Monday, March 21, 2011

Twitter At Five

As Bruce Arthur of the National Post points out today: "We are five years into the life of this latest social network, and with 200 million users or so worldwide, it’s clearly growing.  The company has released a pile of numbers on its birthday showing how the network has exploded - 460,000 new accounts per day in the last month, 140 million tweets per day so far this month versus 50 million tweets per day a year ago, a billion tweets per week, etc. - but none of that says anything about whether any of it is worth a damn.  Much of it, surely, is not.  The five most followed Twitter accounts are Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, Britney Spears, Barack Obama and Kim Kardashian.  Charlie Sheen has been on Twitter for 19 days, and is about to overtake The New York Times; all three Kardashian sisters are in the top 70.  Clearly, for many people Twitter is like the culture. It is, when you get right down to it, a near-total waste of your time.  And if you think about it, most of what’s said in this world is a waste of time for almost everybody else.  Imagine all the conversations happening in the English-speaking world right now, and then imagine how many of them you’d actually like to listen to.  Not many, is the answer."  Arthur then points out that at least with Twitter you get to choose your sources, which is exactly the point - and exactly why the 140-character phenom will continue to grow by leaps and bounds.