“Tweet, tweet” said the canary in the coal mine.
The new killer app on the internet that is about to emerge is Twitter. Twitter’s odyssey is unique and in some ways not uncommon in the world of net culture. Twitter started off as an app for pod casters to communicate with through pod casts. Well the first iteration of Twitter tethered to pod casts did not fare well, however someone saw something in the Twitter itself, parsed out from the pod cast and purchased the company. No longer tethered to the pod cast technology, Twitter as a stand alone app is poised to revolutionize the internet as a new layer on top of the internet, a lightning fast way to communicate and perhaps, even more importantly, build readership and page views.
Being a closet luddite dragged into the 21st Century, the further truncating and distancing of intimacy via the net with technologies like Twitter, where your thoughts and actions are reduced to a mere 140 characters does not make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside and yet, from a pure marketing and perhaps more importantly, action oriented perspective, Twitter is pure dynamite.
Since I think we can formally announce that 2009 (eleven vibration) is the year of Aquarius (Sorry Capricorn) technologies like Twitter which allow the masses to form complex relationships that are omni-dimensional will take center stage.
The basic premise of Twitter is that people follow one another and as they follow one another they update one another with what are called, “Tweets.” A tweet is a message that basically says what you’re doing, or hyping a video, song, website, or blog that you either have a hand in or like. The power of the “Tweet” is it’s brevity. It cuts to the chase. It brings the content face front and the more followers one has, the more they can recommend or hype. Page views on websites can go up exponentially and if one is connected into the right group of “Tweeters,” say people that follow astrology, it becomes a rapid fire, soft sell MLM for the online space, because of the accumulated numbers of people that are following one another. How beautifully Aquarian is this? In the Twitter world, there is essentially zero hierarchy and amassing followers is great but there is an intrinsic code that says you must follow as much as you lead. When “Tweeters” have an obscene imbalance of followers to those that they follow, an unspoken fairness doctrine kicks in and the following begins to decline. In the perfect Twitter universe, followers and leaders are equal in measure.
This begs us to ask the following question; Does the emergence of Twitter portend a social change of a greater order? Is it a truly democratizing technology that points to a collective recognition of self? Or is it simply the further erosion of our ability to relate to one another, a seductive and yet ultimately reductive vice that reflects the deepening alienation and loneliness that engulfs our culture? Can it be both? Look for Twitter to rapidly displace Facebook in the same way that Facebook raced past Myspace.
Here’s the kicker; I don’t think we’re close to done. Look for more and more emerging technologies to help us connect at light speed, waves of complexity and novelty in 2009, The Year Of Aquarius.
In fact, you can look me up on Twitter and we can follow one another into circles of curious epiphanies and narcissistic apoplexy.