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If Markets Are Conversations Then Twitter Is Money

Twitter is the conversation. David Weinberger gets it right enough.

One of the themes coming through loud and clear in the twitterverse is that many of us are a bit jaded about blogging. Marshall Kirkpatrick wants to Twitter instead of blogging. The move onto the next bright and shiny thing is partly a result of our ADD and caffeine over-consumption, but its also a facet of attention management and our attempt to keep everything together. Twitter offers a different, more conversational, mode of discourse from blogging, its not like choosing one email client over another. .

I long ago came to the conclusion its impossible to truly engage with more than 200 bloggers. That, after all, is the size of a village, and the natural limit to our legacy brains, unaccustomed as they are to the I/O requirements of the utterly connected age. That is I think Malcolm Gladwell (and his source material) was right on the money in The Tipping Point. Get past 200 people and you’re only giving them partial, not real attention. Here is Dave Pollard on W.L Gore Associates:

The Power of Small Teams: Gore tries to keep its teams small (and caps even its manufacturing plants at 200 people). That way, everyone can get to know one another and work together with minimal rules, as though they were a task force tackling a crisis.

No Ranks, No Titles, No Bosses: Associates (employees) select mentors, they don’t have bosses. Associates decide for themselves what new commitments to take on. Committees evaluate an associate’s contribution and decide on compensation. There are no standardized job descriptions or categories.

Make Time for Face Time: There’s no hierarchical chain of command; anyone in the company can talk to anyone else. Gore discourages memos and prefers in-person communication to email.

I have been pondering burstiness vs busyness lately. In my heart I know I can only truly engage with 200 bloggers and yet… I am subscribed to upwards of 500 feeds. I literally can’t keep up with all of them. Even with triage its hard to read all the must reads. There is just too much quality out there.

With Twitter I can get up to date with my network in less than half an hour – the beauty of the 140 character limit for messages. One of Kathy’s last posts before some thugs scared her off the blogosphere argued that Twitter was Too Good. I am more aligned with Tara Hunt and Lisa Reichelt (Ambient Intimacy).

What am I saying? Twitter is taking off like wildfire. Not just in terms of the users, but also developers. I can’t think of an API that has been faster adopted. We’re talking RSS-style virality. I don’t want to put a dollar figure on Twitter, based on users or something. That is not my point about the value of the service. Rather I just want to emphasize that Twitter is where the action is. There is so much desire, connection, recommendation, pushback, and analysis there. But its very natural. People aren’t twittering to become famous. Well most people aren’t. I said this morning that Twitter is like walking to school with your friends and hanging out, while reading blogs is reading their homework. If I was a marketer I know which place I would want to infiltrate… I am pretty sure text-ads will come to Twitter sooner or later, and when they do, the revenue opportunities are going to be explosive. I guess Google or someone else will buy them by then.

Finally a word to a naysayer. Dennis Howlett was over from Spain and we had a really nice drink. Denn thinks Twitter is a complete waste of time. He certainly seemed to enjoy the company though, all of whom responded to a tweet. If anything is a situational application its Twitter. There is value there, so there will be money there. But I am more interested in people than money. Its a pathology of mine. Stephen’s too

So who accepted the twitter invite?

Alan Wood

alan wood

David Lopez

david

Dennis Howlett

dennis howlett

Johhnie Moore

johnnie moore


Robert McKinnon

robert mckinnon

Categories: Uncategorized.

Comment Feed

41 Responses

  1. Heh, I hadn’t realised that we were all tweet-led, apart from Dennis. Brilliant point.

  2. Well really, it was just a nightmare I had really – I’ve written a lot of blog posts since blogging about my preference for Twitter! I have tweeted far more twittish tweets, though! Fwiw, I also think that data mining of twitter is going to be big money. For example, according to Twitterment (http://twitterment.umbc.edu/ ) the word “meeting” is very buzzy on Twitter this morning. Have you been seeing more Webex Adsense ads than usual? It’s only a matter of time until that starts happening.

    See you in the Tweet-o-sphere!

  3. It is not the amount of people you talk to but the quality of information you can find in a certain amount of time to do you daily job better than yesterday. I say this content analysis and neither Google or MSN or Yahoo or anybody else does this at the moment. At the moment the internet is all about Tags and replicated stories across blogs. This blows up my search result unnecessarily. I want Google to recognize similar documents.

    The thing I do not like about Google and Yahoo is, that they do not recognize documents with similar content. It happens often on the Web that a post or document is spread out over more then 50 websites. Now that is great for the author but not for the searcher because it blows up your search result unnecessarily. With InfoCodex this will not happen because the linguistical database recognizes similar documents and puts them into groups. This does not blow up your search result unnecessarily. InfoCodex Procedure

    Three things Google should do:

    1. Automatically classify a document according to its content.
    2. Automatically generate an abstract of a document.
    3. Generate a Heat-Map of the Contents of a Search Result.

    How it works

  4. Maybe the next big thing is something between My Space and Twitter. Twitter is boring and stupid but lightweight and intuitively easy. Imagine another site with Twitter functionality and easines, but built around some niche community – techies, pet lovers.

  5. My problem with twitter is the reduction in my ability to keep up with the cool kids asynchronously.

    If they are nice enough to leave their homework lying about, I can catch up while they are sleeping. If they all go to twitter, forget it.

    JeremiahMay 3, 2007 @ 10:31 pmReply
  6. Oh, for Pete’s sake. Just “twitter” your blog entries. Don’t leave your audience behind for ADD land.

  7. While I agree with 90% of what you say, I wouldn’t call Twitter ‘Attention Management’. It is attention broadcasting or attention streaming. Managing attention is a whole other issue again.

  8. Don’t worry James – I’ll get it one day.

  9. Daniel — uhm.. you mean.. like… facebook?

    ;)

  10. as an amthropologist, I can vouch for the 200 people unit. most groups of nomadic groups indicate 200 as the maximum group number of roaming settlements. even the masai when mobile maxed out at 200 then had a schism. They will probably twitter each other in a few years. This is either good or bad depending on your tech point of view.

  11. “200 as the maximum group number of roaming settlements. even the masai when mobile maxed out at 200 then had a schism.”

    Interesting. I’m not quite to 100 Twitter friends, and quite a few less followers, so I guess I’ve still got a way to go to maxing out?

    Twitter’s strength, I suspect, is really its ability, quickly and efficiently, to both broadcast (potentially to the millions) and narrowcast (to the 100 or 200 in your network).

  12. Twitter definitely makes me feel more like I’m sitting in a room full of people than blogging ever did.

  13. I’m not a great twitter user, but I can agree on that magical 200 number. It does get confusing to handle the flow of information above it.



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Continuing the Discussion

  1. […] James Governor: If Markets Are Conversations Then Twitter Is Money – “I don’t want to put a dollar figure on Twitter, based on users or something. That is not my point about the value of the service. Rather I just want to emphasize that Twitter is where the action is. There is so much desire, connection, recommendation, pushback, and analysis there.“ […]

  2. […] If I were Twitter , this is where I would start to focus now. I read this post today and James gets it . […]

  3. […] is the conversation” — Read the whole thing. Wow!! […]

  4. […] No Twitter required and somehow infinitely more satisifying. […]

  5. […] Update: TD-Bank has also banned its employees from using Facebook during work hours. For some other views on Twitter, check out Rough Type and Red Monk. […]

  6. […] James Governor’s Monkchips » If Markets Are Conversations Then Twitter Is Money “Twitter is like walking to school with your friends and hanging out, while reading blogs is reading their homework.” (tags: twitter) […]

  7. […] Finally, with regard to the second article mentioned at the beginning, there’s this interesting assertion: If Markets Are Conversations, Then Twitter Is Money. […]

  8. […] really raves about Twitter so I sense Nick got irked with his too Happy in thine Happiness […]

  9. […] James Governor’s Monkchips ” If Markets Are Conversations Then Twitter Is Money (tags: via:vielmetti social-norms social-networks conversations blogging web2.0 community self-organization emergence Twitter) […]

  10. […] If Markets Are Conversations Then Twitter Is Money […]

  11. […] After posting some related thoughts Friday it was great to come in this morning and read James McGovern’s When was the last time you had a meaningful conversation? He riffs off a blog I wrote a while ago If Markets Are Conversations Then Twitter is Money. […]

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  13. […] Twitter, RedMonk analyst James Governor thinks that RIM and Yahoo! would be acquisition candidates. advertising Google GooglePhone Jaiku […]

  14. […] and formerly from Nokia. RedMonk analyst James Governor, who has blogged extensively about the business value of Jaiku competitor Twitter and whose Twitter feed I learned about the acquisition from, has some interesting thoughts on the […]

  15. […] For another, more enterprise oriented discussion of Twitter’s value, see James Governor’s post If Markets Are Conversations Then Twitter is Money. […]

  16. […] en kansen die je anders niet had gehad. Stowe Boyd en James Governor zien het positieve ervan in: “If Markets are conversations, then Twitter is money” terwijl Kathy Sierra het standpunt van de cultuurpessimiste inneemt: “Is Twitter TOO […]

  17. […] en kansen die je anders niet had gehad. Stowe Boyd en James Governor zien het positieve ervan in: “If Markets are conversations, then Twitter is money” terwijl Kathy Sierra het standpunt van de cultuurpessimiste inneemt: “Is Twitter TOO […]

  18. […] If Markets Are Conversations, Twitter Is Money (James Governor) […]

  19. […] Update: Marshall at Read Write Web thinks the tool is valuable, and James Governor sees the value of Twitter. […]

  20. […] involved in the conversation. Become part of the community. If it’s true that we can’t actively engage with more than 200 people, then Twitter is a great way to get connected to that 200, who each are connected to another 200, […]

  21. […] James Governor’s Monkchips » If Markets Are Conversations Then Twitter Is Money […]

  22. […] about that discussion which incites further discussion and winds up any number of places. Or as James Governor ironically pointed out (via Marshall Kirkpatrick), if markets are conversations then Twitter is […]

  23. […] If Markets are Conversations then Twitter is Money […]

  24. […] while back I said if markets are conversations then twitter is money. You can see why Facebook doesn’t want Google spidering its users’ sentiments. Twitter […]

  25. I long ago came to the conclusion its impossible to truly engage with more than 200 bloggers…

    That, after all, is the size of a village, and the natural limit to our legacy brains, unaccustomed as they are to the I/O requirements of the utterly connected age…

  26. […] involved in the conversation. Become part of the community. If it’s true that we can’t actively engage with more than 200 people, then Twitter is a great way to get connected to that 200, who each are connected to another 200, […]

  27. […] Governor has posted two love notes to Twitter over the last couple of days. In the latest, he argues that Twitter's […]