Is Twitter Conversation or Broadcast by Brian Solis by briansolis

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									Is Twitter a Conversation or Broadcast Platform?
By Brian Solis, blogger at PR 2.0 and principal of FutureWorks PR, Co-Author Putting the Public Back in Public Relations and Now Is Gone

Are we seeing the Twitterverse through rose colored glasses? In January 2009 I pondered whether or not Twitter was a viableconversation platform. After all, Twitter is one of the darlings of Social Media and it is conversations and the democratization of content that fuel the rapid expansion and adoption of social tools and services. Just ask any social media "expert" and they'll tell you that you must absolutely establish a Twitter account and commence the process of responding to everyone who Tweets about your company, market, or competition. But the more I observe interaction on social networks, and in the this case Twitter, I believe that sometimes it's effective to also maintain a presence simply by reading, listening, and sharing relevant and timely information without yet having to directly respond to each and every tweet - perhaps replying to only the critical or influential individuals that may need immediate information or direction to steer strategic activity.
(cc) Brian Solis, www.briansolis.com - Twitter, @briansolis

Before you react, continue reading. Observations are just that, but there are numbers now surfacing that continue to reinforce my examination. As Twitter continues to elicit discussions on its cultural and interpersonal impact, indepth analysis reveals that perhaps Twitter isn't currently a pervasive platform for hosting conversations at all. And asNielsen suggests, with only a 40% retention rate, it may not be growing as fast as we believe either. As a comparison, during the important stages of defining growth for MySpace and Facebook, retention averaged 70%. Yet everywhere you turn, Twitter is regarded as the catalyst for people flocking to engage in the proverbial "conversation" that is so vital to fostering vibrant online communities between peers and also brands and consumers. At a micro level, Twitter is indeed significant. The unique, loyal, and revolutionary culture and behavior it's inducing may well ignite macro reverberations that ultimately effect how we discover, share, and consumer information. In the long-term, it will at the very least, influence human interaction, business services, information dissemination, events, and also media in general. Just in the past week, Twitter was Time Magazine's cover story "How Twitter Will Change the Way We Live." Sports Illustrated also documented how Twitter is "Rapidly Changing the Face of Sports." This (r)evolution will take time to cross the bell curve of adoption however. Comscore recently reported that in April, 32 million people around the world visited Twitter.com, sending the micro-community surging past NYTimes.com, Digg, and LinkedIn.

(cc) Brian Solis, www.briansolis.com - Twitter, @briansolis

Indeed, statistical exploration indicates Twitter is growing in prominence. But, perhaps its importance, at this moment in time, is more closely aligned with a powerful, new, and seemingly engaging one-way broadcasting ecosystem rather than a two-way dialogue channel we initially suspected. As observed in a recent Harvard Business Report, the top 10% of prolific Twitter users accounted for over 90% of tweets. In correlation, the top 10% of users in other typical social networks account for 30% of all content production. Harvard crystallizes the gravity of this metric though a parallel comparison of Twitter and Wikipedia, "To put Twitter in perspective, consider an unlikely analogue - Wikipedia. There, the top 15% of the most prolific editors account for 90% of Wikipedia's edits."

(cc) Brian Solis, www.briansolis.com - Twitter, @briansolis

The Harvard study also noted that among Twitter users, the median number of lifetime tweets per user is "one." This equates to over half of Twitter users tweeting less than once every ~74 days.

According to an analysis of seven million Twitter accounts conducted by Purewire and presented to TechCrunch, 80% of Twitter accounts have fewer than 10 followers and 30% have zero followers. Purewire documented Twitter activity by number of followers, followings, and Tweets: Followers Accounts with 0 followers: 29.4%

(cc) Brian Solis, www.briansolis.com - Twitter, @briansolis

Accounts with 1 to 9 followers: 50.9% Accounts with 10 or more followers: 19.7% Followings Accounts following 0 people: 24.4% Accounts following 1 to 9 people: 43.4% Accounts following 10 or more people: 32.2% Tweets Accounts with 0 Tweets: 37.1% Accounts with 1 to 9 Tweets: 41.0% Accounts with more 10 or more Tweets: 21.9% As TechCrunch notes, 1/4 of all Twitter accounts are not following anybody and more than 1/3 have not posted a single Tweet. Of active accounts, which PureWire defines as those possessing more than 10 followers, 10 followings, and 10 tweets, 63.6% follower more people than they have followers and only 2.8% maintain an equal number of followers and followings. This is not unlike content production and consumption behavioral patters across the Social Web however. Looking at Forrester's 2008 Technographics data, a vast majority of people are merely spectators with less than one quarter actively publishing any content anywhere.

(cc) Brian Solis, www.briansolis.com - Twitter, @briansolis

Forrester also segments online engagement and participation by analyzing the actions of individuals who populate the Social Web. They're labeled as Creators, Critics, Collectors, Joiners, Spectators, Inactives.

(cc) Brian Solis, www.briansolis.com - Twitter, @briansolis

Right now, Twitter and its potential for progress is limited only by the information, direction, and education provided by Twitter itself in order to demonstrate and teach existing and new users how to truly use and take advantage of this new and dynamic information ecosystem. While Twitter's API is empowering third-party developers to createTwitterverse of exciting, useful, and entertaining applications that enhance the Twitter experience, it can not outsource nor rely upon the community to teach the world how to use Twitter. Providing recommendations on people to follow doesn't really help at all. In the meantime, Twitter will continue to flourish as a rapid-fire broadcast network until people learn how to communicate, understand how to participate and what to contribute, and eventually ease into a collaborative, two-way meaningful dialogue that

(cc) Brian Solis, www.briansolis.com - Twitter, @briansolis

represents Twitter's greatest promise.

Source Helpful Posts on PR 2.0: - Is Twitter Evolving from the Facebook to the Myspace of Microblogs - Time Spent on Twitter Soars by Over 3,700%, Facebook 700% - Gazing into The Twitterverse - This is Not a Sponsored Post: Sponsored Conversations & the FTC - Reviving the Traditional Press Release - Twitter, Acquisition vs. Retention - You Are Significant - The Art and Science of Blogger Relations - Updated eBook - In Social Media, The SEC Protects Investors and Companies by Removing “Relations” from IR

(cc) Brian Solis, www.briansolis.com - Twitter, @briansolis

- Twitter Flutters into Mainstream Culture: The New Competition for Attention Starts with You - The Social OS, The Battle Between Facebook and Twitter is the New Mac vs. PC - The Domino's Effect - Can The Statusphere Save Journalism - The Conversation Index - Social Media Influences Buying Decisions - Is Social Media Recession Proof? - The End of the Innocence - The Social Effect and Disruption Theory - Twitter and Social Networks Usher in a New Era of Social CRM - Humanizing Social Networks, Revealing the People Powering Social Media - I Like You The Emerging Culture of Micro Acts of Appreciation - The Ties that Bind Us - Visualizing Relationships on Twitter and Social Networks - Make Tweet Love - Top Tips for Building Twitter Relationships - Are Blogs Losing Their Authority to the Statusphere - Twitter Tools for Communication and Community Professionals - Reinventing Crisis Communications for the Social Web

(cc) Brian Solis, www.briansolis.com - Twitter, @briansolis

Brian Solis is globally recognized for his views and insights on the convergence of PR, Traditional Media and Social Media. He actively contributes his thoughts and experiences through speaking appearances, books, articles and essays as a way of helping the marketing industry understand and embrace the new dynamics fueling new communications, marketing, and content creation. Solis has been actively writing about new PR since the mid 90s to discuss how the Web was redefining the communications industry – he coined PR 2.0 along the way. Solis is Principal of FutureWorks, an award-winning PR agency in Silicon Valley. Solis blogs at PR2.0, bub.blicio.us, and TechCrunch. Solis is co-founder of the Social Media Club and is a founding member of the Media 2.0 Workgroup. PR 2.0 has earned a position of authority in the Technorati blog directory and currently resides in the top 1.5% of indexed blogs. BrianSolis.com is also ranked among the most influential blogs in the Ad Age Power 150 listing of leading marketing bloggers. Working with Geoff Livingston, Solis was co-author of “Now is Gone,” a new book that helps businesses learn how to engage in Social Media. He has also written several ebooks on the subjects of Social Media, New PR, and Blogger Relations. His new book, co-authored with Deirdre Breakenridge, “Putting the Public back in Public Relations,” is now available from FT press. Connect with Solis on: Twitter, FriendFeed, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Plaxo, Plurk, Identi.ca, or Facebook --Subscribe to the PR 2.0 RSS feed Kindle users, subscribe here. --Now available:

(cc) Brian Solis, www.briansolis.com - Twitter, @briansolis


								
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