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Twitter: Contradictions and Ambiguity

I do go to a lot of conferences every year. This recent study certainly matches my experience where the first day is always rife with delegates asking the question “What’s the hashtag?” and another group asking “What’s a hastag?”
Study Reveals High Levels of Twitter Use at Conferences
“The researchers found that the majority of conference attendees already had a Twitter account (95.1%) and many of those who did actively used it to tweet during the conference (67.5%). 74.1% of the attendees send between 11 and 20 messages per day and 51.2% discussed topics via @ replies and DMs.”
img alt=”twitter_at_conferences.png” src=”/files/oldroot/other/twitter_at_conferences.png” width=”374″ height=”250″ />
Read the whole ReadWriteWeb post for more.
Then again, I guess conference goers are a little more forward thinking than the general population. Marketers ove this group since they’re often the early adopters and innovators pioneering new modes and styles and breaking in the service.
Harris Poll: Consumer Perceptions About Twitter
Twitter’s biggest problem: Most people still don’t know what it’s there for
I see parallels in this phase of Twitter with what I heard in the early phases of facsimile (why wouldn’t I just mail it?); e-mail (I don’t want to have an e-mail address!); online information (searching will always be a special skills just for librarians!); the Internet (why would I need anything like that?); the web (huh? at home?); and Second Life (I have a first life that’s just fine thanks…!).
Also, one of my tests is when I see new stuff on TV and in ads. I am seeing ‘Follow us on Twitter’ in print ads that mirror the early days of the web when URLs showed up on print ads. And I am seeing the odd celebrity adding it their shows (Like Conan O’Brien did his first tweet on July 31st, Oprah, the Today Show, CNN, etc.) It’s hard to know how much is product placement and how much is just being trendy but it’s got more buzz this week than last. I call this the 800 number test. When everyone knows it like an 800 number then it’s normal and no longer brand new.
Then again, what do I know? I had a pet rock.

Posted on: August 4, 2009, 1:39 pm Category: Uncategorized

2 Responses

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  1. I recently attended a SEFLIN conference in which Twittering was encouraged with the #seflin09. Perhaps you may know this answer or direct me to the area to look in but when I put in my tweets with the #seflin09, my entries did not appear under twitter search or even using my tweeterdeck. Any help would be great.
    Strange. It worked for me when I tested it just now. Do you have your twitter account settings set to private?

  2. You were around in the early phases of fax? You’re a lot older than I thought, since the technology’s more than a century old. (Heck, I’m not old enough to remember early fax…)
    As for Second Life: As the 95% abandonment rate suggests, that’s not a bad response…
    (Re Twitter itself, which I don’t *currently* use: You know, those three smaller slices of the chart could all be correct at the same time, and “being over”–as email has been for years now–can be a great fate for a useful tool.)