You don’t know Twitter…and neither do I…

Twitter doesn’t know Twitter. Much has been made about Nielsen Online’s recent announcement of 60% drop off rate after a month on Twitter.

Here is the thing about ridiculously simple communication tools: no one knows how they will be used. It is not like Marconi popped on the airwaves in 1901 with a shout out to station sponsor “Abel’s Used Buggies – Just a stones throw from the haberdasher! Where everyday is Edward the VII Day!”.

I liken it to cave men getting a wheel: the whole Clan of the Cave Bear didn’t run out to AutoMart to buy some sweet spinners as soon as the the disc made an appearance around the fire pit. People need time to experiment, leave a concept and return.

Some of the greatest examples of this are how differently people are already using Twitter. Some people follow celebrities and news. It is a great way to drink from the news media fire hose, and I am not being glib. If that is how you use it then you are using it right. Some people use it to maintain customer service presence in the social media space. Perfect! I personally have a list made up of local industry people. They post interesting links, I do likewise and we are all better for it. Fact is: that is not how most people use it and that is OK too.

Twitter has yet to define its place in the communications landscape. The majority of people will leave Twitter for the simple reason that a societal role for them is not clearly defined and they are unwilling to carve one. That is fine, because the early adopters can work it out without them, but don’t ignore the fact that Twitter has the potential to be the catalyst around which social media enacts change on our society.

You’ll be back. We know. It has already been ‘tweeted’…