short attention span twitter
At one point I was going to write about Twitter with a debate if Twitter is"Crossing the Chasm" or "Jumping the Shark"given the fact that Oprah started to use it, John McCain tweets while he's in the Senate and almost every content owner now uses it in some way. I've been on twitter for 2+ years (under my name) but I didn't real see any relevance with the lifecasting. I just didn't seem to concerned with people commenting on their daily lives in less than 140 characters..."Just got up"..."Taking a look at puppies"..."Getting out of bathroom"...again...not interested. I wondered if Twitter would ever really provide any value given this void of content and the fact that 60% of new people to Twitter quit w/in a month due to user's short attention span. Then, I read a Mark Cuban post noted that he's getting more traffic from facebook and Twitter than Google and there was an article in New York Magazine In Defense of Distraction. I came to the conclusion that Twitter will succeed not "in spite" of people's short attention span, but it will succeed "because" we have short attention spans 140 characters appears to fit our attention span just right and feed our need for instant gratification. The factors below also help Twitter feed our collective attention deficit syndrome: -> Content is gaining relevance. There has been a move away from lifecasting. It's more quick commentary and to a certain extent link management. Now I can ween myself off of RSS feeds and social bookmark sites like digg. They took too much time to find and manage anyway. Now all my pop-culture news, marketing articles and innovation examples find me. -> The creation of social network slot machines. Apps like TweetDeck and ubervu can aggregate your social networks (graph) in one location. With Tweetdeck you can see the people you follow simultaneously on twitter and facebook. Ubervu plans to include your social bookmark sites like digg, friendfeed & blogs as well. Ubervu positions itself as a "conversation graph aggregator." That's a bit too techy-insider language for me. I see these apps as social graph (network) slot machines. You can actually see your conversation moving...you can easily pick out interesting topics and conversations with a quick view and simple click...no need to search. It's just like hitting the button (or for old timers - inserting a coin) on a slot machine. Your jackpot is not great riches after you get 7-7-7 but the social 'jackpot' is that you can't quickly access relevant content within one's short attention span. Again, instant gratification is realized and twitter must hope that this aggregation can start building a twitter economy in which the company can participate. ->Instant Virtual Creativity. You can now get instant feedback are your thoughts from both friends and non-friends alike. Most recently, there was a tweet (from someone I follow) in regards to the fact that 2% of marriages originated with eHarmony. I sarcastically asked what about other dating sites like Match.com and the fact there should be an online dating stat - People in relationships/# of people met online dating...you could then have some type of expectation on how many people you'll have to meet before you find 'the one.' The funny thing is that I got tweets from match.com and 2-3 other dating sites. An entire conversation was started about online dating stats and I expect to see the recommended stat in press used by dating sites soon. This type of instaneous virtual creativity both plays on the collective conscience and short attention spans. It will be interesting to see how Twitter takes off in Europe since attention spans are much greater here than in the US generally. How will it work here in Prague where facebook started to really take off in the last 6 months? And then there's that little thing about no revenue model... But still it looks like we're entering a two-tiered world in terms of online content: Social short attention span content and immersive sticky content.