Great post from friend and co-worker James Gross here. In the post he suggests that the Twitter/fad question may remain open but not the question about microblogging. Microblogging and open interfaces are now sown into the web’s fabric.
See a number of parallels to blogging here. Let’s call it the 5 stages of web adoption:
1. This is crazy. For blogs, it was a few people blogging about their entire life. It was a fringe activity.
2. This is a real tool but only for “web elite.” Blogs became a powerful tool for discussing and sharing ideas within the web community. It became an “inside baseball” kind of activity.
3. Adoption by forward looking personalities. A rock star here. A model there. A TV show. Oprah? This is where the people who discovered and embraced the tool lament the fact that it has “jumped the shark” and has lost the purity and value it once had.
4. A necessary part of every site, marketing strategy, etc. If you aren’t using it you need to get going.
5. Discussion is over (but an integral part of the new web.) Last year’s model.
Like so many new concepts/objects, the value of that object is exaggerated at each phase. At first, the concept has more potential than people realize. As it grows, the value is over exaggerated. As it reaches acceptance and mainstream use, it falls from favor and is often derided unnecessarily (i.e. “Blogs are so last year…” )
I really like James’ thinking on Twitter in this whole discussion. It really isn’t about Twitter it is about what Twitter does. While there may be questions over Twitter’s long term prospects, I think micro-blogging is about to move from a platform for forward looking personalities and insiders into a necessary part of every web strategy. For everyone inside the beltway, that is the cue to talk about how Twitter is so last year and look for the new, new thing.