Three feature articles about Twitter appeared in USA Today this week. I followed another Twitter headline from Google Reader to the ABC TV World Newser blog, which in turn linked to a Wall Street Journal report.
While USA Today online makes good use of Twitter in combination with their newspaper, much of the news dismisses Twitter’s revenue potential. USA Today online does it right, I think. Whether a blog or a news article, the header and sidebar offer ads, the traditional source of revenue. Twitter itself has some innovative ways to make money from and for commercial tweets. The Wall Street Journal didn’t seem to get the point in their interview with co-founder Evan Williams. (His parents had a sense of humor giving him a 100 proof name). Ad revenue may be key for investors. So is a steady stream of innovative new products. Aren’t you curious about the top secret new start-up co-founder Jack Dorsey mentioned?
I missed the boat on buying Google shares when they were affordable. I’ll probably get the timing wrong if Twitter does an IPO. I’m not going to fall for the CNBC analysts who insist that Twitter has to be a search engine or do better than Facebook at keeping subscribers. One of the CNBC reporters got chewed out yesterday by the CEO of Yahoo for being out of touch with the unique content they provide.
I just finished a web 2.0 learning program in which I deliberately over-subscribed to all things Twitter. Many of the commercial tweets I followed at first no longer interest me. A live journal from authentic friends can be interesting. Tweets posted by the staff of my Congressman are important, but if I want to communicate directly with him and get a response, I go to his secure website. I don’t need a flood of ad tweets overwhelming every page. Even Tweet Deck, one of the best Twitter organizers and filters gets annoying with the sound effects.
The success of Twitter doesn’t depend on how I manage my account, or whether I pay for some innovation they bring forth.