I had a talk with Ray Valdes about my skepticism around the twitter business model. Don't get me wrong, I think Twitter has huge value. I just question the grandiose valuation of 15 Billion dollars. Why? Well for one, I don't see a legitimate way to advertise directly to users without pushing them away. The indirect approach isn't yet earning them dollars. And while there is a lot of potential up-sell opportunities, one would think, they would be in motion by now. There is a lot of money to be made by doing analytics over the data and selling it as research, but Twitter's openness makes me believe that anyone can do this. Perhaps I haven't read all the fine print.
Regardless, even if I haven't bought into the price tag yet, I still question it's value to me. As someone who was involved in the social internet from day one, I have been a very tentative user of the system. I registered with them early in the first year of their existence. But I never really enjoyed the short blast to the ether. And since then, even with all of the research I have been doing, I never find myself using it as a source. Simply put, I have always found the @ and # to simply be too much noise. Sifting through basketball, football, and what I ate for lunch info from people I'm not close too, doesn't add any value to my life. I much prefer the tidbits from my social network, once MySpace, now Facebook. And when I look at some of the folks like Scoble who seems to tweet more than write anymore. I must say, I still prefer his more well thought out rants to his tweets.
Sure if I was at a conference and wanted to know what I was missing in other sessions, I may just plug in. But other than that....
Hmm, but maybe I have been using the tool incorrectly. Maybe I am simply following too few people and not a broad enough sample or perhaps focused sample. Really, what I need is to get a broader perspective and do some analysis on what the conversation of the day is.
Why would I care about this? I have always seen the value of getting the news before the news hits the wire, and if I were responsible for PR at any company, I would be all over Twitter. But outside of work, in my day to day life, why would knowing the news a day before it is published be valuable? Day Trading!
So my experiment begins. Can knowing the temperature of the tweetosphere lead me to know what the news will be about a day later and thus know how a stock will move?
Let's see if Twitter can finally win me over.