Twitter Social MediaIt used to be that professionals claiming expertise had to at least demonstrate some experience or knowledge to back up their boast of proficiency. As I was browsing my Twitter streams today, I found myself amused by a self-anointed “Social Media Consultant” confounded by Twitter’s recent roll-back to their old interface. They obviously didn’t recognize a prior interface because either they have suffered significant memory loss from repetitive tweeting; or their base of knowledge was gathered during the last several weeks reading Social Media for Dummies (multiple times).

It’s sad for their clients who are drawn in by the “large” follower list built on pump and dump mass follow tools, and scary for the reputation of those who really do know what they are doing. I realize that we are in the gold-rush phase of online and social media and that eventually those who don’t have the skills or knowledge will leave to chase the next shiny object. This too will pass. In the meantime, make sure you look deeper than the self-conferred title when checking out the bona fides of potential vendors.


Is Twitter Becoming Less Useful?

by Dave on April 20, 2010

Is microblogging dead? I don’t think so, but I believe it’s becoming less valuable. You may say usefulness is in the eye of the beholder (user), but I’m having trouble getting the same value out of Twitter recently. In fact, today I started using my feed reader again to keep up with some of my favorite topics.

A little history

Throughout my consulting career, I’ve recognized that “staying smart” is essential to my success. Whether its news, the latest in technology or marketing strategy, my goal is to minimize my time and maximize my value.

I had a usual progression in online participation. I found a few blogs I liked, I kept them bookmarked, and visited them periodically. By the time I started blogging myself, the list of bookmarks had grown unmanageable. I set up and started using feed readers. At first it was Bloglines, then Google Reader (My Shared Items). It was easy – I kept subscribing to feeds until, of course, Google Reader became overwhelming and unmanageable – and I eventually couldn’t keep up. Then I discovered the utility of Twitter.

Social Media to the rescue.

I had been on Twitter for a while, and was following a small number of connections. I realized it was an information sourcing goldmine. I could follow news outlets and a handful of people who were paying attention to my favorite topics, and by scanning their Twitter streams, I could stay up to date. I had become a social networking lamprey. I’ll admit it, I’ve never been much of a microblogging conversationalist – I find the 140 characters too challenging to hold anything other than the simplest of conversations. So my use of twitter is primarily as an information sharing and gathering tool.

For a while it worked well. Just about the time my stream became too crowded, desktop and online readers became popular, allowing me to segment out my news and “smart people” streams and focus my attention on my high value targets. I continued to siphon information out of the Twitter stream.

But it stopped working

Today I fired my Google Reader back up, cleaned out old feeds and added a selected group of new feeds. What happened? I found that while there was still useful information in Twitter the value/time ratio was declining. I couldn’t always keep up with the stream, and when I did, it seemed the links weren’t as plentiful or as valuable. I’ll still use HootSuite (my favorite) for tracking streams and to watch people and companies of interest. But as for the “smart people” watching, I’m back to using my Google Reader to see what they have to say – long form.

I think there are two reasons Twitter is becoming less useful 1) The stream has become crowded and it’s harder and harder to find the buried “gems” and 2) I think people are sharing less or are sharing less of the gems, probably due in part to #1.

Are you finding your Twitter experience less valuable? Leave a comment and let me know.

Icons by:


A Guide for the Social Media Tone Deaf

March 12, 2009

You probably won’t hear me.  You’re probably busy using Twitter to chase sales leads, or standing on your virtual corner repeating yourself over and over, like the poor souls who seem to inhabit every major intersection in big cities. It’s not your fault.  You might have gotten bad advice from someone who is a self-proclaimed […]

Read the full article →

Why are so many Marketers bad at Marketing?

December 11, 2008

I wouldn’t want a mechanic that couldn’t keep their own car running, or personal trainer that’s out of shape.  Why is it that so many who advertise marketing services are so bad at marketing? Every day I receive unwelcome soliciations from those that purport to be marketing professionals.  At least they seem to hit all […]

Read the full article →