Twitter is like the crazy girlfriend: You like being with her because she’s hot but you really love telling your friends the crazy stories.
Seriously, what would we all blog about if it wasn’t for Twitter?
My favorite Philly area tech blogger, Regular Geek, has an interesting post on Twitter and Facebook. Status Updates Are Not Conversation | Regular Geek Robert was admittedly cranky when he wrote the post and I attribute this to the fact that I actually don’t agree with him for once.
His basic premise that Twitter status updates are not conversations is only partially true.
I completely agree that using Twitter and conversations as synonyms is just wrong. Robert sais, and many of his commenters agree, that Twitter is a horrible place to have a conversation. While I understand their POV, I disagree with it. I love the conversations I have on Twitter and watch people all day long have meaningful conversations and debates on every topic under the sun from music, politics, religion, business, technology, food, and thousands of other topics.
Is a single Tweet a conversation? No. Are multiple tweets between two or more people a conversation? Yes, absolutely.
Is Twitter an ideal place for a conversation? Depends on the conversation. Is a bar lounge an ideal place for a conversation? Depends on the conversation.
His annoyance with Twitter raising more money at such a large round is totally understandable. In fact I raised a similar concern. But scaling a company is expensive. Twitter was started by experienced serial entrepreneurs. It also has some extremely smart VC’s behind it. They have a view into the company that we don’t. We don’t know what Twitter or its investors are planning. I can only hope it’s something good. I want to see Twitter succeed as much as the next user does.
His other premise is that Facebook could put Twitter out of business if they really wanted to. He makes it sound like Facebook and Twitter are direct competitors. I don’t see this at all. Twitter has a very specific purpose, Facebook has a very different purpose. In my point of view this would be like saying MySpace and YouTube are competitors. Do they compete? Kind of. Will or could one put the other out of business? No way. There is more than enough room for multiple social platforms.
Twiter has always taken the approach of pushing it’s information away from the site. Facebook has always taken a very different approach of capturing and keeping as much of it’s information as possible. I also don’t see Facebook as any better (or worse) of a place for conversations. He also encourages Twitter to take an acquisition offer from Facebook should they get one. They did get one. It was all for Facebook stock (which is way overvalued IMO) and I think they very rightly turned it down.
The truth of the matter is that I got bored with Facebook years ago. I actually never really got to into it. Some people love it. Some people love Twitter. While other people are aready bored with Twitter and have moved onto FriendFeed. Just like all businesses, there will be multiple players, some will dominate the market while others successfully serve niches. Either way it’s fun to watch and provides endless blog fodder.
I love Robert’s post on Regular Geek and normally agree with (almost) everything he writes. I highly recommend you subscribe to his blog if you haven’t already.
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