Contemplation: How Much of the Web 2.0 is too Much of the Web 2.0

I think this is going to be kind of a stand alone contemplation, in that I do not really have any articles in particular that have sparked this piece (I am sure, knowing the nature of the subject, that there are plenty of other pieces that have written about this very thing).  Furthermore, I am not certain that the title is entirely the correct one (close, but not perfect).  I intend to deal with it. This contemplation has been a bit of a long time coming, as I compile various ideas, opinions, thoughts, bits of junky synaptic moments, etc. with all the jazzy things on the big ol’ Internet these days and how they can best be used.

Seriously, the Internet vast, anybody with even an ounce of Digital Era savy should be able to realize this.  I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a great deal of debate about the nature of this vast behemoth technology, which has achieved a ubiquety that was probably never imagined before.  I use the Internet a ton for a great variety of various things. Online I pay bills, I read the news, I watch television, I do parts of my job, I stay in touch with family and friends, I write, etc., etc.  In fact I have a hard time imagining not having Internet connection at my disposal (for this reason the decision between cable TV and Internet connect was an easy one to make).  I enjoy the Internet and all of it’s functionality . . . but I wonder about the limits of it’s usefulness.  I wonder about the threshhold of practicable need and of of some tools where others may lack such claim or value.

I was thinking about this in regards to Twitter earlier today.  I use Twitter and in general find a degree of enjoyment in said use.  Ultimately though, Twitter is not a necessity in my life, because it really has failed to offer much more than a look at brief snippets of other people’s lives as well as giving me a platform for putting out my own breif snippets.  I know that if I desired then I could probably upgrade my personal value of Twitter to a degree by further refining my folowing parameters, those fellow Twitterers (Tweeters?) who offer me only, or primariyl only, information that is going to be useful to me on a daily basis and in this regard I might find little purpose to tweet myself, as I can see little value of offering my random snippets of life to the great vast web (essentially the fact that I do tweet is just kind of silly, with the occasion successful comunicated moment).  Now is this the only use?  No, of course not, Twitter can be used as a sort of searching device (though personally I think a general web search engine will always be superior), it can also be used similarly to an RSS reader (though again, I think the the actually RSS reader is superior – albeit with it’s own clump of faults). And then if you are one who is trying to market a product it can be valuable to get info out there.

Considering Twitter as a marketing/branding tool, to spread awareness of a product to an audience, I imagine that there must exist (perhaps somebody better at math than me has done this) an equation that can find the maximum value in reagrads to a number of set factors.

  1. Number of people following you who will be exposed to you tweets.  Obviously the more people who can see your Twitter updates means the greater exposure of your product/brand.  If you are trying to use Twitter in this way, this is exactly what you want, people to see you, and as such you want to compile a quality following.
  2. But having followers isn’t enough, I’d assume, because you have to tweet and make sure those followers see those tweets.  I would guess that this is the hard part of the whole thing.  You see, the chance that your product/brand will be seen becomes dependant on the factors of not just the number of people following you but also the likely hood that those followers will see you tweets, amongst the other tweets of the other Twitter users they happen to be following.  If one of your followers happens to follow a great number of other Twitter users then there is a diminishing degree to which your message gets through.  To increase the degree you would need to tweet more to make the meaasges more available (you can also hope that the follower checks and reads his/her Twitter account regularly).
  3. As such I’d suggest that from a marketing/branding standpoint the ideal would be a lot of followers, who, in turn, do not follow a lot of other Twitter’s themselves, and who also check into Twitter regularly.
  4. Of course you can do that whole increased tweet posting, but then yo run the risk of being SPAM-y, at least if you push the whole product thing too far.  You don’t want that, because that can decrease face and value (and probably loose followers).

Interestingly I can imagine, and think I have seen, the beginning evolutions of Twitter ethics in what is the proper way to pedal a product or brand on the micro-blogging site.  But these ethics of the Twitter using comunity are likely to develop implecations beyond just businesses attempting to spread awareness of their company and products.  Is there not already certain rules of etiquette in play in regards to being followed and then following?  What about how one chooses to @reply or RT or give a #tag?  How often should tweet and how often should one check Twitter to see what others have in turn tweeted themselves?

When these rules, procedures, common practices, etc. develop on the Internet in regards to certain sites, or online tools, I would suggest we are seeing the growth of specified cultures in that realm.  Social Media and Social Networking seem to be thrown around a lot to describe the uses of some of these Web 2.0 tools and uses, but I wouldbeg that it is more than just social . . . the social is only the first stem in this cultural development.  The tools tend to be open for whoever whats to use them for a price (there is always a price of some sorts) but the use in and of itself does not immediately make one “cultured” in the tool, site, application.  To be “cultured” one must use but also adjust to the propiety of the ethics that surround the tool, must follow the rules that govern the tool, and ultimately must contribute to the tool in such a way that they benefit the existing culture (and hopefully recieve recognition from within that culture).

Well that is just some thought . . . with a lot on Twitter . . . though I could just as easily go off on Facebook or blogging or RSS or whatever else have you.  I like them, I use them, but I still wonder about the value.

As the ardent absurdist I have to kind of assume that the Internet is in and of itself perhaps one of the greatest absurd masterpieces of human creation.  Love it, hate it, what ever the fuck you want . . . it’s here.

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~ by Nathaniel on July 1, 2009.

One Response to “Contemplation: How Much of the Web 2.0 is too Much of the Web 2.0”

  1. […] that I think it offers a lot of points that are similar to how I feel about Twitter (some of which I tried to address in this contemplation, albeit not very […]

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