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Twitter: Coming of Age?
April 15, 2010 / 4 Comments on Twitter: Coming of Age?
As one of the NY Times blogs reports, there are now quite a few Twitter users, and quite a lot of Tweets every day:
It has 106 million registered users who write 55 million posts a day.
Seventy-five percent of that traffic comes from outside Twitter, using third-party applications, like TweetDeck.
The site gets 180 million visits a month.
While one significant implication is, of course, that a lot of people with accounts don’t tweet every day (especially as those people who write dozens or even hundreds of tweets per day clearly make that average number a bit misleading), 55 million tweets a day is still an awful lots of bits of information being shared. Given the sheer size of Twitter’s operation, it’s no surprise that they’re moving on from their first revenue model (selling a license to Microsoft and Google to index tweets) to an advertising model (called promoted tweets) which will see advertising placed in certain twitter search results. Personally, I skim Twitter pretty quickly, so I can’t imagine this advertising strategy will worry me too much – as long as the percentage of advertising remains small, I’d guess most people will barely notice. Perhaps more significantly, Twitter will be launching their own URL-shortening service and it’s unclear how this will change the relationship between Twitter and current popular shorteners like bit.ly whose entire business is, in essence, based on Twitter.
Twitter also announced that the US Library of Congress will include an entire historical copy of all public tweets:
Since Twitter began, billions of tweets have been created. Today, fifty-five million tweets a day are sent to Twitter and that number is climbing sharply. A tiny percentage of accounts are protected but most of these tweets are created with the intent that they will be publicly available. Over the years, tweets have become part of significant global events around the world—from historic elections to devastating disasters.
It is our pleasure to donate access to the entire archive of public Tweets to the Library of Congress for preservation and research. It’s very exciting that tweets are becoming part of history. It should be noted that there are some specifics regarding this arrangement. Only after a six-month delay can the Tweets will be used for internal library use, for non-commercial research, public display by the library itself, and preservation.
At the same time Google, who already pay a license to index all public tweets, announced a far more refined Twitter element of their real-time search tool called Google Replay which is a graphical tool allowing you to easily find the tweets on a specific topic from a specific day. Both of these developments further shift the sense of Twitter as just real-time to a permanent digital archive. Public tweets always were archived, of course, but the relative difficulty in finding them meant most people didn’t treat Twitter as an archive, more as a conversation. These shifts remind us that every tweet is both a moment of dialogue and the creation of digital media that will last, potentially, forever.
Digital Culture Links: March 15th 2010
March 15, 2010 / 3 Comments on Digital Culture Links: March 15th 2010
Links for March 12th 2010 through March 15th 2010:
- 9 Million Australians Use Social Networks [Nielsen] – “Nielsen Online released their “Nielsen 2010 Social Media Report” today which has a wealth of statisitcs on the social media landscape here in Australia. Among the findings:
* 9 million Australians now interact via social networks
* content sharing is the most popular activity
* 4 in 5 Australian Internet users have shared a photo
* Twitter usage grew by 400% in 2009
* Nearly 3/4 of Australians read a wiki
* 2 in 5 Australians interact with companies via social networks”
Read a PDF of their press release.
- “Making Sense of Privacy and Publicity” by danah boyd [danah.org] – danah boyd tackles the issues of privacy and social media head on, arguing privacy is far from dead, but that the world is a bit different, the rules are a bit different, and the way privacy, publicity and openess operate can be different but neither absolute nor gone.
- What’s Happening—and Where? [Twitter Blog] – Twitter now officially supports geotagging but quite sensibly you have to OPT IN to use it: “Every day, millions of tweets are created. These little bursts of information are about anything and everything—they make Twitter a hub for discovering what’s happening right now, anywhere in the world. A recent burst of interest in location sharing applications, games, and services has many Twitter users excited about appending geographic data to some of their tweets. Not everyone wants to add their current location to a tweet so this feature is off by default and must be activated to use. Check out How To Tweet with Your Location to learn how you can turn it on.”People who choose to add this additional layer of context help make Twitter a richer information network for all of us—location data can make tweets more useful.
- Reuters to Journalists: Don’t Break News on Twitter [Mashable] – “Last night, Reuters released their social media policy, which includes instructing journalists to avoid exposing bias online and tells them specifically not to “scoop the wire” by breaking stories on Twitter. The strict instruction makes it clear that even though news continually breaks on Twitter first — especially in disaster scenarios — Reuters journalists are to break their stories first via the wire and not on Twitter. The social media policy in question also addresses a number of other Twitter, Facebook, and online concerns, offering up instructions and recommendations whenever possible.”
- Conan O’Brien Embraces Team Coco – Poster and All – Media Decoder Blog – NYTimes.com – Conan knows his fans! “With Thursday’s announcement of Conan O’Brien’s 30-city tour, the former late-night comedian is fully embracing his online fan base, “Team Coco.” The official poster for the tour re-uses the image made famous on the Internet of a heroic Mr. O’Brien, orange hair aflame, in front of an American flag. The image was produced by Mike Mitchell, an artist in Los Angeles, as a show of support for Mr. O’Brien when NBC tried in January to move “The Tonight Show” to 12:05 a.m. Within days the image and its message, “I’m With Coco,” was a viral sensation, inspiring dozens of pro-Conan groups on Facebook. Several of Mr. O’Brien’s employees even made the image their Facebook profile photo. Now they have formally adopted the image as their own. Days after Mr. O’Brien signed off of “The Tonight Show” on Jan. 22, one of the comedian’s producers contacted Mr. Mitchell and said that they wanted the “Coco” illustration to be the emblem of a nationwide tour they were planning. “
- “I’m With CoCo” Artist Makes Big Bucks From Conan’s Tour [Mashable] – “Mike Mitchell, the artist who created the now-iconic “I’m With CoCo” image of Conan O’Brien that has circulated through Facebook profile pictures and blogs since NBC’s The Tonight Show scheduling controversy, told TMZ that he’s been paid by Conan’s producers for the right to use the image during Conan’s impending “Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television Tour.” TMZ reports that the producers paid him well enough that he can “take a very, very long vacation.” Mitchell originally posted the image to TwitPic, but it achieved meme status when it became the profile image for the huge “I’m With CoCo” Facebook (Facebook) group that was used to promote the real-world pro-Conan rallies. “
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