links for 2009-03-06

by Dina on March 6, 2009 · 2 comments

in My delicious

  • "There's nothing wrong with this sort of tweeting, it's a way for people to explore and test the system out. But it reveals that tentative stage people are in (and some never leave) when first using the system. A general principle here is to give people scaffolding to help them move to a more comfortable, fluid, confident, and rewarding stage of usage. Twitter asks What are you doing? and people can answer that question. But without a more full-fledged model of Twitter, they are always going to be tentative in this stage. "

    Worth thinking about – I'm not so sure I agree. One of the 'wonders' of Twitter is in the way the community has developed and evolved its own language, norms, uses and purposes, stories, apps etc. And documentation of these too, for others to learn from. Am not sure this would have happened if the founders had provided even basic 'scaffolding' in a centralized fashion.


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Steve Portigal March 6, 2009 at 11:46 pm

I agree that the organic self-organizing evolution of Twitter is what makes it so amazing (and I’ve written about that as well)
But Twitter is at a new stage right now; a billion people are talking about it and only a million people are using it. It’s the classic chasm and one way to cross that chasm is to give people (oh boy I’m killing the metaphor) some bridging. Something to help them feel confident as they try to develop a fuller mental model. These early adopters are willing to go outside the system or deal with ambiguity; that exploration is part of our early adoption characteristics. If Twitter wants these other folks, they are going to need to give them some help. I’m sure we can think of good examples of brands or experiences that support this sort of thing in a bottom-up communal way, as opposed to a top-down AOL-like way. To me, that’s the brainstorm question I’m offering the seed to: what mechanisms could provide? Could they create a @twithelp (like the Skype Test call) that follows you and scans a wiki for responses? For example, etc.

2 Dina March 7, 2009 at 9:44 am

Something like @twithelp might be a cool idea Steve. What I’m excited about with Twitter is how without any sort of hand-holding from the founders, the community is developing so rapidly. Its an interesting phenomenon really, and as a researcher I’m curious to see how this sort of model of human behaviour evolves. Will it be possible for Twitter with all its ambiguity and without a solid bridge, to carry with them the billions that are talking about it? Or will it put folks off fade away as a fad?

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