Monthly Archives: March 2010

Twitter: the caravan has moved on


It seems official now. Several web analytics services show a decline in Twitter users since September 2009. Nielsen found that around 60% of new Twitter users drop out after only a month. What is interesting is to speculate why the peak has been reached so soon.

Growth on Twitter was mainly due to media hype, but is no big news anymore and therefore out of the headlines. Celebrity tweets inviting public voyeurism are no longer a great attraction, and bottom-up revolutions are too rare to maintain a constant audience.

What is interesting is that the total hype curve seems to follow my own personal interest curve in this service (although my interest diminished much earlier than September). Fun for a while, but of little value in the longer term. Too much effort for too little benefits. Like how often would you enjoy shouting into a valley with hearing an echo only once or twice?

Most benefits to me came from reading not the tweets, but the linked web pages and weblog posts. Eventually, the Google Reader empire struck back and I returned to the feed machine.

Yet again, I think it is worth reflecting on basing education on hype-driven experiences. One of the key responsibilities of education is to provide equal opportunities to citizens. It cannot be that we base our graduates’ futures on guinea pig experiences they have had the (mis)fortune to have lived through. Remember the lost generations in Second Life?!

Innovation is good, but it needs to be solid. This requires not only technology, but a cultural change, and whereas technology can be changed/appear/disappear in an instance, cultural change takes much much longer and certainly does not happen through the media world.