Twitter rant

This is something I posted on my facebook page a few days ago.

This is going to be a pretty long posting.

A couple of weeks ago, I joined Twitter. I had never been in the slightest drawn to Twitter, but, now with the books to promote, I thought I probably should get on board.
Here’s what I’ve learned:
1. Twitter is a fire hose. You might think that Facebook is busy; Twitter is a tsunami.
2. After doing some research, I still struggle to find significant Twitter marketing success stories THAT WERE NOT BACKED UP BY BIG BUDGETS.
3. Initially, I followed around 30 people – everyone in my contact list recognized by Twitter. In two weeks, two of them tweeted anything. And they are both 30. No-one else tweeted ANYTHING. In the same period, many of these folks were active on Facebook.
4. I followed another bunch of Tweeters, each relevant to my interests. Each stream was a non-stop fire hose of folks trying to sell or promote something.
5. If you are over 40, and not a celebrity, you’re going to have to work really hard to build an audience. Let’s assume that if I invested 1 hour every day on Twitter, I might end up with, say 1000 followers after a year; or 5000 even. How many might buy my book? Let’s go crazy and say 100. So I spent 360 hours to earn £200.
6. But, I hear you say, one of your followers could be the editor of the NY Times book section; or a Hollywood producer. OK. Say I value my time at £10 an hour (I don’t by the way – not since I was a teenager.). I just invested £3600 to get my book title in front of this woman/man – for 2 microseconds. Good deal?

I am totally convinced that Twitter is a financial bubble. I think marketing people are waking up to this and will desert the platform. It will doubtless survive – for protest movements, for people who get a vicarious thrill from being Beyonce’s ‘buddy’ (not) and for normal people who want to keep a very casual link to their friends – which presupposes that their friends are active on Twitter.

And don’t get me started on the idiocy of 140 characters. A limit established in response to a limitation on another, totally different, technology – which limitation no longer exists.

So my Twitter experiment is officially over.

As is this rant.

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