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Is Twitter Like a Party or Conference That’s Lost Its Novelty?

#1 You Need to Learn from This Post:
Like many human gatherings, Twitter has moved past the novelty stage and into a new, uncertain period.

A More Detailed Exploration:
Twitter has changed dramatically in the past six months. Not only has the number of registered users skyrocketed, but the nature of interactions have changed, too.  I’ve been around Twitter for a year now (it’s my paper anniversary, so please send paper my way – preferably something from the US Treasury) and have had a few conversations with others of similar, if not longer, tenures.

The unanimous consensus is that Twitter is a different creature now.  In the “early days” of Twitter, it felt like we had all just arrived for the start of a great party or conference. We were eager to find out as much as we could about each other, freely sharing, and eager for new connections. Now, we’ve found our circles of people we like hanging out with and eagerly seek them out from the crowd.  

To me, Twitter has become like the party or conference that’s gone on too long.  The excitement of meeting new people has given way to a growing weariness of seeing the same bunch of people everywhere. The panels and speakers are beginning to say pretty much the same thing as the previous ones. I’m getting tired of my hotel room, going out on the town, and eating out at restaurants all the time.

Yes, I’m aware it’s mostly my perception, but I know I’m not alone. This doesn’t mean I’m leaving Twitter. It means my frequency of using Twitter will go down and I’ll maintain the relationships with those I find to have enduring value to me.

What do you think? Has Twitter become like the party or conference that’s lost its novelty? How will this impact Twitter? Will Twitter become as irrelevant as the telegraph? Or as critical as the telephone?

Find me on Twitter (just less often):

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9 Responses to “Is Twitter Like a Party or Conference That’s Lost Its Novelty?”

  1. Michael Pastko Says:

    Good post, as usual, Scott. I might argue, and I haven’t test this theory, that if you decided to suddenly dive into a new area of interest, say no-limit texas hold ‘em, that you’d find an engaging poker community and again have that feeling of “arriving at the party.”

    Is it simply the nature of the beast that a Twitter community gets repetitive over the course of the year? Maybe your knowledge in a particular subject matter is saturated in that time span?

  2. Ryan Hupfer Says:

    Well that sure didn’t take long, now did it? haha

  3. Jeff Wiedner Says:

    OK, maybe I’m naive or maybe I’m “doing this twitter thang wrong” or maybe I’m just an eternal optimist, but I don’t see much of a real change.

    I’ve been on Twitter for about the same amount of time as you have been. I keep hearing so many of the “Twitter has jumped the shark” comments that I wonder whether I’m just missing the boat.

    Regardless of the number of people on Twitter, it’s really the same. It’s always been [at least it should be or just to me] about connecting with people, getting to know them, listening to their ideas and [even more importantly] hearing new ideas and finding new links.

    Yeah, the @aplusk vs CNN and @oprah races to 1 million followers was annoying, but seriously, in every medium there are people that bastardize the community aspect of the medium just to have the race for more.

    Am I being stupid here? Or hyper-idealistic? If so, that may be why I’m working in a nonprofit. But I’ll keep it. ;-D

  4. Kyle Lacy Says:

    I agree completely with Jeff. In my mind.. if you start lagging or your followers start sounding the same.. get rid of them and find someone else.

    The beautiful thing about Twitter is that there is no rules.. period.

  5. Lorraine Ball Says:

    I have been on Twitter for about 15 months, and I like it more now then ever. Why? I have actually tightened the circle of who I follow, and have more conversations with fewer people.

    While I follow folks around the world, I really enjoy the conversations with folks who are local. We move from Twitter to F2F and back to Twitter seamlessly. It is one, long productive, and often fun conversation.

  6. DonSchindler Says:

    To me, Twitter is endless right now. There are so many conversations to explore and so many people to meet.

    Granted the spammers are on the rise but Twitter has a better shot of excommunicating them than most other systems.

    The thing I find that I love the best about Twitter and Facebook (the two systems I use the most) is that more people are starting to understand how to contribute and that the things they say need to be important to both the audience (their friends and followers) and themselves. The silly worthless comments are falling by the wayside.

    I don’t think it’s time to give up. I think it’s time to really engage and have more serious conversations.

  7. Chris Theisen Says:

    I think alot of the early adapters of Twitter were from a certain group and now that the publicity has helped gain more users there has been a shift. I’m new but seem to follow alot of “older” users who dont like the new shift in usage. I think every faction has a place on the same service. Scott, its like you signed up for one conference and they switched the meeting room on you without notice. The conference is still going on, you just have to locate the new room and not venture into the other conferences at the center. I would bet you will still get as much from Twitter as you have in the past.

  8. Rhea Says:

    Twitter is the Thing of the Moment. There will always be some new, previously unimaginable thing to take its place. Right now, I am still fairly new to Twitter and am having fun with it. I could do without all the blatant sales Tweets, though.

  9. Lola McIntyre Says:

    Scott, I read your post yesterday, and I’ve been thinking about it ever since.

    Perhaps we are fixed on the wrong observation. It’s a little like contemplating the clover, while we are standing in the great Muir Woods. When I think about Web 2.0 Summit of 2006 and Kevin Kelly’s predictions in 2007, we are clearly beyond their defined precipice. Consider this:

    RT @LolaMcIntyre: Web Fundamentals=Share it, communicate through mobile devices, equal voices, apps in the cloud, communities converge.

    The question is not about predicting what app is in or out. Any of us attempting to define the morphing crag, are bombarded with new communities, daily.

    The bigger question is: WHEN and HOW will the communities merge in the future?

    As for Twitter, when I created a profile last year, I have been anticipating its exponential growth. Why? Its simplicity as a micro-blog and open API lends itself to continued evolution; Twitter’s usage potential is freed and fed by our own creativity.

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