Streaming Audiences

Twitter is still trading at 50 times its earnings estimate, and I’m personally responsible for that. But it’s not my fault.

I’m responsible for the bottom half of that scenario; Twitter has been almost completely without impact given the little bit of use I’ve given it. The analyst’s recognition that user “engagement” is super low for Twitter did not take an analyst to figure out. All they had to do was count heads versus accounts, and accounts versus hands-off.

But we expect analysts to explain why the counts are the way they are. My answer is increasingly simple: I would only want Twitter to do one thing for me, on my terms, automatically, and it doesn’t meet any of those three criteria. If you’re like me, you didn’t (or won’t) stick around (unless you just have too much time on your hands).

What I would want is an audience, of the type I prefer, at the size I like, all the time, without the labor of making it.

Isn’t it obvious that, on the power curve of satisfied users, Twitter heavies get exactly that? What’s not so obvious is that they solve the labor effort, or have it solved for them, by an enormous amount of stuff that goes on around them, not by them, including heapin’ helpin’s of assistance from contiguous media and social relationship managers (amateur or pro).

I’m just too lazy — uhh — busy to get all that going. And what’s more to the point, I don’t care who is in my audience as long as the types and numbers are right. Somebody leaves? Replace ‘em! Automatically!

Seriously, people. It’s been Twenty Years!


How is this supposed to happen? Well, it’s supposed to happen without me having to do it. It’s supposed to already be happening as soon as I sign up for an account.

It’s supposed to know that I already know there are only two reasons the massively redundant and gratuitous ocean of data is going to hold my attention.

Twitter should already know whether I am interested in having a Community audience, a Marketing audience, or a Private audience, and it should let me pick which mode I want to be in and be able to pick any of the three at any time.

It should already understand what the differences are in how these respective audiences “informationally” cohere around me, on my behalf, even though they all leverage the same cast of actor types and resources — and use the same mechanisms to push and pull information for the same four reasons.

It should already know how and when to take what is happening for one reason, and move it into the next reason (clockwise) to see if I like what happens. And it should already know what the point is of my using Twitter to do it with — instead of using something else that I already have that works.

In short, I’m just NOT interested in duke-ing it out in the Darwinian environment of social networks — and being anonymous out there is boring.

So, if it isn’t bot-ready to navigate the info-overloads, orchestrate the roles, and make me famous in my own world, automatically and continuously, then why on earth would I use it? You’ve never heard of me, and that has probably hurt Twitter more than it hurt you or me.

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