“Is Twitter a breakthrough in personal communications or a colossal waste of time?” The Week magazine poised this question in its May 1 edition that included a one-page article on the successful website.
Twitter seems to have only two types of users: its admirers and its distracters and neither the twain shall meet.
I guess I fall in the admirers category since I use Twitter for marketing purposes, even though I try not to spam my followers every day, just most days.
Although one is suppose to answer the question: What are you doing right now, I find that most tweets are not about that at all. In fact, they are typically one of the following:
a. marketing a product or service
b. pushing a friend’s product or service
c. breaking news
d. scooping the breaking news
e. commenting on the news of the day, i.e. swine flu, Susan Boyle, Oprah‘s first twitter
Yes, there are those who do actually tell us what they are doing right then, but if you look through a page of tweets, they are the exception not the rule.
The Week writers estimate that most tweets are sent from work, thus productivity losses are off the charts-the estimate is in the billions of dollars.
For those of us who use tweets to market their products or services, it’s not a waste of time at all. In fact, I use most of the social networking sites to market services. It takes a lot of time, but the feedback is practically instantaneous and that’s powerful.
I honestly believe the distracters are upset because they didn’t think of this very simple idea, which is now valued at $250 million. Who says American ingenuity is dead?
So is Twitter a “colossal waste of time?” For some, yes, but for businesses who use it to market their products to an estimated 10 million users and growing, they would probably give a more positive response. I wouldn’t second guess 10 million users and call Twitter a fad. In 140 characters or less, it’s pure marketing genius.
Charity Cicardo has been in the communications field for the past 30 years beginning her career as a newspaper reporter, then book and magazine editor. Currently she owns a social networking site devoted to RV and manufactured home owners and blogs about news and events. http://www.mymobilehomespace.com