Not long ago this tweet came across my stream:
The tweet was referring to this kind of email that Twitter started sending summarizing the tweets most resonating in your tweet stream:
In receiving the email the author of the tweet has assumed that Twitter has somehow failed by using a medium outside of their own.
I’d argue exactly the opposite. For most busy Twitter users it is impossible to read every tweet that comes across our streams. Most probably dip in and out at breaks in normal work flow. Unlike other content consumption mediums such as RSS or email, for example, where content does not decay, Tweets drop off the end of the stream as others come in at the top to replace them. This means valuable insight and content will be missed—Twitter has said that a quarter of Tweets contain a link and those Tweets that are valuable and resonate with others will be lost.
Often the perception of Twitter is that its primary utility is as a place to have conversation. While that is true, arguably its greater benefit is the discovery and dissemination of content. Content that the community considers valuable will resonate and rise to the top so if you happen to not look over your tweet stream at the right time the possibility exists that you will miss it.
So I’d say thanks to Twitter for curating the content most resonating on my Tweet stream and sending it to me in a format I can glance over it and make sure I haven’t missed anything too interesting. It’s a move that says Twitter is moving to establish themselves not just as a conversation enabler but also the network users begin to depend on for discovery of content online.
- About the Author
Nathan Safran is a former Analyst at Forrester Research where he covered the Digital Home. While at Forrester, Nathan authored research studies on trends, attitudes and behaviors of consumers toward technology adoption and use.
Nathan has been quoted as a subject matter expert in publications such as the Wall Street Journal, USA Today and Fortune magazine. Currently, Nathan heads the Research Department at Conductor, Inc an SEO Technology Platform firm.
Nathan writes at exceljockey.com about the intersection of Business, Technology and Psychology. See the About page for more info. Follow Nathan on Twitter: @Nathan_Safran