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Twitter? What’s a Twitter?

JoePaEveryone and their grandfather is at least trying to talk about Twitter these days. Or are they? While it’s not fair to use an iconic 82 year old college football coach as the pulse of nation regarding social media, Penn State coach Joe Paterno did make this statement at a press conference that should make you chuckle

“You guys have to talk about something. The fans have to put something on those — what do you guys call those things, Twittle-do, Twittle-dee?”

I bet that his incoming freshmen at Penn State know what Twitter is. What about the rest of the folks though? Last week, Biz Stone admitted that while there is a ton of buzz around the service it has not done a good job of getting people from awareness to engagement.

The LA Times reports that a new LinkedIn Research Network/ Harris Poll ( is anyone’s research source antennae moving wildly about regarding the poll ‘sponsor’?) shows that advertisers have an inflated view of Twitter’s value as compared to the average consumer. At this point you must be thinking “No s$#t, Sherlock” but there’s more.

Of the 2,025 U.S. adults surveyed, 69% said they didn’t know enough about Twitter to comment on the service.

Compare that to just 17% of advertisers who admitted to not knowing much about the website — a group whose colleagues would, if they found out about said confession, probably take them out back “Old Yeller” style.

Even I was caught off guard by the reference to euthanizing advertisers for their “twignorance” but this is getting to the reality regarding just how influential Twitter really is on a larger scale. This study claims that 7 out of ten people didn’t have enough information about Twitter to form an opinion about it. While we Internet marketing types just assume that most people live under rocks, this is what the real world experiences. Even those who were aware of the service were split between the service growing or having the opinion that it is just for kids. Finally there was 8% of those surveyed that felt that Twitter was a thing of the past and it was time to find the next big thing! These people have already put Twitter in the bargain bin of social media.

So Pilgrims, let’s try a little informal survey of our own. Assuming that about 70% of the population couldn’t comment on Twitter because they didn’t know enough about it, are advertisers jumping the gun? Where do the real applications for business exist for Twitter? Where are the places that it won’t make a difference at all and the places where it could become invaluable? Are we so bored with ourselves that we have talked Twitter into stardom but will find out that it’s just a fad after all? Please settle this issue once and for all so we can get on with our lives.

Thanks.

  • http://www.bigpictureweb.com jlbraaten

    I’m going to say that it has to do with adoption rates. Advertisers and Internet marketers are largely immersed in Twitter and have found uses for it. It’s in our best interest to get our clients (i.e., consumers) hooked on the tool as well. It’s a win-win-win. Twitter gets more engagement. Advertisers/marketers get to help their clients. Consumers engage in the fun that is Twitter.

    jlbraaten’s last blog post..The Top 8 Best Free Audio Podcast Downloads on the Web

  • http://www.free-xbox360.co.uk Amy

    I think that it’s amazing how many people who are usually thought to be technophobes know (and love) twitter, whereas I’m a 22 year old computer nut, and I hate the thing!

  • http://www.frankthinking.com Frank Reed

    @Amy – Interesting point. This is why the whole Twitter ‘phenomenon’ has to be looked at with less media frenzy and more business acumen. We are rushing to crown the King or Queen of social media and the reality could very well be that the eventual monarch of this space hasn’t even been born yet. Furthermore, this idea that everyone and their brother will adopt, understand and fully utilize Twitter is ridiculous. It is not for everyone as your statement proves. Thanks for stopping by.
    .-= Frank Reed´s last blog ..Good Sales Help is VERY Hard to Find =-.

  • http://www.letsknowabout.com stranger

    i’ll define twiter being to most stupid concept the american ever came up with
    .-= stranger´s last blog ..Let’s Know About : Anna Maria , Here I come … =-.

  • http://www.jaankanellis.com Jaan Kanellis

    It is hard to be newbie and get engaged to something that seem broken 50% of the time you visit it.
    .-= Jaan Kanellis´s last blog ..Bing = Yahoo: One Search Result…Finally =-.

  • http://www.nickjag.com/ Nick Jag

    I think overall, it’ll pass as a fad, but there are some opportunities available, if you can offer your readers something of value. I remember some poetry organization publishing different poets’ poems each day and the followers love it. Posting news about the same thing over and over, or just spamming followers won’t go anywhere.

  • http://www.agent-seo.com Jacob Stoops

    Yeah, I still struggle trying to figure out how to best utilize twitter. There are some people I know who are super-successful with twitter and the whole social media thing. In fact, their lives center around it. However, I think I’m in the majority that doesn’t know just how useful it can be for me just yet.
    .-= Jacob Stoops´s last blog ..Microsoft & Yahoo Teaming Up to Fight Google =-.

  • http://www.mouse-mat.com T Bareham

    i’m still trying to get my head round how much use it actually gets already.

  • http://info-hog.com/free-ebooks/ Mass Ebooks

    I’ve often wondered how many people actually read the tweets they receive. I, for one, don’t. Like video games, you could get lost for hours with nothing gained.
    .-= Mass Ebooks´s last blog ..Big Fat Lies! 12 Biggest Scams In The Weightloss Industry! =-.