"It's a notion that struck me as I realized that nearly everyone who's ever played a reasonably significant role in my life, both past and present, has since found and reconnected with me, initially via email through the digital reach of this very column over the years, but now far more actively and vividly through my Facebook profile (or, to a lesser extent, my Twitter feed). It's sort of stunning, really.
Old girlfriends, lost loves, long-forgotten friends, high school sweethearts, band mates, roommates, old nemeses, lots of former cheerleaders turned born-again Christian megamoms, and everything in between. All those old connections, those lives and chapters and periods of my life I thought I'd left behind so cleanly, so decisively, way back when? Here they all are again, like a living scrapbook, constantly renewing and updating itself. What a thing."
There’s a lot of discussion out there about a recent Nielsen report stating that 60% of new Twitter users stop using the service after one month. 60% is a big number but I find it interesting that the number has actually improved recently. From the report:
Currently, more than 60 percent of Twitter users fail to return the following month, or in other words, Twitter’s audience retention rate, or the percentage of a given month’s users who come back the following month, is currently about 40 percent. For most of the past 12 months, pre-Oprah, Twitter has languished below 30 percent retention.
First of all, I don’t think that a single event like Oprah joining Twitter should be singled out as the reason for a 10% improvement (30% to 40%) in user retention. I actually think that the improvement is due to the much criticized suggested users list that Twitter introduced several months ago. Before the suggested users list was introduced, new users started with a blank slate – Following 0 and 0 Followers. Twitter has always provided a way for people to locate friends by email address (similar to Facebook) but for the non-tech crowd, this might only result in a few matches and there is no guarantee that those people are active on Twitter. And while there are some pretty good third-party Twitter directories out there, most new users don’t have a clue where to find those. As a result, many new Twitter users log on to their account and see just a few updates a day from a handful of people. When they compare this to other social networking sites like Facebook, this makes Twitter look useless and they stop using it. Twitter’s suggested users list certainly isn’t perfect, but at least it gives new users some content to look at versus a blank page.
"Recently, I put up a TwtPoll asking the question:
Do you want companies to directly market to you on Twitter? e.g. if you tweet about being sick, you get a tweet about a cold remedy product
The results are in and over 70% say “No” "
From the About page: "So is this Web site anti-Twitter? Not necessarily. Rarely is the technology to blame, but rather how it is used and, in many cases, abused. As it gains popular acceptance, more and more examples present themselves that exemplify this abuse, particularly as the early adopters give way to the technology laggards. That's what will be covered here."
Historical and contemporary photos of San Francisco