Sunday, April 6, 2014

“intimate connection tool” vs “broadcast medium”

In Too Big To Know, written by David Weinberger he states:

“ Twitter works perfectly if you and your five friends are following one another's tweets.  It also works if you're Ashton Kutcher and you have millions of people following your every bon mot.  It works if you have 100 followers, 10,000 followers, or 6 followers.  Twitter works differently at every scale:  If you have 6 followers, Twitter is an intimate communication tool, but if you have 1,000,000, it's a broadcast medium.

I find it very interesting that Weinberger thinks you need 1,000,000 followers to broadcast a message.  While it would make broadcasting a message significantly easier, all you need to do is get the attention of someone with a larger amount of followers than you have.  That is the greatness of the Internet.  If you can gather enough people, you can spread a message.  You dont even have to reach Ashton Kutcher for a message to be broadcasted.  

One of Twitter's best features is the trending topics bar off to the side on the home screen.  Currently the trending topics are:

This feature is especially awesome because it isn't about who is tweeting these subjects, just that a multitude of people are.

I think Weinberger discounts the power that people can have in numbers.  While he admits that obviously someone who has 1,000,000 followers can broadcast a message easier than someone with 6 followers, as long as the message is being spread by a large number of people, it can reach an audience.  The message may not be broadcast medium” material immediately, but it can certainly get there.

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