I want to end off this series of Twitter posts by breaking away a little from the business theme of this blog and take a brief philosophical-type tangent…
The Internet and the technology that both supports and relies on it has been changing quite rapidly over the past couple of decades, and throughout its insurgence many websites have risen and fallen. Remember Lycos and Friendster?
But Twitter is poised to buck that trend. Many users and numerous technology and business experts attribute Twitter’s current success to the fact that it is a versatile networking and information-sharing platform. However, Twitter’s longevity will stem specifically from its role as a business and organizational tool because in this capacity Twitter’s communication model promotes a culture of giving. Twitter asks the question: what do you have to offer to your community? And it does so in a way that is more open and dynamic then the other popular social networking sites, such as LinkedIn and Facebook.
The Internet has traditionally been seen as the medium that levels the playing field where those people and groups who may be “limited” in “real life” can suddenly rise to the top and make contributions where they would have never been able to before. One just needs to consider the success and proliferation of user-generated media such as blogs, Wikipedia, and YouTube as well as the open source movement and the increased reliance among businesses on crowd sourcing.
Though all this openness may open the door to a whole slew of fraudulent practices, Twitter is not just about self promotion, automatic responses, or greedy self-fulfillment (though it does still happen throughout the site). In fact far from it.
Overall, the ones who succeed on Twitter (i.e. grow and maintain a community of loyal and active followers) especially when it comes to business are generally those people and groups who are real, considerate, and “real”-ly consistent. Many people tell newbies to look for opportunities to listen before tweeting, to offer useful help, stay away from automatic responses and spammy self-promotion and in short be themselves.
Twitter will last because its culture is bringing some light and positivity into the online social order. Something we should perhaps take note of at a time when so much corporate greed, political bickering, and corruption is being brazenly flaunted in the face of the “every man.” Maybe those who are spreading the “Twitter love” can influence the world at large.