Recent blog posts I have read today have stated that the Twitter era is now over, everything is moving hyper-local. I don’t believe this for one second. Perhaps users are getting bored of Twitter, but Twitter has taught us a lot of things about the way we organise, communicate and participate. I don’t see it dying, Twitter for me, is simply a symbol of the desire for real-time communications.
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Twitter has Taught Us: Organisation
The simplicity of Twitter’s categorisation can be split into two areas – Lists and HashTags. What this has taught the average user is that they can organise themselves within a fast moving environment simply by creating human bookmarks – Lists and simple tagging – Hashtags. As a business, we have started using this as a way of coding databases to make sure that we are communicating around the same subjects – its simple, effective and creates a very organised pathway for identifying topics and content that is interesting.
Twitter has taught us: Communication
Simply put, there are not many faster ways to outwardly communicate what we are doing or what we are interested in than 140 characters. Twitter has taught us that we all desire real-time interaction and communication. FourSquare has taught us that we want this on a very local basis. What started as a microtrend – I’m not sure if anyone calls it microblogging anymore? Micro-what-ing? – has now triggered replicas across the board – Facebook Status Updates, Yammer, there are multiple replicas of the Twitter idea yet Twitter is always the reference point. It is the figurehead for how we now want to communicate.
Twitter has taught us: Participation
Easy to do, easy to get involved. Simple features such as the retweet function have enabled everyone to feel like they belong within the Twitter community. Even though comments flash past quicker than you can act, Twitter still has a way of enabling you to participate. 9 times out of 10, you may simply get ignored.. but at least you feel that with the @function your comments do get seen. This is what social media should be… a simple way of participating without having to seriously learn any new technology, be a genius (a guru?) and really interesting if you only spend five minutes in the environment.
This is what Twitter has taught us about ourselves:
1) We are now real-time. Those that aren’t distinctly miss out on our involvement be they brands, friends, colleagues or god forbid...family.
2) We like to have simple ways of organising ourselves and the things around us. Twitter has given simple mechanics which can be used elsewhere in life.
3) We love an easy ride. Participation can be embarrassing if you simply don’t understand what you are supposed to do. Walking into the local pub, where everyone goes quiet for a minute wondering why you are there? – we hate that don’t we. Simple participative tools enable an easy ride.
Twitter is dead, long live real-time communication.