Yeah, yeah, I know everyone is talking about how sexy twitter is getting. It’s the place to be right now. If you aren’t on twitter – then you need to get with the program….
blah, blah, blah
My mom is on twitter, my wife is on twitter, my company is on twitter, mostly everyone I know is on twitter. This is all good for twitter, it makes twitter useful. In fact, it has inspired twitter to go look at selling, make some improvements, and look at making money again. Have a look at Read Write Web’s latest post regarding the proliferation of twitter. This thing is definitely going mainstream (hint: if you are mainstream – go create an account)!!
A couple years ago, we were at the same cross roads with blogs and blogging. We may be a little earlier in the cycle with twitter, but I would also pose that our culture is more accepting of these tools, so it’s still the right time to make the prediction. When we were at this cross roads last time, I wrote a nice little prediction blog post. Dated December 18th, 2006 – My 2007 Prediction: Blogs Will Be Replaced garnered a bunch of people telling me I was wrong, telling me that blogs were growing in proliferation and would be the ultimate supremacy for brand management, community interaction, etc. Yes – blogs didn’t disapear. Yes – blogs are great community interaction tools. Yes – Dave Winer is still blogging (despite his promise). Yes – the concept of blogging is great for news reporting, signaling, and information disimenation….
But Blogs were replaced – they were replaced by twitter and to some degree facebook. As marketing departments took over blogs and corporate employees (such as Microsoft PMs) began getting blog posts added to their annual and quarterly goals, the early adopters, the people who made blogging popular, the crowd that tested, evangelized, and vetted the technology moved on. Sure the bloggers still blog a bit (I still blog at this blog) – but along with everyone else (including Dave Winer), I spend a lot more time on twitter – twitter has replaced my excitement for blogging the same as it has for most bloggers who started earlier in this decade with the new cool thing called blogging.
So the question is – what will replacae twitter? Like my earlier blog post about blogging being replaced, I don’t know the answer. I do know that an opportunity exists for a few entrepreneurs. There is the space of helping people get onto twitter (some entrepreneurial consultants have started this already – but there is room for more). There is also the space of creating the next thing for all of us early adopters of social/community interactive/writing/commenting tools to use.
We need to go somewhere – our current tool has been taken over by the mainstream and thus will be replaced.
That’s an interesting set of assumptions in your last sentence. Just to pick one, how does the mainstream “take over” your tool and why does that mean you have to replace it?
Because that is by definition required for early adopters… once the thing being adopted is mainstream – the early adopter factor has disapeared and the early adopter will move to something else. This topic is not well studied – although, Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point touches on related concepts. Simply reflecting on my prediction here about blogs and where the early adopters went (they did all move to twitter more or less for their ‘fix’), there is certainly an anecdotal relationship.
A few other simple examples – if everyone drove a Harley Davidson, would they have their “club” status? If every seat was a VIP seat at a sporting event – would they be able to charge a premium? There is some value in being special – in being closer to a monopsony than to a single buyer in a competitive market – as the status moves from the monopsony side to the competitive side – the status goes away. As the status goes away, the value still exists (there are still people who want these things) – the difference is that it is no longer special and is now priced at market rates.