Friday, December 11, 2009...5:23 pm

Evidence that Twitter is really for journalists

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The sad news that venerable journalism industry magazine Editor & Publisher is to close apparently reached fourth place in Twitter’s trending topics list yesterday.
Which seems to confirm my theory that it’s journalists who are all over Twitter like flies on a dead dog.
According to the E&P web site:

The name “Editor & Publisher” even reached No. 4 as a top “trending topic” on Twitter — beating out everyone from Tiger Woods to Santa — and remained in the top 10 much of the day, drawing wide commentary.

Given that, I suspect journalists and their ilk must make up a disproportionate number of active Twitter users.
Twitter’s growth rate also seems to be slowing down, according to this piece on microblogging versus blogging on TechCrunch.
That’s inevitable, really, given how fast it kicked off. But Malcolm Coles is one who keeps track of how the media uses Twitter, and it seems fewer readers are using Twitter to follow national newspapers.
What does this mean?
I’ll stick my neck out and predict that Twitter’s use among ordinary consumers and citizens will fall off. It’s a useful tool – but a lot of those who make the most noise about it are in the media and, loosely, PR.
It’s great for network-based research, and can be a good tool to interact with customers – particularly tech-savvy ones. But I do wonder whether it will end up with a very self-selecting user base of die-hard Twitter fans twittering to other die-hard Twitter fans.
It’s saving grace may be the fact that you can easily use your mobile phone to post updates.
But the arrival of cool new 3G tools such as the iPhone means it’s getting easier to use sites such as Facebook from a mobile. And as far as I can see, a wider cross section of users like to use Facebook than Twitter.

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