Was reading this Andrew Chen Post which discusses the “Friends” on Facebook vs “Followers” on Twitter model for connecting people. Interesting thoughts for sure, you should check out his blog.
We had also discussed this earlier on Marketing Amnesia to understand which model would best suit Muziboo, an upcoming startup encouraging young musicians to get an audience.
Anyway getting back, I noticed Cindy Alvarez’s comment on Andrew Chen's post saying...
“Despite the reputation that Twitter has as "a bunch of people tweeting what they had for breakfast", I think that the one-sided follow model *encourages* quality.
In a dual-accept friend model, there is both more context (you know if they have a penchant for sarcasm or deliver jokes with accompanying funny voices, etc.) and a certain relaxing of standards (you like them, so you don't hold their fondness for embarrassingly bad movies against them). With a public timeline that anyone-can-follow, you can't count on having ANY context - each tweet must stand alone and provide value.”
It really got me thinking, about
1. As Twitter gets more crowded, it will get more difficult to separate the noise from the value. The winners on this network will undoubtedly be thought leaders who share useful content, not once but every single time.
2. The value of Twitter by itself will depend on Cindy Alvarez’s prophecy coming true. Though Twitter has in some parlance been termed as huge conversation, In reality Twitter is more of a broadcasting service with a feedback loop.
There is value in the model undoubtedly, especially for thought leaders and wannabe thought leaders. Value for the other users is dependent on quality one way posts and links from the thought leaders they follow. Conversation with these thought leaders is possible now, but as Twitter grows it will get more difficult. Just check Wefollow.com to see the 100 thousand odd followers that Twit people command. And this is when Twitter is yet to see mainstream adoption. A conversation tool? Really?
4. Facebook with its closed network encourages relatively stronger relationships and legitimate conversation. Yes it can degenerate into seeing status messages like "I hate Mondays". But the value on Facebook is that, though individual messages lack quality, they still help you stay connected with people you know (Your Inner Circle)
5. Lastly this got me thinking about reading more comments on the blogs I read
What do you think? How would you define value from these networks? Will you define it differently? Are Facebook and Twitter comparisons justified or are these networks different animals. Will one kill the other? Probably unlikely...
And before you go, follow me on Twitter. I do promise to add value there :)