Friday, October 31, 2008

Is Twitter Doomed?

Twitter Says It Will Finally Figure Out a Revenue Model ... Next Year. . Really!

As the future of Twitter gets more and more difficult, I keep thinking that it'd be really sad if Twitter went away, because, golly gee, there'd be no way to Twitter its funeral.

A lot of media and marketing people have been singing the twitter ending for a while now.

Yet could it be? Does Twitter's abrupt replacement of its CEO suggest the end is in site?

The New York Times, for instance, used the management shift to offer these deadpan lines about the notoriously business-model-free Twitter (which has somehow raised tens of millions in venture capital): "Early next year, Twitter plans to introduce several ways to bring in revenue. One idea is to charge companies that want to use Twitter as an official channel to talk with their customers and monitor what they are saying.

Thank you big brother.

Cash-strapped companies are going to want to pay for twitting? Oh come on, look at how many companies are banding twitting in the office already. Then you think their customers are going to want to be monitored?

The company's been around since 2006 and only now is it rethinking its management and considering possible revenue sources ... for 2009? In reality I think Twitter is pretty cool. It can be a great way for certain people and companies with something (hopefully) interesting to say to stay of the top of their heads with their followers. I've Twittered and my friends have twitted back at me. I even get a few Twitter feeds from some individual media operations and media people I know that I can actually count on to be genuinely meaningful and insightful. On the other hand, I'm seeing a lot of really smart writers and thinkers devoting way too much time to Twittering -- and to me it's akin to convincing yourself that constant gum chewing is as good as preparing, or consuming, a gourmet meal. At the same time I have had to unfollow some people because to the meaningless twits they push out.

Either way, though, I will say that Twitter is, for the most part, an unnecessary distraction in an already information-overloaded age. If you use it watch the clock

So please, Twitter, turn on the revenue streams before it's too late.

But what if it's not only too late, but it was never time? What if not everything that flits across our screens -- computer or cell phone or whatever -- can be contorted into serving as a profit center? As I've said before: I don't think every tweet or blur or bloop or fart that emanates from a human can or should have ads sold against it or be otherwise monetized.

That last sentence, by the way, was 144 characters long. Opps time to delete a few words.

Larson note: Twitter has a place in marketing. Use it to your advantage but keep it as a tool not a toy. If you can keeps its power in perspective you can win. But if you doubt its power you will be doomed. As men did with the one ring to rule them all in “Lord of the Rings” Beware lest you fall prey to the twitter time trap. Please note I am a twitter.

Howard Larson
Larson & Associates
Telesales & Target Marketing Professionals for new account acquisition
Making good businesses great and great businesses even better

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