MSVU Social Media Course Blog

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Did I break up with the love of my life for the cheap thrill of a fling?


So this week on The Hobson and Holtz Report they covered a study done by Harvard University about the usage of Twitter.  This seemed relevant given last weeks class and the seemingly consented opinion that no one knew what to think of Twitter and whether to jump on that band wagon like it was the new facebook or not.  Apparently though, we’re not the only ones having a hard time deciding about our romantic feelings toward this relatively new social media sensation.  According to the study Twitter’s major content is generated by a small and loyal user base.  Okay, so perhaps that’s an understatement, the reality of it is that 90% of Twitter’s content is generated by…guess…are you ready for this? Only 10% of their users.  That means that if there were 100 people signed up for Twitter and 100 tweets, 10 people would have generated 90 of them while the other 90 people split the other 10 between them. Alright, so I’m not trying to insult your intelligence with that grade 1 math lesson, but when I finally realized that and the implications that holds for Twitter, especially if they do start charging for use as we discussed in class, it absolutely blew my mind. I mean, after our Kermit Card Twitter experiment I was absolutely positive that this was a boat I was missing and I should try to catch up.  But after hearing about this study, I realized that maybe it’s not as effective a tool as I’d originally thought. Maybe more people have only luke warm feelings towards Twitter like we do than I realized.

On the report they questioned whether Twitter was actually about engagement or if it was really just a broadcasting platform that could be used as a marketing/communications tool.  My thoughts: how could it really be an effective marketing/communications tool if everyone is signing up but no one is using it? Honestly though, if you think you’re reaching a million people but really you’re only reaching 100,000, that may seem like a lot but you’re also missing out on ways to engage the 900,000 you’re not actually communicating with. How effective is that really?  Not that I’m ready to break up with Twitter and lie that I just want to be friends instead of a passionately engaged companion, but this report really added to my confusion. Maybe I should have just stuck with my first long term relationship with Facebook before abandoning it for a younger lover.

What do you think?  Did I break up with the love of my life for the cheap thrill of a fling?

June 15, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment