I think one of the things holding back Twitter from going “mainstream” is the fact that it’s so open and public. I was browsing through some blogs the other day and found a comment that read:
… Twitter is like a crowded room where everyone is yelling over each other …
This seems to be most people’s first impression unless they have someone to sit them down and show them how conversations flow.
For some reason we’ve come to believe that our relationships should spawn from real life introductions. Even after that there is the formality of managing acquaintances, friends and family. Twitter kind of breaks all the rules of traditional friendship. One could jump into any conversation at any time, in real time. We all share a single common bond, an interest in social media.
Once people can change their mindset from “sharing their lives with strangers” to “sharing their lives with new friends”, the barrier will be broken and we move on to our next obstacle.
What is the next obstacle? Complete transparency.
I think this will come in the form of video, geolocal microblog posts or a combination of the two. It’s easy to hide behind an avatar and 140 characters. You can take time to sculpt your tweet, spell check, rewrite, etc. Video brings a whole different level of honesty to the table that can only be described as near complete transparency. Facial expressions, tone and how you articulate yourself transcend static text.
It may be awhile before the masses can communicate at this level via the web …. but why should it be any different than real life?
– Photo by austrini