Is There Confusion in Twit, Twitter and Internet Marketing?

What an interesting observation on the web regarding Twitter and promoting new apps. I didn’t really bat an eyelid at Leo Laporte moving from Twtitter to Jaiku (which runs a very similar service). What did make my lift an eyebrow was Laporte’s complaining that one of the big reasons for leaving Twitter was that it was to close to TWiT (the acronym of his show, This Week in Tech).

I’m sure half the people there think we have some sort of relationship. But we don’t. And the proliferation of programs like Twitbox and sites like Twit This are not helping things much. So let me repeat… Twitter has nothing to do with TWiT.

Really? Twitter has been live and public for over a year (it launched at SXSW 2006). Never once did I think that there was a connection, but I’m not discounting that some people may initially think that an audio program and an SMS service are related., but personally I think most people are more intelligent than that. So a great PR move with the indignant ‘big name’ moving for almost justifiable reasons. As Laporte says “I should never have trademarked TWiT. Curse you Ev. Couldn’t you have called this Odeoer or something?” Surely the time to raise an objection was 13 months ago at launch?

But my ‘oh that’s… just not right’ on this issue isn’t over. I was lead to the story from Robert Scoble’s blog post on the subject. Over dinner with some other Bay Area peeps, Chris Carfi [Correction], Robert Scoble (see comments) is quoted as saying “The reason Leo’s leaving Twitter is significant is because Leo kicked off the Twitter hype by talking about Twitter on his show, TWiT (This Week in Tech) about two weeks before SXSW.” Really?

I’ll call shotgun on that one (but please, prove me wrong in the comments), because the only ‘jump’ in the Twitter signup numbers I can recall was back in Nov 06 (co-incidentally when Scoble blogged on Twitter). Twitter has grown on a pretty gentle exponential curve for most of its life, and I think the hulking great big monitors marked Twitter at SXSW had more of an effect. If Twitter had made such a big impact, then it’s usefulness at SXSW wuld have been replicated at Etech. It wasn’t.

So let’s all step back a bit from deciding that one site or one mention on a blog or a podcast is a magic pr bullet that can bring you fame and fortune. Anything is a long hard slog, to build up a solid user base, and that requires presence everywhere, a good product, a long term strategy and old fashioned hard work. Let’s not denigrate the effort that anyone has to put in to get a product going just because they’re not on the rader of a certain circle of blogs…

From Comments on Robert Scoble’s Blog.
Martin: Robert, since Twitter is getting all the press lately, I wanted to know what you think of a service I created with a couple of buddies, loopnote.com It’s not quite as simple as Twitter, but very, very similar. I feel that a lot of the talk on Twitter/Jaiku also applies to loopnote, yet it never gets mentioned anywhere :(

Robert: Martin, where were you four weeks ago when we were all getting hyped up on Twitter?

Sorry, Martin, but no one has told me about your service. And I have hundreds of thousands of readers per week. The fact that you weren’t here screaming your head off tells me you aren’t very up to date on how markets work in the Web 2.0 world.

You know, I think this is super-hard coming from Robert. Much as everyone with a blog wants to be the centre of the universe, we’re not. I’ve been shouting as best I can about The Podcast Network for over two years, it’s never been picked up by the Bay Area Blog Circle (see how I’m avoiding saying a letter followed by the word list?), but it still grows month on month, it still picks up new shows, it still makes a difference. Certain blogs and sites are great for a temporary push, but it takes the company itself to make a difference in the long run.

More Links:
Crossposting Twitter to Jaiki ie run in tandem) info here and here.

2 Responses to “Is There Confusion in Twit, Twitter and Internet Marketing?”

  1. hi, ewan – was actually robert scoble who said “The reason Leo’s leaving Twitter is significant is because Leo kicked off the Twitter hype by talking about Twitter on his show, TWiT (This Week in Tech) about two weeks before SXSW.”

    (we had a bunch of folks sharing a machine, and robert inadvertantly posted while i was logged in. yet more twitter confusion! :-))

  2. Alan says:

    Hey Ewan, I really agree with your post. Maybe I’m a little bias since I and two other friends created loopnote. I definitely think getting mention in the right blogs at the right time is key to success, no one can deny the power of early momentum. However, I agree with you – slow and steady can win the race too. We’ve been adding users consistently since our launch in December. Come check out the site, let us know what you think!