My latest post on SFGate, Twitter Literacy (I refuse to make up a Twittery name for it) builds on previous Smart Mobs blog posts about “Why I’m hooked on Twitter” and “Tuning and Feeding: Myy Best Practices for Getting The Most Out of Twitter”
Post-Oprah and apres-Ashton, Twittermania is definitely sliding down the backlash slope of the hype cycle. It’s not just the predictable wave of naysaying after the predictable waves of sliced-breadism and bandwagon-chasing. We’re beginning to see some data. Nielsen, the same people who do TV ratings, recently noted that more than 60% of new Twitter users fail to return the following month. To me, this represents a perfect example of a media literacy issue: Twitter is one of a growing breed of part-technological, part-social communication media that require some skills to use productively. Sure, Twitter is banal and trivial, full of self-promotion and outright spam. So is the Internet. The difference between seeing Twitter as a waste of time or as a powerful new community amplifier depends entirely on how you look at it – on knowing how to look at it.