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Twitter Officially Goes Mainstream

Posted: January 13th, 2009 | Author: Agitationist | Filed under: social media | Tags: , , , , , | 6 Comments »

It’s inescapable. For months, the blogging heads have been all abuzz with one breathless question: “Is Twitter Mainstream Yet?”

I can report to you today: the question has been definitively answered.

This morning I awoke to an email from my friend Paul, which read in part:

They had a piece on the news last night about Twitter, and having Twitter parties and I was mortified. 
 
http://abclocal.go.com/wls/video?id=6600808&rss=rss-cs-wls-video-6600808
 
Not to sound like a wet blanket but JC, give me a FN break. 

[Editor's note: I advise you to watch that video on an empty stomach.]

I wrote back:

I think this is part of the normal cycle of anything new becoming popular: the local news story about ______ parties. 

Probably because old people vaguely remember having parties themed around the fads of their day, like ”hula-hoop parties”. This gives them a frame to understand new things. 

The report follows the classic pattern: the lead anchor takes a dismissive tone, the younger reporter is in the know, and (go figure!) the wacky weatherman’s been tweeting for months!

The next phase - techie backlash - has already begun in some quarters, with blog posts complaining about Twitter being misused by all the new people, and how much better it was in the old days of…what, 2007? 

If history is any guide, I would expect this to be followed by a proliferation of spam, more system outages, more attempts at Twitter-killing apps, a Google tweet search, Twitter SEO and full-time Twitter experts, a generally agreed-upon “authority” ranking (which will then be gamed by scammers with paid fake followers), news stories about the dangers of predators on Twitter, a “get rich quick with Twitter” late-night infomercial, and an annual Twitter convention with an embarrassingly stupid name.

And in the end, especially here in the U.S., we will use Twitter not despite its 140 character limit, but because of it. We will communicate in 140-character segments because that is all we have to give.

Or maybe I’m wrong, and a new art form will develop. I hope so.

But please, keep your lunch plans to yourself.

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6 Comments on “Twitter Officially Goes Mainstream”

  1. 1
    Andy Brudtkul said at 6:59 pm on January 13th, 2009:

    so what’s your point?

  2. 2 Agitationist said at 7:33 pm on January 13th, 2009:

    Try reading the lines from left to right next time.

  3. 3 Andy Brudtkul said at 9:02 am on January 14th, 2009:

    Apparently having a blog and being a douchebag has gone mainstream too.

  4. 4 Agitationist said at 10:27 am on January 14th, 2009:

    Well then I should be profitable any minute now.

  5. 5 Why is Mashable Obsessed with Twitter? | The Agitationist said at 11:46 am on January 26th, 2009:

    [...] you’ve read this blog before, you know I’m no fan of Twitter, the over-hyped tin can on a string of the 21st [...]

  6. 6 Is Twitter the Next Big Search Engine? « Search Matters said at 1:55 am on January 30th, 2009:

    [...] estimated 5-10,000 daily, and mentions on traditional media, Twitter (website) seems to have become mainstream. It’s one of those simple internet ideas that has taken on a life of its own. And spawned [...]


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