Twitterers: Annoying and Not Useful

David Armano had a great post today responding to an article by Mark Simon in Advertising Age.

In it, Simon says:

“What could be more annoying and less useful than a site where thousands of people are given 140 characters to shout out about what they’re doing at every moment of the day? The amazing thing is that enough people out there think this mindless stream of ephemera (“I’m eating a tangerine,” “I’m waiting for a plane,” “I want a Big Mac”) is interesting enough to serve as the basis for a viable advertising platform.”

Now, there’s been enough outcry about this comment about Twitter…and I’m not going to pile on. What interested me was some of the other points in the article.

He discusses Second Life and says, “Today, walking (or flying) through these branded areas is more chilling and depressing than walking through an abandoned amusement park. Do you really think IBM’s brand is being helped by hosting a 3-D area that has tumbleweeds rolling through it?”

I agree with this…to a point. You see I don’t think that this statement was any less true when Second Life was white hot. There was never a time that just setting up a presence and not manning it was a good idea. So, while this is true, I don’t think it applies to show the decline of Second Life or is a result of said decline. It just shows that some companies may not have been in it for the long haul.

Mark also rails against pay per post. Agree here too. Pay per post is a bad idea. In a world where disclosure and transparency is the name of the game, seeming to have any vested interest in potentially deceiving readers is a BAD idea.

Finally, I agree with him about pre-roll Internet ads.

“One of the main reasons why repurposing standard 30-second TV spots into video pre-roll ads is so ridiculous is that most users turn down or mute the sound to save their fellow workers exposure to the audio. True, most users will endure a (silent) pre-roll to catch a news clip, but unless your ad can stand on its visual elements alone, you’re wasting your money.”

Now, I’m not sold on pre-roll ads, but if you’re going to use them…make them universally available.

Like I said, I think there are some good points in the article, but when he gets to Twitter he misses the point of the tool. 

Twitter IS NOT a mass marketing or advertising tool…which is what makes it so great!


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Twitterers: Annoying and Not Useful

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