Twitter – between a rock and a hard place

G+ is not a FB killer but seriously hurts Twitter

It looks like Twitter is now paying a price for sloppy technology, ignoring it's long time advocates and lack of innovation. The "uncomfort" of Tweepl is growing rapidly. Robert Scoble just posted his view why "Twitter is boring

Twitter revolutionized the way we communicate by giving us a platform for most instant information sharing across the world. Twitter revolutionized the way we articulate our thoughts by forcing us to *focus* our thoughts and squeeze them into 140 character and we all not only learned to do so but *really* appreciate the fast communication.
Twitter revolutionized the way we connect with people by simply follow others without protocol.

All of the above made it one way or the other, either by using the schema or by behavioral adjustment (we use 140isch charcters and try to stay short) into most social networks. But as the old saying goes: "Good enough is not good enough". Innovation never stops and Twitter is in a serious situation.

In other words, Twitter has hurt itself

  1. Listening
    Twitter has still no real good relationship with its users – in particular the long time advocates. "Listen to your customer" is not known to Twitter – maybe because we are not a "customer". Twitter: So start building a relationship and build it quickly.
  2. Technology
    The technology fails almost daily. And the worst thing, it's part of the strategy. An undisclosed source told me once that the enormous talk about the technology break down is helpful and spreads the word about Twitter – well maybe it is a boomerang? Twitter: Fix your technology and fix is quickly
  3. User Interface
    The retro Web 1.0 UI may have been "interesting" and some people like it. But I guess more people like the rich UI of a Google+. Twitter: Make your UI more pleasant and do that quickly.
  4. User Behavior Management
    Well – it is a bad user behavior to automatically post stuff on Twitter. And I even un-followed friends because of it. Twitter is a social anarchy where everything is possible – as long as you have an account. Some people however pissed Twitter off and then you loose your account with no warning and sometimes not even an idea why (I speak from experience) I know they try hard to get the discrepancy between automatism and conversation – but showing the number of quadro gazillion followers and making it indirectly a goal is just bad behavior. Twitter: Hire a sociologist or start listening to the more experienced social media students – you have about 10,000 top notch people in your ecosystem.
  5. Connection Structure & Search
    There is no way to professionally structure connections. Lists are a boring and clumsy mechanism. Sorting and finding the right connections in your own TwitterVerse is basically non existent. More so you may search people and you know they are there and Twitter won't find them. Something that is wanted since 2007 and was never really fixed. Search for older Tweets and you may or may not find them. Twitter: rearchitect your lists and make it easy for people to categorize and tag their friends.
  6. Technology Backend
    You may experience that all of a sudden you need your old password to get – well because the whole TwitterVerse is not very clean and sometimes old data just show up, old profile pictures and so forth. Clearly it isn't easy to build a robust network that is holding up to 100-200 Million users – but with over $200 Million in funding they should be able to do better than that :) Twitter: Hire a few real PROs and get your architecture fixed.

Why is it more serious than it looks like on the surface?

The number of users may still grow, the number of tweets may still grow. But the number of tweets that are read by humans is rapidly declining. The number of auto connections is rapidly increasing. The number of "blasts" and advertising is growing out of proportion. In other words the theoretic interaction volume may still grow – but the human interaction is moving elsewhere. I still do "tweets" because it is easy to hit the tweet button – but I do most of the "conversations" elsewhere :(

It would be a pity if we'd loose Twitter – but things are moving fast and Twitter needs to respond even faster. Let's hope that they get it and get it right. Twitter was a major and very important milestone in the social web development.




Google+ what changes – a detailed review

Under the new Google Management – with Larry Page on the helm – things seem to change. Google+ is out and unlike the many products before like Wave, Buzz and others, G+ looks pretty promising.

Is it a "Facebook Killer" like several early promoters suggested? I absolutely don't think so. Is it a "Twitter Killer"? That one is much more likely. Let me share some early experience:

Google+ Screenshot, Axel Schultze

What is different to the other "Big Three" (Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn)?

Continue reading “Google+ what changes – a detailed review”


Do you record every call, every meeting, every conversation?

Most likely you don't record every phone call you make. You probably also don;t put up a recorder on every meeting you participate in. And I guess you don't record every conversation you are having with colleagues, friends or customers.

That was my thought too when I thought about the enormous amount of time people wasting with their email inbox. And it was a very helpful aspect when I thought about getting off of email.

In summer 2010 I decided to terminate my personal em,ail account by December 2010. Today it is only an auto-responder telling any sender that I no longer use email and look forward to any conversation in Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or other media including phone or a nice chat at a local cafe. My next goal is to reduce business email to an insignificant amount.

Getting Off Of Business Email

This is a much harder part – I thought. But actually I'm surprised that it is not. Today, early July 2011, I check my email inbox once a day and there is actually no need to do more than that. What did I do to get there?

Here are a few very simple steps:

1) If I receive an email, I usually respond on Facebook or Twitter or LinkedIn

2) If the sender is a complete stranger, I may not have the connection but most likely no need to respond anyway

3) The conversation is quickly "relocated" to any of the networks where communication is in a bizarre way richer and leaner at the same time. Much less formalities and straight to the point on one side but enriched with other conversations and shared content where applicable.

4) Sharing content and referring to other people, making introductions or sharing profiles is so much faster than email.

5) The real *KEY* however is the ability to share a conversation with many others at the same time. That means more people know what I'm up to, what challenges I have or what excites me right now.  That makes conversations more interesting and I get much more feedback than through a single email.

6) The diversity in the social web is superior over other media. I can make a personal connection via direct message, I can chat with somebody in a closed group and have others participate if they like and in a controlled way or I can go completely public.

7) Collaboration in groups with a quick way to upload photos, videos, screenshots and more is so much easier and richer than the monotone and close communication path of email.

I will continue to check my inbox on a daily base because I want to provide our customers the choice to communicate with us in any way THEY prefer. But after sic month I can say the email correspondence has imploded and the conversation on the social web exploded. I believe that it will take no more than two years to be completely off of email – very much like I am off of FAX, and off of TELEX and I just learn that the postal service finally stopped serving TELEGRAM communication.

And with the increased volume and speed – there is no way we can record every conversation or dialog – whether it is on the phone, in person or in any kind of text message. It will sit somewhere but no need to spend time to focus on archive, ordering the messages and whatever else people do with their emails today.



Social Media Guidelines – encouraging and fun

I researched many Social Media policy documents in the last 2 years and what’s interesting is the different ways companies address and define social media guidelines. I have read policies where every paragraph started with "Thou Shalt Not….; and other polices looked like more like mystery books.

Great to see many enterprises guiding their team and their social engagements in a fun and encouraging way.

EMC released a brief training video for their team, which is designed to communicate the key points of proper social engagement while not losing sight of the 'fun' side of Social Media.

The Evolution of Communication: Social Media Engagement @ EMC


Meltwater Employee Social Media Guidelines



Social Media Guidelines Help UPS Employees Protect Their Reps



For me social media guidelines are telling a lot about company culture – not only as a workspace but also for the customers.

More Social Media Guidelines in our resource center and more video clips also on our YouTube Channel