Fear of a Twitter Planet: The 11 Things I Know about the Twitter Phenomenon

Is there anything hotter to blog about than Twitter?  I have been off the word processor for the whole month of January as the Funnelholic was dominated with thought leadership interviews and now, here I am, and the only thing on my mind is Twitter.

I started on Twitter as most do, just signing up and not understanding what it is or what to do.  Everyone said I HAD to get on there, so I did.  Months later, Guy Kawasaki writes his now heavily read “Looking for Mr. Goodtweet,“  I did every tip on his list,  and the rest is history.

Now I have more than 1,000 followers, tweetdeck loaded on my desktop, a healthy addiction to Twitter, and no clue what Twitter is or will become.  I went out to coffee with Steve Woods from Eloqua (by the way, one of the smarter dudes on the planet), and he asked me where I thought Twitter was going.  Anyone who acquainted with me knows I have an opinion on everything, yet I was stumped.  Truth is, if I could come up with the breakthrough treatise on Twitter, I would be “internet-fabulous.”  Regardless, I still haven’t had my epiphany – particularly with regards to how Twitter will affect b2b marketing/lead generation.  I have ideas brewing, but nothing where I feel like I could win an argument.

What I do know is that:

  1. I have no idea how Twitter will make money. This is a classic internet “build it, run away with traffic and figure out what to monetize it later” stories. I am pretty sure the only way for Twitter to make money is to sell this pig.
  2. When it is sold, we will all move on. And in classic internet form, Yahoo! or AOL will buy it for too much money, and we will go somewhere else.
  3. All I can think about with Twitter is the dancing baby. Yep, that’s right.  Remember the days of the “cc:-all”?  The cc:-all was the original viral medium – dancing babies, bad jokes, urban myths and so on. Those large cc: lists thankfully turned to bcc: lists.  Now when you get something you want to pass on, you post that thing on your Twitter or Facebook to let it fly.  Twitter has effectively killed the “bcc:”
  4. I can find a lot of information I had no access to before. Twitter means information. Twitterati are constantly trying to tweet fun, funny, provocative, obscure, interesting or up-to-date tweets.  Forget Google Reader – I go to my Tweet Deck to find articles to read.
  5. It’s hard to manage all the tweets. I have so many people I am following that I am pretty sure I miss thousands of posts for each one I read.  I know people are building apps to manage this issue, but that still means you will miss tons of tweets, but you will see the ones you really want to.
  6. “I ate a piece of pizza” is stupid. Please stop tweeting insignificant events in your life just to tweet. Pleeeeease.
  7. Twitter has created a new internet lexicon. Twitter has created new terms like “tweeps,” “twitterati” and “tweet.”  And Twitter lexicon works in creating fun titles and subject lines –  e.g., above and “Looking for Mr. Goodtweet.”
  8. Twitter’s look and feel is so Geocities. The interface is so basic and crude, and people don’t care.  That is cool
  9. Promoting works. I have a friend who just launched his Web site Best Life Practices.  In the old days, you pass it on to your friends, try to get some links, build your reputations … yawn.  Instead, I sent him Guy’s article, got myself and a buddy to tweet it and boom: retweets, visitors, positive comments.  He is now building a big list of followers, and his Web site has LAUNCHED.
  10. B2b lead generation does not work. More on this in another post, but I remain skeptical about whether you can drive direct leads from Twitter or others.  Key phrase: Direct lead generation.
  11. Nothing will be the same. Twitter and social media is changing the way games are played on the Internet, and while I don’t know what’s next, I do know that things are different.

Ok, I have now entered the “blogging about Twitter” sweepstakes.

Craig Rosenberg is the Funnelholic. He loves sales, marketing, and things that drive revenue. Follow him on Google+ or Twitter