It’s toast. Over. Done. History. Soon to be as behind the curve as Facebook, someday completely forgotten like Friendster.
It’s the cacophony.
You see there are too many people on the service. As a result, very few are heard. It’s happened over the past six months, tweeting is like a stone in a waterfall, or more accurately, pissing in the wind. In other words, if you tweet and nobody reads it have you wasted your time?
Today Rick Warren tweeted something I wrote. He’s got in excess of a million followers. The fact that I can reach him stuns me. But despite his only tweeting twice since then, the retweets have not gone nuclear. Oh, there are plenty, a double digit number, nineteen to be exact, but if it had been six months ago, I’d be a hero at the Saddleback Church.
Twitter is becoming just like the rest of the world, a haven of winners and losers. Either you’re a star with an eight digit following and people are interested in what you have to say or…you’re ignored.
Interestingly, those in demand, those followed, those who have their words eaten up are musicians, if they’d only realize their power and stop selling out to the man and focus on the music itself, unlike Jay-Z.
But musicians don’t have to tweet to get their story across… Twitter is not the only platform that allows them to do this.
You see everybody wants to be a star and nobody’s got time to follow a million people. Just can’t be done. Furthermore, we don’t even want to.
Everything you hear is wrong. All this hogwash about algorithms and recommendations. Have you experienced Spotify’s new homepage? Right now, it says if I like Michael Bolton to check out Shania Twain. Isn’t that like saying if you like Cliff Richard to check out Loretta Lynn?
Yes, Spotify’s new service is laughable. Because Spotify doesn’t care about music, but money.
And the founders of Twitter don’t care about communication, but cash.
And the public is not beholden to any of these services. Which is why the story of the Internet is a few services that stick and a ton that disappear.
Why is this?
It turns out services are like bands. There are a few superstars and a ton of one hit wonders. And why no one else can see this is beyond me.
I’ve got 50,000+ Twitter followers. But I can send an e-mail covering the same stuff I tweeted about and the response can be deafening, even though on Twitter nothing happened.
Which is kind of why you see the tweets of all the famous people falling off.
Yes, someone goes on Twitter, tweets up a storm, and then…if they don’t stop completely, their number of tweets drops dramatically.
So it turns out we all want to communicate, we all want to connect, but we are endless grazers in the digital domain, making stars of services like turntable.fm and then discarding them seemingly overnight.
We want trusted filters. And we don’t want thousands of them, just a handful.
And those who will be trusted will not be those with an engineering degree, but a humanities degree.
Yes, the stars of tomorrow will be thinkers. Who will build their followings, which will migrate from platform to platform. Just like you discarded your Palm for your BlackBerry for your iPhone…you’re gonna abandon platforms continuously, until it’s no longer about platforms but content.
In other words, you don’t have to be on Tumblr or Pinterest, you just need a passing interest, a basic familiarity with Twitter, because they’re just way stations, this year’s “Call Me Maybe.” Google search is Elton John, but just like Elton can’t get on Top Forty radio anymore, there’s a good chance Google search will be superseded, since it’s a much more useful desktop app than mobile one.
There must be a reason for someone to follow you, there must be something interesting about what you say or do. And that’s got nothing to do with the platform and everything to do with who you are.
We are in an era of chaos. But stability is right around the corner. Just like Google search replaced the much less useful AltaVista and HotBot and so many other engines, this era of a million bands with few followers is going to draw to a close. Because just like on Twitter, there’s too much, the barrier to entry is too low, humans require order.
If you think you can go from zero to hero with little musical talent, you probably believe having a lot of MySpace friends made a difference when everybody jumped to Facebook!
It’s about the individual.
And your individuality is everything. Which is why Apple can create commercials in the style of Steve Jobs but they can positively suck. Because it’s not about the penumbra, but the zeitgeist. I mean what do those new Apple ads say? I can’t decipher it, and seemingly no one else cares.
So tweet away. Until you realize no one’s reading.
Then stop, read a book, become a three-dimensional person, have something to say…
And start over.