Twitter and Self-Reinforcing Fads

I wrote about Twitter back in July of last year after Ross started using it. Now MSNBC is picking up on the thing that everyone, it seems, is talking about it these days.

Over the past two weeks, Twitter has attracted the sort of hyperbole the Valley reserves for its next internet darling – though such self-reinforcing adulationalso led to dotcom mania.

Of course, they also quote Ross in the piece. Honest to God, I think he alone is responsible for generating 57% of the buzz.

In the article Ross is quoted “I don’t think it will be the next YouTube – but I do think it will gain wide adoption,” and I’m going to go to the other end of the spectrum and flatly say that by this time next year Twitter will still be an inside the Valley thing with it’s darling shine tarnished with age. Right now it’s the “talk of the town” because everyone is talking about it, but there comes a time when actual utility has to be derived and I just don’t see that happening broadly. There are many things that Twitter could be that would be quite interesting, but the problem is that the preponderance of banality that is twitter today obscures those applications.

Talking is not the same thing as communicating. I don’t think the many smart people that are touting this service are wrong to do so, but I do think that A-list early adopters have a higher degree of forgiveness for things that are ultimately time wasters, a lot more than the mass market does.

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