Twitter “Jumping the Shark?”

@LeoLaporte and others frequently mention that they think Twitter has (or will, or might) “Jump the Shark.”

Usually they point to the entry of celebrities to the Twitterverse as the beginning of the demise.  For a while, @theRealDvorak predicted that Britney Spears would bring down Twitter.  Then it was other “stars.”

Well, some of this is true.  The massive number of followers that Leo and Dvorak have are dwarfed by Obama’s twitter following. As well as the numbers put up by other greats like @bobbyllew and @brentSpiner (again, my two favorite TV androids–just WHY Google hasn’t contacted them to sell their G1 I don’t know.)  Twitter left the hands of the “Techies” and became mainstream.  Somehow, this is what would make it “jump the shark.”

I  have to respectfully disagree.

What makes twitter “work” is that while many will follow what I will call “vanity twitterers” twitter has as its heart, its soul, the development of personal communities and networks.  One connects with people that have interests in common.

For me, I have really three distinct “twitter” communities.  I am a Supply Chain guy, and want to connect with other professionals in that arena (it’s why my twitter name is @SCMProfessor).  I am also a professor (another part of that name) and so I am interested in connecting with educators, especially those that are innovative and using technology in helping people learn and understand the world around them. Like @ChrisChampion, @MisterLamb and @Dsalvucci.  I also like connecting with “real people” living real lives. Much of that comes from getting to know those in the first two groups.  Some is connecting with people I already knew, and some simply comes from finding other areas of interest where we intersect (location, politics, food, and so forth.)

Twitter’s ability to connect small pockets of people from around the globe, and allow us to develop digital relationships, is what keeps Twitter moving forward.  Sure, we may follow some “vanity twitterers” but that is like watching “Entertainment Tonight.”  It’s a fun diversion.

Relationships are what moves us forward–and relationships are what powers Twitter.