The volume of Twitter posts popping up in my feed reader is ticking upward, a phenomenon I find interesting because of something I noted recently on LinkedIn. A few weeks ago, a new feature appeared, enabling me to report what I’m working on – Twitter for the office crowd. Always willing to try some flair, I jumped on the bandwagon, and set up a recurring ToDo for updating my LI-net on the day’s focus.
That lasted less than two weeks – some clear (and discouraging) trends had emerged:
- Few people in my network were using this feature, and actively noting what we were doing – and it was primarily folks that I know are active bloggers, engaged in the practice of Web 2.0 (and they, too, have trailed off in their LI-tweets)
- For the “regular” folks in my network, it was the one activity (daily or twice daily updates) that generated the most inbound comments. I got multiple e-mails, noting that I must be manufacturing additional hours each day.
- Without fail, whenever you mention SAP, data warehousing, or any other specific technology, every product sales rep or consulting firm in your network will call that day and offer a$$istance.
I remain a fan of LinkedIn and social networks in general, but my personal jury is still out with Twitter. I think I want it to succeed, but I’m not sure exactly what it can succeed at. The ideas and innovations are still coming in – one of them is sure to make sense to the wider audience, right? In the mean time, I just don’t see it catching on in the mainstream enterprise business environment.
I wonder if the gap is generational, or just a different target audience? Much like the difference between Facebook and LinkedIn – is it GenX vs the Millennials, or is it social network versus professional network? Earlier this week, Bernard Lunn weighed in with his compare and contrast post, and observing that both platforms attempt to add Yet Another Messaging Medium to your current array. Dennis McDonald’s reply post backs up the notion that there are different audiences in play here – he also has done a deeper dive in Facebook than I have, so if you want a more qualified and detailed comparison, check out Dennis’ work.
Or maybe Hugh MacLeod (gapingvoid) has it pegged …
Note that Mr. MacLeod is clearly a Twitter fan – maybe he gets this stuff it better than I …