Posted December 13, 2010 9:21 am by with 5 comments

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Well, I was sure holding my breath on this one and now I can breath easy. Twitter has released its Top 10 Trends list for 2010. Now that Twitter has gone about explaining just how their trends feature works this list makes sense …… I guess.

Twitter is pretty sure though that it has the pulse of the 8% of America that has a Twitter account (Honestly, how many of those accounts are really active, Twitter? If you told us that you would be actually telling us something.). In their blog they give some insight about their list

These Trends indicate the things that are most meaningful in our lives. Each day on Twitter, people tweet about news, sports, entertainment and cool new technology–and everything else in between. The list of 2010 Twitter Trends reflects what’s happening in our world,demonstrates the power of turning any event or story into a shared experience, and underscores Twitter’s value as a real-time information network.

Drumroll please! Here are the Top 10 Trends on Twitter for 2010 that indicate what shapes our lives and are most meaningful! (Cymbal crash!)

1. Gulf Oil Spill
2. FIFA World Cup
3. Inception
4. Haiti Earthquake
5. Vuvuzela
6. Apple iPad
7. Google Android
8. Justin Bieber
9. Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows
10. Pulpo Paul

Ok, let’s see. Number 1 was (and still is) very important. Number 4 is probably, in the big picture, more important than #1 because of the level of human suffering still going on. Let’s see, Number 2 is a soccer tournament. Number 3 is a movie. Number 5 is a plastic horn. Numbers 6 and 7 are technology. Number 8 baffles me to this day. Number 9 is a movie (oops, there is a book as well but since it’s more than 140 characters I am not sure how many Twitter users actually read it). And finally, Number 10 I had to look up and be reminded that this is the recently deceased octopus that apparently could pick World Cup games.

The net result of this is me scratching my head and asking “Is this all we could come up with that is most meaningful in our lives?”. This list is more about the distractions people use to ignore actual important things like the economy, mid-term elections, threats of war and many other things.

My point here is that Twitter is getting pretty full if itself when it has the stones to call these results “most meaningful”. Meaningful is a relative term. How about “most tweeted” or “most passed along without thinking” because that’s all they are. Tweet bots and people trying to gather up automated hordes of “followers” are what is mostly represented here.

Look, I think that Twitter is very interesting and it has its place for sure. But allowing the 8% of the population that has a rather narcissistic view of the world from the get go to define meaningful is, well, ridiculous.

What’s your take? Is this list about what was most meaningful or about what was most popular? More often than not those two things don’t even hang out in the same zip code together.

Let’s hear it.

  • It’s a good thing these are only the top trending topics. I would hate to see an uncensored list of the most commonly used words on the service.

  • Cynthia

    Inception is the one I don’t get. Really? It’s that high on the list? As for Bieber, I imagine a good portion of the Tweets about him are mocking, not swooning.

  • @Cynthia – I think you actual make more of a point by your Bieber observation. Whether it is picking on him or swooning over him I just cannot consider any reference to Justin Bieber meaningful. Twitter has a twisted view of what is meaningful, in my opinion.

  • I agree with emphasis. Twitter was once pretty interesting and useful to me, for business and personal reasons. I embraced Twitter as one of my favorite online tools for networking. It was quite different in 2008 and 2009 than it is today.

    In Spring of 2009, after a lot of friendly urges for me to author a book about Twitter, I caved in and went to work. I was not after a buck … I was just trying to be useful. It was intended to help others understand and use Twitter productively. It sold reasonably well for no more than I tried to market it.

    Looking back, I think it was just about the time I launched the book that I became increasingly dismayed by what Twitter was becoming. I almost felt a bit ashamed for having thought it could remain useful for any extended period.

    Maybe once the “Gold Rush” phase clears and the squillion people seeking a squillion followers fades, it will become more useful again. I doubt that, but it is possible. Before that can happen, more people will have to learn that tweeting a bunch of mindless garbage and hoping to get rich on the backs of Twitter users is futile.

  • Digo

    Gulf oil spill on top??