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Human Potential in the Age of Exponential Tech

Twitter Moms – Microblogging Evolution Reveals Twitter’s flaw

Update: The Images in this post went all wonky after a wordpress update. I’m fixing it! 🙂

The slow but steady adoption of Twitter into the mainstream continues to fascinate me.  As the microblogging site continues to get  news coverage and more corporate accounts pop up, it’s pretty safe to say that Twitter has enabled companies to engage in  deeper and more personal conversations without being overly imposing. For the companies that do it right, it has become a powerful tool to connect to consumers and promote brands, one tweet at a time.

The problem with Twitter…

I was intrigued to see and Ad for Twitter Moms on one of my recent internet jaunts. As I curiously poked around the site, I quickly realized that this community, (I’m sure the first of many) has popped up in direct response to one of Twitter’s biggest flaws: figuring out who to follow.

Currently Twitter lets you search for contacts you already know who are either on one of your other social networks, or who you can invite via email. Which is fine, but what about the great people out there who you don’t know, the friends you just haven’t met yet?  The majority of people on my list are people that I’ve never met in person but who I’ve discovered to be funny, intelligent and generally all around wonderful. Since the technology industry has some well-established names, I found it easy to build up a base list. For non-tech enthusiasts who just want to meet new friends with similar interests, I can see the current system as being a huge barrier to adoption.

An end-user solution

Twitter Moms fills this void by allowing users to search for other moms based on interests ranging from motherhood to fashion, technology and business. Hosted on Ning, the community already has grown to over 2,300 members. Members gain access to groups, discussions and events. They even have a growing collection of videos that cover everything from humerous youtube videos, to technical tutorials for members who want learn more about web based tools.

I think it astutely addresses the intimidation factor of randomly following someone you don’t know by giving users the opportunity to ease into a new digital relationship, for example by contributing to a group discussion or commenting on  site content. That way, by the time you follow each other on twitter you’ve already established a burgeoning online friendship that lays the foundation for future dialogue.

I think this is a fantastic idea, and I can definitely see similar communities emerging as more and more people start microblogging. I hope Twitter improves their search data base. Write now you can search via terms in people’s bios, but I still don’t think that’s enough. I mean if i search for “technology” I get hundreds of users, but how do I know which ones would be a good choice to follow?

Corporate Application?

I think organizations will see tremendous value by participating in these types of communities. I mean if you market to moms, you should definitely be watching  There will be great opportunities to build relationships through sponsorships and marketing. I mean if I marketed stuff to moms, I would probably give away tons of free products to this group: they’re tech savvy, on twitter and like to engage with other moms online. A good product experience can go a long way, and it would provide plenty of opportunities for feedback and improvements.

The Final Word…

I like how social media empowers people by giving them the tools they need to fill in the gaps in their favorite services. Kudos to the founders of Twittermom who recognized a need and then went ahead and addressed it themselves. 🙂

Comments: 1

  • Mark Kuznicki

    October 5, 2008

    Nice post Rahaf!

    Part of what makes Twitter fascinating is that it created a new media capability that users are now integrating into their digital lives in many different ways. I think this is its power more than a failing. Not being prescient about the new behaviours their tool would enable, the Twitter designers have been smart in keeping it a simple, open and extensible utility and letting users and third-party developers find the applications.

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