I think it’s time for anyone writing about Twitter to realise and accept that the endless debate about becoming mainstream has become redundant – it’s mainstream, please accept it, move on, and let’s talk about something else!
There are 2,360,000 Google results for ‘Twitter + mainstream’, and 144,000 for ‘curing + illness’. Make of that what you will!
The reasons for Twitter not making televised Superbowl coverage were probably the scale of the televised coverage of the event, and gaining media passes/internet connections etc to moderate a live feed for broadcast – I’ve only ever covered much smaller events, but the manpower required can be surprising, and it can be a battle to get enough staff access.
Meanwhile the lack of TV adverts carrying Twitter ids isn’t surprising – most companies will see their main website as the hub of their activity and will want to keep the list of web address down to one simple name to remember – not supply details of the website, the Facebook page, the Myspace page, the Twitter account and the Get Satisfaction page! Being UK-based, there may be TV adverts promoting Facebook pages in the U.S, but I haven’t seen any yet…
But for mainstream, I’d state the following:
All in the last 2 or 3 days, and just the most mainstream titles I saw in a quick Google News search.
On Something for the Weekend, Working Lunch, On Jonathan Ross, This Morning, Channel 4 news. (I didn’t do the U.S TV channels because I have no way to tell which ones are more notable than others, and didn’t want to try and list every single use, but here’s CNN for some balance.
And to finish off -
‘If you want to know what technology will change the world, watch young mothers…and don’t watch teenage boys – young mothers have no time for any technology that isn’t useful and doesn’t work.’
Clay Shirky in 2005, via Broadstuff.
So – Twittermoms.
Can I stop yet?
No it hasn’t got the scale of TV, print media or Facebook – yet. But it’s never been about scale for anyone except those wanting eyeballs for the same old display adverts.
But social networks are built for exponential growth (in theory, if not in scalability of the backend!). And after growing 974% in 2008 (Hitwise) it’s not going to slow down now. I’m seeing more and more non-technical friends and family appearing, just as happened with Facebook – and more and more people asking me questions without trying to hide the shame of using a silly-sounding word like ‘twitter’.
So can we all accept it’s not going to get any smaller, and it’s reached the mainstream now. In a bit of time the audience will be in a similar range to the biggest social networks of the moment, and we’ll be discussing something new – maybe nano-blogging!