Twitter files for IPO
Here we go again....
So - what do you think about Twitter? I personally believe it is not nearly as valuable as Facebook (as a business) and I also think the model will die much like AOL chat some day.
Call me crazy - but back in 1998 did you ever think AOL would become completely outdated? I predict that for Twitter because I hate the format (144 characters) and the potential for spam posts, fake accts, etc is just too high. I tried to participate in a twitter "chat" last week and it was inundated by spammers and also half of my posts got lost.
Twitter is OK - but there is almost no barrier to entry. But it does have big gross margins. And once again, one thing it has is all those "twitter" buttons on every web site in the world - and I have always said those things (for facebook) are the real goldmines these sites have (for tracking people, etc)
I have to brag a little - but let's just say I got lucky. I started a FaceBook stock post here last September, just to gage where people thought it was fairly priced. I ended up buying it on October 25 at 23.xx and I just sold all my shares three days ago at 51.30. I came very close to hitting the bottom for my buy and my sell at the top (so far).
Most people I know have switched their facebook usage to twitter, especially professionals. Doesn't mean I'll run out and buy the stock though. Will be interesting.
AOL tanked for one reason and one reason only, and it was a self-inflicted wound that I've never been able to understand: they completely missed (as in ignored) the broadband revolution. When the world was going broadband they took some sort of warped pride in still being the dialup company. The communication world of the last couple decades does not let mistakes like that survive unpunished.
Once the novelty of getting on the net wore off, does anybody remember dialup fondly? Didn't think so. And that's the story of AOL.
I've never opened a twitter account, have no desire to, probably never will. I am on facebook but I hardly ever post. I scan it occasionally to see what the family and a few close friends have to say--if anything. I'm not technophobic in the least, but I simply don't see much value in them.
Moreover, for many people, the addictive nature of the whole milieu is a blight on society and civil discourse and communication. If somebody offered to surgically implant those phones so that they would send the calls and texts and posts directly to your brain, I think a lot of people would line up at the hospital door.
They have made an already rude society more rude; they have made an already shallow society more shallow; they have made an already overcommitted society more overcommitted. They have short-circuited and dumbed-down thought, word and deed, and they have robbed people of their think time and their family time. They are fundamentally evil.
The Twitter IPO will probably go the same as Facebook, or perhaps, a little better because Facebook recovered after its initial drop. I did buy some Facebook around $31 and it's performed OK. We'll see where it goes. I'll hold off and see where Twitter goes.
Yes: I thought AOL was obsolete in 1998. Being in IT, even then, I had direct access to the Internet and a full T1 going to my home. I did use AOL for travel or when I was working in both Des Moines and Minneapolis. I always envisioned AOL as the "training wheels" for the Internet. Once broadband became widely available I could never understand why anyone would use AOL on a broadband connection and, sorry to some of my wonderful Cruisemates friends, I still cannot comprehend why anyone still uses it. Yes, it may be easier but the software is buggy as hell, their virus software is almost worthless, accounts are as secure as my locked screen door and the only SPAM you get is what they allow. Unfortunately they allow almost all of it.
I did invest in AOL and made quite a few bucks off of it but with Time Warner merge I dumped it shortly thereafter. I knew that AOL would never survive at the level it was at. At least I got that one right. :)
The one thing that many people never quite "got" was that it wasn't until somewhere around 2003 - 2004 that broadband access overtook dial-up access with home users. That meant that were more people accessing the Internet via broadband than dial-up. That wasn't that long ago. I can understand why many people stayed with AOL because of that.
I personally enjoy Facebook. It keeps me in touch with family around the world. It has introduced me to cousins in Australia I had never met, keeps me up to date with my family in England and is just a nice way to have a "semi" private exchange with those you love. The difference is that, with real-world friends and family I reinforce it with face to face, personal interaction. That's why I'm typing this from England, where I'm visiting with my wonderful relatives. I'm choosy about who I friend and I set up groups so some people don't see everything I post. I know I may have insulted a few people by not accepting a friend request but I feel Facebook is "somewhat" private and I don't want everyone knowing what's going on with me and my family. Also, who would really care.
Don't "poo poo" the power of Social Media. It is here to stay and it will evolve. It isn't a Zoot Suit,Hula Hoop or latest fad. It is changing how people are communicating and interacting. It's got a lot of negative aspects about it but it also has many positives that will keep it around and evolving for the rest of my lifetime.
While I do not personally enjoy Facebook that much (I see a lot of my friends over-using it with pictures of hamsters, etc) I do see its value as a way to keep in touch with people.
I wish they would limit the amount of use some people get so I wouldn't face so many trivial messages every time I log in.
But I do have a real dislike for Twitter - I don't think they are anything alike. I see the value of Twitter as a resource for people of like minds to communicate on a quick basis, but in terms of comparing Facebook to Twitter, I don't think there is any comparison. Twitter is for "right now" chats, but not for reading news. etc. Therefore yo have look very closely at who you reach with a twitter strategy (for businesses)
1) you have to be logged in to Twitter to see the tweets of people you subscribe to - especially now that they have thrown ads into the mix. With Facebook you can log in and see just the post of people you care about, but more importantly they stay online forever, and they are not limited in text.
2) Twitter is nothing more than AOL chat rooms updated to carry fewer characters. Remember how popular those chatrooms used to be? And look at them now. There is a cruise chat on Twitter once a week and the last few times I tried it it was inundated with spammers and web bullies coming in and leaving obscene messages ,etc.
3) Twitter says their "average" user only visits 2.2 times per month. I'm sorry, but that is a very telling and horrible metric. That shows that "average people" - consumers, potential customers, end users, are NOT using it.
The fallacy of Twitter is that companies believe they are reaching potential customers. For example, many of the cruise lines have been sponsoring "Twitter" cruises lately - but who reads them? Mostly only other cruise professionals - certainly not many casual travelers who may be considering a cruise int the future.
NCL started out with an aggressive Twitter approach several years ago - but they dropped it after 6 months, I believe because they saw it just was not worth the effort. But other cruise lines have now picked up the ball and are running on Twitter, and I really just don't believe they are getting the reach or ROI they are expecting. Why do I say that? average visitor, 2.2 times per month.
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