Twitter, Converoo, interactivity, engagement, group, event, social, media

One of the four pillars of human happiness is Social Connectivity. Since we emerged from the Cave we’ve assembled socially for comfort, protection and support, with a focus on creating better ways of sharing ideas and improving society (printing press, telephone, Internet, etc). Is it really a surprise that we’ve continued to push the levels of human happiness with Social Technologies? The impact of this on society is still being assessed, but entrepreneurs are seizing the wheel of social innovation and the landscape for human connectivity is expanding weekly.

We look at the large social networks with hundreds of millions of members and tend to think we’re pretty far down the social evolutionary path, but that’s deceiving. Consider Twitter the 500+ million account behemoth with 140 million active monthly users, yet only in the last several months have they taken serious steps to commercialize their efforts. They’re not the only ones as most “social media” entities are still learning that two-way social networking is much different than one-way entertainment where advertising is concerned.

This is where Twitter may actually end up winning out in the long run, as they’ve gone down a different path than their Social Network competitors. Google+, Facebook and LinkedIn all provide ways for users to wrap themselves with the comfort of their friends and family. Yet Twitter has become more of a broadcasting medium than a social connector, where users collect followers by tweeting something profound, funny or attention getting. If Twitter creates a method to tapping into their stream of broadcasters for hyper targeted message delivery, there certainly are brands that would line up to pay.

In the end, this approach could backfire on Twitter as they would be driving their users further away from what makes them happiest – making social connections. As it stands, Twitter followers are not typically friends – at least not at first – and there is quite a bit of effort needed to create a group of followers that will provide the Social Connectivity we as humans seek. It’s probably why on average only ¼ of Twitter users actually send tweets (Semiocast), and that about 50% of all tweets originate from only 20,000 power users (Yahoo Research). This is a trend that should not be ignored because if we basically only use Twitter to check in with what our favorite celebrities or thought leaders are tweeting, most will find themselves using Twitter less and less.

Twitter’s version of “social” can be sustained and grown with more structured social “set pieces.” This is where a growing interest in Twitter Chat Events comes into play. These mostly recurring Events provide weekly connections with Twitter users who have similar interest in the Event topic. At Converoo we are huge fans of these Events and think the name “chat’ is a poor one based on the incredible experience these “live” Events provide. When well managed, the content that is shared around interesting topics is nothing short of remarkable. Twitter may see their future as the next major broadcasting medium – and they may be right – but they also have an incredible resource that if nurtured can also provide the Twitterati with social happiness…

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