Twitter downturn? Nah, it’s just me, methinks. aka Twitter’s future in 2010.

A funny yet predictable observation: I’ve been too busy these past few months to utilize Twitter in the same way as I did last year, and noticed a few things:

  1. 90% of the people I used to converse with on a daily basis 12 months ago no longer communicate with me, nor I with them (nothing negative, just factual).
  2. I spend perhaps 70% less time on Twitter currently than I did last year – hmm, correlation perhaps?
  3. The statement “You get out what you put in” holds very true for Twitter it seems. I’ve been too busy to do much replying, RT, DM, and making new contacts since my move to Manila, and subsequently my number of followers has significantly leveled off (and is stuck right below 1000 whereas many people who had less followers than myself a year ago have blossomed into 4 digit stars)
  4. Most of the Indonesian contacts I have no longer chat with me since my move to Manila – BUT this ties in with the top two points – it’s no one’s fault (well, ok, it’s more mine), it’s just the nature of Twitter and human contact. It’s quite similar to The Sims when you think about it. A few weeks go by without any conversation and the heart above my head drops a point.
  5. Even my close friends and ex-coworkers who use Twitter no longer chat nearly as much – if your friendship began offline, and physical proximity changes, is online communication with them more likely to diminish than those friendships which began online?

So am I ‘over’ Twitter as media sources are beginning to state, “Has Twitter Peaked?” ? No! I still enjoy using Twitter and seeking out great contacts and valuable information. But my own use for it has evolved over time. Whereas it started as a one way communication tool for me in 2007, 2008 and the first half of 2009 was more about socializing and meeting up with people offline and engaging in great conversations. It has now morphed into more of tool of observation and perhaps less interaction. This may not be a bad thing. I was getting to the point where I knew more about what my contacts were doing, going, watching, eating, enjoying, than my own family (who still all refuse to use Twitter! – as my sister said, “It’s so egotistical – who cares what you had for dinner??!” – don’t blame her, she’s just bitter she’s not eating the Italian we had last night)

I still use Twitter nearly every day, and usually many times per day. But I’ve become more of a voyeur with my contacts – I’ve made lists in TweetDeck of my favorite people (which I’ve called, “Interestingness” ala Flickr), photography news, Manila, Jakarta, etc. I even have an “Indonesian” column to keep up with the awesome group of people that helped spur my interest in Twitter in the first place. After email, Tweetie on my iPhone is my 2nd most often used app (Facebook is the 3rd, Manifesto the 4th).

My new career, new country, and abundant travel time in 2009 (Bali twice, the move to Philippines, Boracay, Hong Kong, Banaue, and soon Singapore) has prompted this change (and a definite factor is the more expensive and spotty mobile internet in Manila compared to Jakarta).

Perhaps this is a time of change for Twitter as well. I wonder what 2010 will bring for me and my “tweeps”?

Some related posts:

My first experience with Twitter – 2007

The peak of my own Twitter experience – 2008

Observations and questions about microblogging from 2009

Want more? Here’s the archive of all my Twitter related posts. Or of course, you can add me if you wish.