Is Twitter a Fad, or Here to Stay?

twitterThis will likely be the shortest article I’ll have ever written.  Longer than 140 characters, but still, short.

The question is, is Twitter a fad, or here to stay?  I saw a reference to Twitter as a fad in a recent article in the USAToday.  The author of the article was interviewing Robert Bartholomew about the book he just co-authored, Outbreak!, The Encyclopedia of Extraordinary Social Behavior.  The Encyclopedia is a compendium of public overreactions to events or occurrences.  The author asks about Twitter and whether it is a fad, and Bartholomew’s answer:

“Most fads are not social delusions but are short-term infatuations. Only time will tell whether Twitter is a fad and will go the way of the CB radio after a year or two of intense interest or if it will become a more permanent fixture of our social landscape. Fads typically offer status but quickly fade when ‘everyone’s doing it’ and hence loses its novelty.”

That’s exactly how I feel about it.  I am not a Twitterer, yet.  And I don’t know if I will be, but I’m often slow to jump on fadish bandwagons.  I’m waiting to see if it will be something that would be valuable to me to use, or just another time-waster like Facebook and MySpace and LinkedIn  have turned out to be for me.  Remember when LinkedIn was “the next great thing?” Yeah, me too.


  1. says

    What I discovered was that I couldn’t evaluate whether or not I could make use of Twitter without using it in fairly substantial way. I have found it to be a very useful listening tool that has provided me with a lot of good information. It’s true that you have to discipline yourself not to let it turn into a time hole and that building up a good set of followers and followees takes effort. Bottom line is that I think it’s pointing the way to a form of communication that will remain important.