I think one of the things holding back Twitter from going “mainstream” is the fact that it’s so open and public. I was browsing through some blogs the other day and found a comment that read:
… Twitter is like a crowded room where everyone is yelling over each other …
This seems to be most people’s first impression unless they have someone to sit them down and show them how conversations flow.
For some reason we’ve come to believe that our relationships should spawn from real life introductions. Even after that there is the formality of managing acquaintances, friends and family. Twitter kind of breaks all the rules of traditional friendship. One could jump into any conversation at any time, in real time. We all share a single common bond, an interest in social media.
Once people can change their mindset from “sharing their lives with strangers” to “sharing their lives with new friends”, the barrier will be broken and we move on to our next obstacle.
What is the next obstacle? Complete transparency.
I think this will come in the form of video, geolocal microblog posts or a combination of the two. It’s easy to hide behind an avatar and 140 characters. You can take time to sculpt your tweet, spell check, rewrite, etc. Video brings a whole different level of honesty to the table that can only be described as near complete transparency. Facial expressions, tone and how you articulate yourself transcend static text.
It may be awhile before the masses can communicate at this level via the web …. but why should it be any different than real life?
– Photo by austrini
3 replies on “Breaking Social Media Barriers”
While I have to agree with you in the basic sense I dont agree on text being a format to hide behind. The best can use words to express in ways at times better then image or sound can convey. Icons can also be an anti-fear factor for many who would otherwise not use a service often.
Video I think will a greater potential enrichment but a harm at the same time. Many will never use it for more reasons than a comment can hold. That will cause a loss of connection to them & kinda bites.
I agree with you however I still believe a lot of people hide behind their words. Words can have depth or be empty … it’s all in who’s putting them together.
My point was about how people feel safer behind a twitter avatar than putting themselves out there in video.
This idea of complete transparency is something I’ve thought about for awhile. I just announced today who my boyfriend is on my blog, and I want to start to do video blogging as soon as my flip camera arrives from Amazon. I like complete transparency, but I think it can be dangerous too – we need to manage expectations and draw some lines of privacy.