Is Twitter Broken?

The future of Twitter is anyone’s guess, and you can imagine I have some opinions on that (who, moi?). I mentioned recently, something’s afoot in social media land and I couldn’t quite tap a crystalline here’s-what’s-wrong answer.

I think I’m getting closer.

Since Triberr hit the landscape, and I’ve seen everyone in my social media circle (hi, Google+) run to adopt, my stream is, ahem, littered, or shall we say cluttered, with Triberr short url links to everyone’s blog posts. In fact, in my list of favorite peeps, there’s nary an original 140 without a link to Triberr. OK, maybe not ever, just frequently. (This is NOT bad; it’s an observation that’s bothering me a tad.)

Back in the day when I launched Twitter 2 ½ years ago, it was absolutely a channel to create community and engage authentically. In fact, to Mark W. Schaefer I owe much of my community growth as we began the same time, and his blog {grow} was our (community) home base.

In the last many weeks, I’ve noticed a change in my Twitter stream content. (Have you in yours?)

* There is less original thought to anything without a link attached.

* Followers who are real people are fewer and far in between; there’s a plateau and brick wall obstacle in the speed with which you can create a genuine community.

* There are more spammers sifting through the cracks and sending DMs with links from my trusted peeps. I opened a few of those just this week several times; clever, too: “Jayme, is this you in this video?” I fell for that.

* I have often promoted Twitter to my clients as the hub from which links stem and drive traffic to blogs, landing pages and websites. This is still sound strategy, but it’s becoming more of a challenge to get peeps to open links.

* This is where community building comes in, STILL. To build a community, you need to be a trust agent. To be a trust agent, you need authentic content, to develop authentic content, you need to be original and not spammy. To be successful you need to cut through the clutter of automation and keep the real you  you.

I’d love to get your opinion on this; who else is seeing this something happening with Twitter? (And, OK, Twitter is NOT broken, necessarily, it’s evolving to a new level for the masses; it’s the post-engage phase where ROI takes over.)

90 comments
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nice post thanks

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nice post thanks

Mark W Schaefer
Mark W Schaefer

Agree agree agree. I fact I met Dono Dogan and talked to him about these issues. I'm not sure if the model is sustainable. Great post and I'm proud to be one of the founding members of Soulati-tude! : )

Scott
Scott

i just found out about this triberr thing last week when someone invited me and I was immediately put off by it. Why would I ever tweet something I hadn't written and enjoyed. Dumb. 

Soulati
Soulati

OK, really? How did you know I just wrote tomorrow's post about what you said? Unreal. Girlfriend. Thank you, and git outta my head.

Soulati
Soulati

You're also invisible, but at least you're not a lurker. (how does that work?) I see you lost your high position at Griddy's, too! I think you got scared to repeat your presence there. Heh.

Thanks for saying we're smart; anyone who visits here is a pretty smart cookie in my book anyway. (are you pretty?)

Soulati
Soulati

Were you virtually bopped? Looks like @SeanMcGinnis:disqus has a bunch of Muppets up his sleeve; he could help you fight.

Soulati
Soulati

Uhmm, hi-yeh! You in my house? You saying hey? Or, you just talkin' at your girl; uh-huh, now who's chopped liver? Sheesh.

Marjorie Clayman
Marjorie Clayman

Those are great points that I had not considered. What bothered me about scheduled tweets in the time before Triberr (TBT?) is that I didn't see the point of them. You tweet....people respond...and, well, that's the end of the conversation. Then you come back and say, "Ohhhhh I have too many  replies to deal with!"

I don't get it.

So it is with Triberr. You set up a tribe and any time those folks post, you tweet it out. OK, so, here are my concerns with that.

1. What is your incentive to add or subtract anyone from that tribe? It's running the "promote others" segment of your Social Media experience. So it is written, so let it be done.

2. Are you actually going to read those posts? What if you are a devout Catholic and one of those automated tweets sends out a post saying there is no God?

3. Are you going to comment on those posts? 

4. How can bloggers who get tweeted out via Triberr know when they've hit a homerun and when they haven't? Everything gets tweeted. To quote The Incredibles, because every post is special, none are special.

If we all become automatons, is it still really social media? That's the question in my head.

Erica Allison
Erica Allison

I gave you the gist of my thoughts down below - under @lauraclick:disqus , but would like to add that we need to get out more - outside of our circles of comfortable friends and tribe mates.  I realized the other day that I had not really engaged with @bdorman264:twitter  or @johnfalchetto:twitter  nearly enough lately and it made me really sad.  I used to interact with those folks on a regular basis and even though I'm in my "summer of balance" mode, I don't want to just rely on Triberr for my daily interactions.  Great kick in the pants, girlie! thanks!

Adam Toporek
Adam Toporek

Interesting questions Jayme! One thing to remember is that we are part of a very, very small population on Twitter -- bloggers using Triberr. So, I don't think the things you are talking about are necessarily universal to Twitter and its gazillion users.

Speaking for myself, I find a lot of what I might say on Twitter ends up being said in comment threads where there is more room, more topical coherence (unless you get blogjacked!), and less clutter. The fact that 1/3 of the sites I frequent use Livefyre, with its Twitter/chat-like feel, also takes away some conversational tweeting. This makes a higher percentage of my tweets link-based than might otherwise be. Triberr is still a small percentage of what I tweet (even on auto) but I am in one small tribe.

I hope @dinodogan:disqus and the Triberr team will figure out ways to end the replication -- maybe so no person receives the same link from the same tribe more than twice, or even better no more than a number they choose in their settings. That would drastically help the issue, though it is probably a coding nightmare.

@twitter-29827578:disqus makes a great point about adding sharing. I think there needs to be a lot more focus from developers on either not "crossing streams" or allowing people to opt out. An example, I really do not like the new Livefyre feature that adds the Twitter stream as comments at the end of the blog post. This is the definition of crossing streams and repetitive noise.

davinabrewer
davinabrewer

* Will not comment bomb. Will not comment bomb. Will not comment bomb. *

This gets a trackback or two someday; I'm experimenting with 'fixing' what ain't exactly broken. Per the SS post I mentioned, one thing I suggested is to unfollow those that no longer offer value, engage per your style. But there are times we don't want to do that, just filter the noise. I think for Twitter to fix itself (blogged this when I wrote its obit) is to offer what no one else is via all the APIs and Apps: real USER control. Anyway, will let you know how the experiment progresses.

After all of 10 minutes on G+ I see duplication not just because of the cross-posting, but b/c it's the social types who have invites and therefore are in those Circles for me. My other friends will likely be the last to adopt. IDK.. just means it's tricky to figure out, for those of us who share different things to different audiences for different reasons. I JUST drafted a post about this, probably to run next week when I have a little more time to kick the tires off of G+.

One quibble: sometimes the non-link tweets ARE the most original in my stream, when someone's not pimping a book or hyping a blog post, and just putting their thoughts out there, sans agenda. And FWIW I just started reading Trust Agents. ;-)

T. Shakirah Dawud
T. Shakirah Dawud

Reading all the comments I noticed a lot of you noticed that you're seeing all the same stuff in your streams now, from Triberr. I hate to say this, but isn't that what happens when you connect with everyone you know on Twitter on Triberr, too? That said, I guess it depends on whether you've done that or not. I'm in a few different camps (colleagues, related industries, and "Clientopia") but I'm only in one tribe. I haven't noticed whether many of the people I follow are in tribes now, except a few of the folks I would expect. Also, another admission: the repetitive tweets were already happening to me, before I got on Triberr, because I followed folks who followed and promoted each other just as religiously before there were tribes. I learned to tolerate it only from people I genuinely enjoy interacting with. They still love to chirp at each other and I, the perennial people-watcher, love to watch.

Personally, I still use Triberr manually, and because it's such a great group of content producers (if I do say so myself), I do end up retweeting every single post, but not before at least reading it and promising myself I'll get back to comment later. But because such a large portion of my "crowd" is outside of the circles our tribe members run in, I doubt they're seeing the same stuff over and over. I wish I could say it was making me lazy, but I can do that all by myself, lol.

Soulati
Soulati

Shoot, forgot to say...when you're ready, shout at me. We'll get you connected somewhere, if you'd like to play that channel. I've found tremendous exposure via Triberr; meeting more peeps and yet it's a change up in behavior. All good!Thanks, again!

Danny Brown
Danny Brown

Nothing is forever. Things grow and they either scale or die. For every early adopter, there are now 100 mainstream users (not a scientific number) that see Twitter today as normal. This includes having automation, sales messages, ads and more.

The system isn't broke per se; neither is the way people are using it. The only thing that's "broken" is the ideal that everything will always be about the most quality-led platform around.

But the truth of the matter is that the only place you're really going to get that is right here on your blog, where you have full control of content, house guests and party rules. When you have that, as opposed to the pretend control we'd like to think is ours on other platforms, that's when the good stuff happens. ;-)

Interesting thoughts as always, miss. :)

Jenn Whinnem
Jenn Whinnem

AGREE. I need to change up how I'm using Twitter because all I see is the same stuff now thanks to Triberr. I didn't want to say that on Twitter though because it seemed mean.

Soulati
Soulati

I'm going to be a visitor soon, Mary! Thank you for that link!

Soulati
Soulati

Absolutely you are, too! You pushed and nudged and shoved and pushed me into blogging; now look what you're responsible for! :-)

Soulati
Soulati

Hi, Scott! Wonderful having you here to share your thoughts. I have to say Triberr is NOT intuitive; it took many of us awhile to dink around with it, and then when we noted how much traffic, new peeps, new comments, new analytics we are getting as a result of extending our community/network via our tribe's automated sending of our blog posts, people began to dig it. There is a manual feature; you can determine whether to send someone else's post or not. I encourage you to keep an open mind about it; put it on the shelf, and then re-visit again. Of course, it depends on the goals for your blog, too. Good night!

Sean McGinnis
Sean McGinnis

Margie:

I'll take a shot at answering your concerns:

1. The incentive to add people to an existing tribe are twofold - a) to expand your network and expose new people to your content, and b) to gain new great content that gets exposed to your network. The incentive to remove people from a tribe is to remove anyone who may be a disconnect - whether their followers are not interested in your content, or whether your followers are not interested in theirs....

2. You can read those posts if you choose - you can take your account or your tribe into manual mode which means you manually tweet out things before they go to your following - whether you choose to read before tweeting in manual mode is up to you.

3. You can still subscribe to those blogs and visit manually if you choose (even if you are in automatic mode - again up to you). Obviously, if you're in manual mode, you can choose to read and comment prior to tweeting.  Quick Q - do you only share things you find comment-worthy?

4. You can tell from your analytics. In addition to tour traffic reports on the blog, you can see how many times someone visited every tweeted post from a triberr link and which person from within your tribe sent them (a pretty cool new feature).

Soulati
Soulati

Thanks for allowing me to coerce you here, Margie! Love that! Promise I won't beg and plead too much. Now, about what you said (4)...I believe I saw once on my Triberr dashboard a function that measured the popularity of my blog posts being tweeted out. I need to go back and revisit that as this was when I just had joined and was dinking around. That is a good feature; like a PostRank plug in.

As for 2, I have a confession. I'm on auto pilot; cannot read a thing unless coerced. Yes, automatons; it is a happening thing.

Soulati
Soulati

Yah. I like what @twitter-59802772:disqus has to say; her circles are NOT all Triberr peeps. She's not having the, uhmm, problem.

Soulati
Soulati

Perhaps verbose, Adam, (as you suggested on Twitter); however, highly relevant. Agree, especially, with your last comment re Twitter stream getting added to bottom; me no likey! Stupid. I responded to someone's, "hey, Jayme, I tagged you at @Shonali:twitter today!" So I responded to a totally irrelevant topic, and, lo, that ended up at the bottom of the blog! I was bragging to @ericamallison about my Klout score being higher than hers (ahem, hi, Erica!) ... yeah, like by 1 point. (We're very competitive, you know, we women bloggers.)

Soulati
Soulati

Hunh. Really? Love all that correlation. Now the sad thing is WTH is your G+ ID? We are not connected! I'm linked in the blog post. I'll plug in your name and see you there. (Yes, need to know about the experiment, please.)

Soulati
Soulati

I love what you said. You've provided the answer -- those in social media circles who are early adopters of new channels, apps, gizmos, and toys WILL amplify the echo chamber. That. Is. All. More coming on that note; thanks for the inspiration.

Soulati
Soulati

Has anyone ever called you Danny Boy? Just askin. Great to see you today; always a plezh. (I'm in a good mood; you're getting the brunt of it.)

Fab point; well taken re the blogger's home being control central. I think many of us need to be reminded of that, too. Just sat @johnhaydon suggest many peeps interested in replacing a blog with Google+ -- I don't see that happening in the least. What's your thought on that?

Soulati
Soulati

Hah! I totally agree with you! Have been thinking that awhile now; is that why you want out, Girl? But, what it says to me is who we're engaging with, right? If all the peeps in my faves stream are on Triberr, then we're in a sort of following a circle of peeps who follow one another. So, our behavior has to change, and as @lauraclick said...it takes time.

Scott
Scott

wow, i totally thought you would be agreeing with me LOL. Anyway, yeah it doesn't really add up for me and my blog's goal, but that's ok!

Marjorie Clayman
Marjorie Clayman

Thanks for that Sean. All great points. But are people doing that? Jayme's point seems to be -> maybe not so much.

Jayme Soulati
Jayme Soulati

Thank you for your expertise; nicely done. Good Morning!

Erica Allison
Erica Allison

Jayme, you can absolutely see how many times your post was "hit" and who in your tribe generated the most hits. I personally LOVE this feature.  My last post got over 300 clicks (my highest yet on Triberr) and @shonali:twitter was my heaviest hitter.  I can also see who doesn't share my posts (that's ok, I'm good with that, too - it's usually because they've RT'd it on their own accord, sans Triberr).  I find the information fascinating and have gained new followers from other networks that way.

Erica Allison
Erica Allison

yes, but who has the year's supply of deodorant? and joint juice?

davinabrewer
davinabrewer

I put you in a circle, will send you a message or whatever.. when I figure out how.

Danny Brown
Danny Brown

I get called Danny Boy all the time. Usually before that person hits the deck.... (JK!!!)

I saw @JohnHaydon:twitter 's post on that. I'm not sold. You're still giving away to third-parties, and Google's Terms of Service advice they can take anything you upload and sell it or use it for their own needs. Riiight.... I'm really going to give them my best stuff, then. ;-)

Jenn Whinnem
Jenn Whinnem

Nope, was thinking I needed to bow out because checking in to "oky" posts I had already read and possibly tweeted already seemed skipable. It's just adding a step.

No overall thumbs up/down on triberr - just thinking it's not for me. Still giving it a shot though!

Soulati
Soulati

It felt more coercive to me as I rarely ask people to visit my blog to comment; so glad you thought otherwise and that it was indeed an invitation!

Sean McGinnis
Sean McGinnis

New York's a long way from Chicago. They did teach you that in Australia, right?

John Haydon
John Haydon

That's exactly what I'm saying. Kevin Rose is no idiot, and I believe that in the not so distant future, small businesses could use Google+ plus at least as an adjunct blog.

Danny Brown
Danny Brown

Hopefully this year, mate. Not sure - possibly in New York again in November, but we'll see on schedules. :)

Sean McGinnis
Sean McGinnis

No idea what you're talking about.... Just a whisper campaign so far as I can tell... When are you coming to Chicago so i can knock a few back with you? Jayme's coming next week!  You should fly in!

Danny Brown
Danny Brown

Hey Sean, you know that agreement you, Dan and @TroyClaus:twitter came up with? Consider it  off. ;-)

Soulati
Soulati

Hey, John! Thanks for popping over to defend yourself against Danny. Wow, he is such an instigator. So, what you may be saying is that Google+ MAY replace traditional platforms for some?

Not trying to needle you; it's a fascinating discussion b/c there are people not present here who may, indeed, believe that. Thank you, John!

John Haydon
John Haydon

@dannybrown:disqus @soulati:disqus - I think there's a disconnect here. I'm in agreement with the content ownership idea, and am not saying that Google plus will replace traditional platforms for everyone.

Soulati
Soulati

Thank you, SIR! I wonder how many peeps have no clue about what you just said. We ought to ALL be reading terms of service in all these apps; heck, all we do is hit "I agree" with no clue to what.

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