!

And that’s my issue with it. Simply put, it’s that everyone else seemed to love it so much.

Part of it is certainly down to my contrary nature – ‘if they all love it, I’m just going to hate it to be different’. But once I’d grown up and got over that I realised that it was actually do with the fact that yet again the people at the heart of this [mobile] industry were in danger of making it a club for themselves and not making this something that a) everyone can benefit from and b) an industry can make some real profits.

At this point I’m going to highlight Helen Keegan’s excellent post, following her excellent speech, after the Future of Mobile conference. Check it out here and in particular look at point 3 – ‘We create applications and services for people like us’. To my mind, that sums up Twitter.

Of course, not that there is anything wrong with that – as long we understand those limitations.

Ewan (@Ew4n) at Mobile Industry Review has recently written a really interesting post about this subject. In the comments Ben Smith gave a perfect description of Twitter:

“Twitter is the crap pub you keep going to because that’s where your mates hang-out. It isn’t the place to go if you want to focus on conversations that are all interesting to you, but neither’s the pub.”

What we have to realise is that Twitter is about socialising with mates, overhearing conversations from Stephen Fry or other celebs (but let’s not pretend they are really our friends), talking rubbish and maybe the occassional nugget – just like a night down the pub (without the celeb in my local).

It’s good fun, but it’s not the future … or at least not a future that will include the masses.

That said, there’s a good article here about the kind of people you’ll find (and should avoid) on Twitter.


2 Responses to “Twitter – an opinion”

  1. Ben said

    Heh… Fame at last.

    My worry right now is that I have very little time left read blogs. Also much of the discussion that used to take place in comments has now moved to twitter… It’s re-enforcing the short-attention span we’re all developing.

  2. smsisthenewblack said

    Hi Ben, surely being a regular contributor to Mobile Industry Review provides more fame … but you’re welcome nevertheless.

    I know what you mean about lack of time. It doesn’t matter how many great apps or social networks there are – we only have so much time to consume them. It’s just a question of working out which one best fits in with your own lifestyle and requirements.

    Me, well I like hanging out in the Twitter ‘pub’ for now …

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