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.)