This is what Shawn Morton would look like if he had been made of LEGO -- the personal website of Shawn Morton
UPDATE: This blog has been retired as of August 2011. See this post for more information or connect with me on Twitter.
Monday, March 19, 2007
Are twitter fanboys turning others off?
First, let me be clear. I like twitter. I really do. I even tried it for a while until I realized I'm not very interesing. However, recently, I added 2 of twitter's biggest fanboys, Jason Calacanis & Robert Scoble, since I don't know anyone who personally uses it , and now I'm drowning in updates.

I think twitter has found themself in a strange position. They've got tons of people jumping on their service. They've got several big name fanboys blogging about them. However, I think these fanboys are putting the long-term value of the service at risk by making it more annoying than useful.

IMNSHO, twitter is best used to give updates on very timely things. So you might want to let all of your friends know "It's a boy! 9 pounds 3 ounces! Photos soon." or maybe "Looking for someone to catch a matinee of "300" at 1p today" or even "Grabbing lunch at Qdoba today. Anyone interested?"

However, that's not how many of the early adopters are using it. Lots of them are either firing off really banal updates on things that no one could possibly care about (not even their friends and family) like "more beer and video editing" or, like Scoble, seem to be treating it like a blog or even a crude e-mail system.

"Scobleizer @davidgeller: thanks for letting me use your conference room for interview and for your continued friendship. I really appreciate that! about 7 hours ago"

Why isn't that an e-mail? Other than David Geller, who does he think would care to read that?

The more updates like that that come through, the less important the concept of updates becomes and the more people will be turned off by the constant chatter. Of course, I may be missing the point completely (or I'm just subscribed to the wrong people). Some people may really want to know when Jason Calacanis is eating pork chops. However, I can't imagine a service like that ever really catching on unless the frequency goes down and/or the quality goes up (a lot).

And maybe there is hope of that happening soon. Check out this recent message:

JasonCalacanis oh sh@#$%@#$%t... jsut checked my tmobile bill: 2,367 extra messages... $236.70 in extra charges!!! does tmobile have unlimited?!?!?!?! about 14 hours ago from web


About Shawn Morton

Married father of 6; VP of Social Media at JPMorgan Chase; gluten-free; gadget enthusiast; hair metal aficionado; #Movember man View more on LinkedIn.