Guest Post- Is Twitter the Future

Stephen Saber This guest post comes from Stephen Saber, CEO of the CrossTech Group (my parent company and business partner).

Twitter – is it the Future or is it a Predictor of the Future?

Many people have asked in the past six months, is Twitter real and permanent. Does it have staying power? Can it really change how people communicate?

At several recent conferences, this debate has become more and more real. At one – during analyst roundtable keynote at the Gilbane Conference in Boston, the conversation broke down to a conversation about the usefulness of Twitter where one of analysts emphatically referred to it as nothing more than a passing “fad”. At another, a panel of “millennial” described how they get information and the fact that they see all their “breaking news” on Twitter before it ever hits other media streams.

I postulate that he problem that people have with Twitter is that they are looking at it as if it is the final product of the communications revolution that it has started. Instead, let me suggest that you think of it as the AOL of its era. When AOL launched, it was very much a tool for social purposes that had a lot of features and functionality that could be repurposed for successful business uses. These days, AOL is all but non-existent in the realm of internet powerhouses, yet much of what was embedded in that application lives on today in many of the tools that we all rely on every day.

To that end, Twitter is the same as AOL. It is, for all intents and purposes, version 0.2 of a new set of tools that will change a communications paradigm. What it represents is a great, simple tool, for people to send out quick, short ideas and messages to people who care to hear what they are saying. For instance, think about a group of people that have all of chosen to belong to a certain group because they care what the others are saying. Imagine this being a twitter group where, instead of emails, these were small twitter broadcasts – “tweets” – that hit this group and were responded to within this group. In fact, it would be quicker than email, more efficient, and easier to browse and read. Now extend that to other groups of people that you are affiliated with where you feel the same sense of interest in sharing ideas. All of a sudden, the “Twitter model” could have profound impact on the way that these groups share ideas.

I know that this is not truly what twitter is today. But the underlying technology, concept, and communications platform and vehicle are that. This is the future and Twitter is showing us how that might look at feel. Will it be called Twitter? Maybe… Maybe not… We do not call it AOL anymore…

Thoughts?

ChrisBrogan.com runs on the Genesis Framework

Genesis Theme Framework

The Genesis Framework empowers you to quickly and easily build incredible websites with WordPress. Whether you're a novice or advanced developer, Genesis provides you with the secure and search-engine-optimized foundation that takes WordPress to places you never thought it could go.

With automatic theme updates and world-class support included, Genesis is the smart choice for your WordPress website or blog.

Become a StudioPress Affiliate

  • http://viscape.com Caroline

    What I love about Twitter is I can be social without being social. Meaning….I can meet people I want to meet, exchange a few words, and be gone. I don’t have to worry about hurting anyone’s feelings for having to make an exit out of conversation.

    Like Chris Brogan, for instance, I’d really like to meet him some day. He seems like an interesting fellow. But I would never know about Chris if it weren’t for his internet presence. Guy Kawasaki is cool too. All these cool, hip people that I would never know or get to interact with if it weren’t for Twitter.

    It took running into some avid twitterers in Denver to finally jump on – here is the little video clip. %L[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8fTL7c7wVI8]What’s the big deal about Twitter?%L*

    Enjoy!

  • http://viscape.com Caroline

    What I love about Twitter is I can be social without being social. Meaning….I can meet people I want to meet, exchange a few words, and be gone. I don’t have to worry about hurting anyone’s feelings for having to make an exit out of conversation.

    Like Chris Brogan, for instance, I’d really like to meet him some day. He seems like an interesting fellow. But I would never know about Chris if it weren’t for his internet presence. Guy Kawasaki is cool too. All these cool, hip people that I would never know or get to interact with if it weren’t for Twitter.

    It took running into some avid twitterers in Denver to finally jump on – here is the little video clip. %L[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8fTL7c7wVI8]What’s the big deal about Twitter?%L*

    Enjoy!

  • http://viscape.com Caroline

    What I love about Twitter is I can be social without being social. Meaning….I can meet people I want to meet, exchange a few words, and be gone. I don’t have to worry about hurting anyone’s feelings for having to make an exit out of conversation.

    Like Chris Brogan, for instance, I’d really like to meet him some day. He seems like an interesting fellow. But I would never know about Chris if it weren’t for his internet presence. Guy Kawasaki is cool too. All these cool, hip people that I would never know or get to interact with if it weren’t for Twitter.

    It took running into some avid twitterers in Denver to finally jump on – here is the little video clip. %L[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8fTL7c7wVI8]What’s the big deal about Twitter?%L*

    Enjoy!

  • http://www.alumnifutures.com Andy Shaindlin

    As others have pointed out elsewhere, it is Twitter’s functionality that will likely live on, after the app and company have faded. Embedding Twitter-like feeds into other kinds of sites (especially blogs), and making Twitter content portable and ubiquitous is what will lend it longevity. It has been described as “a feature, not an application.” I think that’s where its future lies.

  • http://www.alumnifutures.com Andy Shaindlin

    As others have pointed out elsewhere, it is Twitter’s functionality that will likely live on, after the app and company have faded. Embedding Twitter-like feeds into other kinds of sites (especially blogs), and making Twitter content portable and ubiquitous is what will lend it longevity. It has been described as “a feature, not an application.” I think that’s where its future lies.

  • http://www.alumnifutures.com Andy Shaindlin

    As others have pointed out elsewhere, it is Twitter’s functionality that will likely live on, after the app and company have faded. Embedding Twitter-like feeds into other kinds of sites (especially blogs), and making Twitter content portable and ubiquitous is what will lend it longevity. It has been described as “a feature, not an application.” I think that’s where its future lies.

  • http://www.dan-london.com Dan London

    It will have a future…. as long as a revenue stream is found.

  • http://www.dan-london.com Dan London

    It will have a future…. as long as a revenue stream is found.

  • http://www.dan-london.com Dan London

    It will have a future…. as long as a revenue stream is found.

  • Pingback: bwl zwei null · Social Media und das Henne-Ei-Problem

  • http://blog.rebellenidyll.de Cartagena

    First of all, I think we should separate two terms. Twitter and Microblogging. The term ‘Twitter’ is very often wrongly used for Microblogging. It’s the first thing I’ve noticed when I red this article and the comments.
    The AOL comparison matches perfectly. Imagine at the time when, as an AOL user you just could email to other AOL user and vice versa. It was a walled garden and it took time till email became a way of communication everybody could use.
    Same with Twitter. Twitter users just can communicate with Twitter users. Same for users of other microblogging services, and so on.
    In the comments here I red alot about Twitter and which way it will evolve. When you look over to Laconica and its most popular service identi.ca, for instance, you see microblogging evolving: No walled gardens anymore! It doesn’t matter on which network your signed in because everything goes over the Openmicroblogging-Protocol. Just to let you know because imo this discussion ist too simple-minded ;-)

  • http://blog.rebellenidyll.de Cartagena

    First of all, I think we should separate two terms. Twitter and Microblogging. The term ‘Twitter’ is very often wrongly used for Microblogging. It’s the first thing I’ve noticed when I red this article and the comments.
    The AOL comparison matches perfectly. Imagine at the time when, as an AOL user you just could email to other AOL user and vice versa. It was a walled garden and it took time till email became a way of communication everybody could use.
    Same with Twitter. Twitter users just can communicate with Twitter users. Same for users of other microblogging services, and so on.
    In the comments here I red alot about Twitter and which way it will evolve. When you look over to Laconica and its most popular service identi.ca, for instance, you see microblogging evolving: No walled gardens anymore! It doesn’t matter on which network your signed in because everything goes over the Openmicroblogging-Protocol. Just to let you know because imo this discussion ist too simple-minded ;-)

  • http://blog.rebellenidyll.de Cartagena

    First of all, I think we should separate two terms. Twitter and Microblogging. The term ‘Twitter’ is very often wrongly used for Microblogging. It’s the first thing I’ve noticed when I red this article and the comments.
    The AOL comparison matches perfectly. Imagine at the time when, as an AOL user you just could email to other AOL user and vice versa. It was a walled garden and it took time till email became a way of communication everybody could use.
    Same with Twitter. Twitter users just can communicate with Twitter users. Same for users of other microblogging services, and so on.
    In the comments here I red alot about Twitter and which way it will evolve. When you look over to Laconica and its most popular service identi.ca, for instance, you see microblogging evolving: No walled gardens anymore! It doesn’t matter on which network your signed in because everything goes over the Openmicroblogging-Protocol. Just to let you know because imo this discussion ist too simple-minded ;-)

  • http://www.pricedrightprint.com Elise

    Now that marketers have embraced Twitter, it seems like everybody is tweeting and nobody is listening. Isn’t it possible that Twitter fatigue will set in and people will tune-out or leave for the next big thing?

  • http://www.pricedrightprint.com Elise

    Now that marketers have embraced Twitter, it seems like everybody is tweeting and nobody is listening. Isn’t it possible that Twitter fatigue will set in and people will tune-out or leave for the next big thing?

  • http://www.pricedrightprint.com Elise

    Now that marketers have embraced Twitter, it seems like everybody is tweeting and nobody is listening. Isn’t it possible that Twitter fatigue will set in and people will tune-out or leave for the next big thing?

  • http://www.squidoo.com/turbo-cash-generator-a-must-read-before-buying Turbo Cash Generator Review

    It's nice to read your blog. Personally I don't think Twitter will become something more advanced. For some reason I like the Facebook model more than Twitter. Now its the peak of Twitter, but maybe not the same after around 2-3 years.

  • Pingback: Looking for Joey Calderazzo on Twitter | Music After 50

  • http://www.musicafter50.com/ Leah

    Stephen: Your insights make a lot of sense to me. So much so that I excerpted you on my blog!
    http://www.musicafter50.com/2009/07/looking-for

  • http://www.musicafter50.com/ Leah

    Stephen: Your insights make a lot of sense to me. So much so that I excerpted you on my blog!
    http://www.musicafter50.com/2009/07/looking-for

  • Pingback: Tweet, Tweet… when does the Twitter-ing cease?- Strategic Blend