Twitter as a Medium, not an End


There was a furious bout of handwringing in the blogosphere this week when a new study conducted by Harvard Business Review revealed many Twitter users don’t use the service much, or even at all.

The question that followed seemed to be “well…what’s the point, then?”

The proliferation of tools that function on the backbone of Twitter (aka – the Twitterverse) speaks to the fact that “using” the system as a communication tool alone misses the point.



As you can see from Brian Solis and Jesse 3’s visual depiction of the services that currently use Twitter, dialoging is just one spiral on the arm.

Whether you fancy broadcasting, search, trend or buzz analysis, or content production and syndication, Twitter seems to be a medium that other services naturally take to. It’s the “ether” in the universe that seems to knit things together.

What I find fascinating is that even though RSS has permeated a lot of the web, it never really “made sense” to people. I don’t think Twitter makes a lot of sense to folks either yet, but I can tell you this – people WANT to learn about Twitter…I’ve never encountered anyone who wanted to learn about RSS.

What does this mean to you? Don’t worry about how your neighbor uses Twitter. What is important for them might not be important to you. Think about what this sort of medium can do for you as part of your overall strategy. And then go for it.

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