Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Twitter People Power: With a Price Tag – #Bloggers #WebDevelopers

Couple of related and significant news items:

At USA Today, "
Twitter power: Learning from ourselves, in real time":

Once derided as a peddler of infantile missives ("My latte is cold!"), the service has revealed itself to be an accurate barometer of mass culture. Today, if something isn't tweeted, did it happen?

"Twitter has become the world's water cooler," says Adam Ostrow, editor of the social media blog Mashable. "It's a place where you can hear what millions are saying and feel, unbiased and in that moment."

Celebrities were among the first to recognize Twitter's connective power: Former American Idoljudge Paula Abdul abdicated her seat in a tweet to fans, and singer Erykah Badu tweeted right through her youngest daughter's birth.

Now devotees range from CEOs to average Joes, all chatting in a digital town square with the power to aid Haiti with an avalanche of donation pledges or make 16-year-old pop phenom Justin Bieber a global sensation.

And perhaps in the ultimate crowning of the medium, William Shatner will play the father in a CBS sitcom based on the real-life Twitter feed of Justin Halpern, who tweets out his dad's rants to 1.3 million followers. Shatner announced the news on Twitter, of course.

With this wacky soup of meaningful and mundane info, it's no wonder the Library of Congress plans to archive all the world's tweets. The transfer of data is about six months off as the library assembles a staff to curate and disseminate the information largely to scholars, library spokesman Matt Raymond says.

"It's about having a record of what both the first-person participants in history and its spectators were saying," Raymond says. "Wouldn't it be amazing to have the broad and immediate reaction of people to Pearl Harbor?"

No question. But for most people, Twitter's charm is the way it cuts to the social media chase.
More at the link.

But what's more interesting is the related news on Twitter's shift to monetization, which could affect big bloggers as well as tiny Internet advertisers. See, PC World, "
Twitter Gets Serious About Getting Paid," and especially, All Things Digital, "Twitter’s Free Love Era Comes to an End: Time for Developers and Publishers to Pay Up":
So is Twitter only interested in really big publishers who use Twitter? Not necessarily. I asked Costolo about the Huffington Post, which has prominently embraced Twitter and uses it frequently to fill out its pages. Like this Twitter widget under a grisly story about a gored bullfighter (careful!).

That’s probably fine, Costolo said. But what about Huffpo’s “Twitter editions,” which are primarily made up of tweets? I’ve asked Costolo about those in a follow-up email, but haven’t heard back yet. My gut: He’s not sure yet. Which is going to make for lots of interesting conversations in the coming weeks and months.
For all it's fancy left-wing pedigree, HuffPo's still basically a blog – and big outfits like that will be paying percentages on the revenue they make off Twitter.

RELATED: Follow American Power on Twitter.