Twitter and What it is to Me.
Twitter has been the topic of many conversations lately and almost all of them are negative. Some of this is due to investor frustration and some of it is simply due to market pessimism. Personally, I’m bullish on Twitter, I’ve bought shares, and every time the price drops I buy more. I buy because amidst the controversy and questioning I see a great company, a diamond in the rough, and I believe that Twitter will find it’s way and exactly where it fits. In the mean time, I think that it’s valuable to articulate what Twitter is to me and a few things it could do to increase it’s value to me.
Twitter is generally categorized as a social network. For me, it’s much more.
1. It’s my personal news channel.
Every morning I wake up and use Twitter to brief myself on the events of the day before. I watch the Crunch Report, sift through trending #HashTags, catch up on politics, review market trends and dig for content published by individuals I follow closely. I value this because it allows me to see multiple points of view on a topic and avoid media bias and filtering.
2. It’s a networking site.
The truth is, I make more networking connections in a week on Twitter than I have since I joined LinkedIn. I think this is because Twitter’s simple profile and visibility into Followers and Following stats makes it impossible to create false hype. On Twitter, great people are followed by great people.
3. It’s personal marketing.
Twitter is the inbound channel for my life. It allows me to create and distribute value to my Following. For me this is the typical social networking aspect of Twitter. But it’s also more, Twitter doesn’t broadcast who I Follow and more importantly who I mute, eliminating “obligation” Follows. It also is somewhat self moderating, which eliminates the chances of puppy videos and food pics clogging up my feed.
In summary Twitter in the most simplified term is my Dashboard. It’s where I live my life from, and unlike Facebook it’s focused on the things that matter to me. It requires effort, demands self restraint, and inspires creativity.
How Twitter Could Add More Value.
1. Intelegent notifications.
Twitter already serves as my news aggregator and allows me to take a front row seat to events happening in live time. The problem, there are events happening all over the world. Most of it does not demand immediate attention, but some of it does. I would like to be notified in an intelligent way when events happen that fit a certain criteria like proximity, if it’s getting attention from people I follow, or if it’s going to potentially impact my day.
For example, I would love to get trending tweets pushed to my account, but it needs to be intelligent … I don’t care if a Caitlin Jenner visits my city, but want to know if the bank down the street is being robed or if theres a local ebola outbreak.
This feature could be integrated with our mobile devices gps and track daily habits. It could then push me an alert that people are frustrated about traffic on a rout that I usually take to grab lunch every day. It could also let me know that users are extremely happy with the new menu of the restaurant I’m walking past while looking for a new place to have lunch.
2. SPAM filtering.
Twitter allows you to locate content based on #HashTags, unfortunately popular tags often times attract tons of irrelevant spam that clogs up the feed. There should be an easy way to flag spam and users who are not contributing value.
I also think that users who repetitively follow certain behaviors or get their posts flagged as irrelevant should be penalized in some way and users who add value regularly should be rewarded with increased profile visibility.
3. Conversation friendly.
Right now it’s difficult to find and participate in active Twitter threads. Creating a simple way to see relevant threads happening in live time would be extremely valuable and make users feel like they are not on an island.
With all that being said, I think Twitter is a great platform. I also think that it could add increased value and with time really own the live news space.