I had lunch with Jay Moonah and we got into a conversation where we hypothesized young children using private Twitter and Flickr accounts for keeping in touch with relatives living in different geographical areas (we also joked around with the idea of what Twitter streams would look like if toddlers used it).
Then our conversation moved on to celebrities on Twitter. Specifically, Twitter’s relevance (if any) to the massive mainstream who discovered the site through celebrities. Many Twitter veterans worry that this spells the end of Twitter. After all, if the mainstream population doesn’t like Twitter, then that’s the end, right? Or Twitter becomes a celebrity homage and loses the real purpose that us early adopters always knew about, right?
Celebrities, kiddies, tweeters who get it and Oprah fans who don’t.
We concluded that Twitter is cultural.
There is no “this is what Twitter is used for” nor “this is why anyone would want to read your tweets” much like, say, Facebook and Flickr.
For example, I use my @danielerossi account for professional use (networking, learning from peers, keeping in touch with people I’ve met at conferences where e-mail fails).
Meanwhile, my cousin uses Twitter just for fun and livetweets her immediate reactions while watching her favourite TV shows.
Oprah uses it for… actually, I don’t know because I don’t follow Oprah. I have no practical use for following Oprah or Ashton or any other celebrity unless they start tweeting about tech, web design, illustration and cartoons. However, I do follow @paulapoundstone because I like her humour.
Some of the mainstream newbies who came because of Oprah and Ashton will find a use of their own for Twitter. Others may not and move on to other tools that do.
And I feel that’s no big deal.
Of course, for some, Twitter is used like a brochure website from 1995 with the goal of having an astronomically high number of followers and followees. Good thing Twitter gives you control over level of noise pollution.
Twitter is cultural. It is customizable to your needs and imagination.
P.S. My apologies if I brought Karma Chameleon in your head.
P.S.S. See video below: