A few weeks ago, I was speaking at BarCamp Canberra. I mentioned that the early adopter/innovator phase of the internet was on the way out, and the next way of early majority was inbound.
Ashton Kutcher might just be the pinnacle point of the early adopters who usher in the massive wave (34% of a market, compared to innovator 2.5 and early adopter 16%). With the arrival of the Million Twitter Follower Contest, CNN and A2K’s measuring contest (get a ruler and a room people), and the impending @Oprah possibilities (which strike me as the potential for unmitigated levels of direct awesome in this space), we’re over the obscurity hill and into new territory.
Part of this new territory is the TwitterListener who picks up an account to follow others without having any real desire to post anything themselves – if Twitter wants to produce a monetized area, they should look into an paid placement / advertising sponsored Twitter Reader Client (iPhone, PC, Mac) that just draws the streams of content with offering any capacity to reply or post beyond an autoretweet/share function. There’s a new generation of twitter users who want to follow, to listen and to observe without participation. Time to accommodate their needs alongside our own early adopter broadcast models.
Of course, the amusing thing in this entire proceeding was that I distinctly recall a cohort of geek early adopters (A) bemoaning that nobody knew about Twitter. Right now, I’m amused to see a number of geek early adopters (B) bemoaning that too many people know about Twitter (Note: A and B have overlap in C, but A != C and B != C)
The other consideration with Ashton Kutcher, Oprah and famous rich people showing up on Twitter is that people who have cash, and enjoyment of Twitter are around when the technology sector angel investors start to dry up. This could be a really useful thing for a company like Twitter to have some deep pocket users if the well starts to run dry.