#w2e #smth

Yesterday at the Web 2.0 Expo, I was asked to step in for an impromptu Social Media Town Hall session, with Janetti Chon and Jeremiah Owyang.  The idea was to follow up on our previous morning's "Why Social Media Fails" discussion.

We also wanted to make sure that we engaged with the audience as a community, so opened for discussion immediately.  We used the hashtag #smth to track everyone's thoughts.  If you look at the stream, it's clear that we had healthy differences of opinion in the room.

One part of the session has stuck with me since the afternoon, related to sponsored conversations and business models:
  • I asked for a show of hands, how many people use Twitter.  Almost everyone.
  • I asked how many people would be willing to pay for a personal account, perhaps $49 for a richer feature set like Flickr Pro.  Almost no one.
  • I asked how many people would be willing to pay for a corporate account so their brand could participate.  About 2/3rds of the room.
What do you think about that?

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  1. Dear Peter,
    Thanks for the post. I too had raised my hand to join the group of folks who would NOT pay for twitter service if used for personal use (#smth). However, after the session, I pondered on this a bit more and reviewed my own behavior as well as asked avid Twitter users around me as to how they use Twitter. Almost all of them indicated that Twitter has changed the way they get their daily news. They now solely rely on Twitter for tech news plus other news of their interests. It is becoming the GOTO site for news for many Twitter users. I believe that many of us are not realizing how dependent we are becoming of Twitter to obtain news, friend updates, local parties, conferences and discounts, and and as a result, it is changing behavior. Now I’d bet that more than 1/2 of the folks in that room at #smth are already addicted and would pay for the service even if it were for their personal use – they just don’t know it yet.
    Claire (@ClaireSays)
    ps – i almost linked up with you for #taxishare in Austin, unfortunately plans changed at the last minute so had to cancel…

  2. Hi Claire – great perspective. I think your comment makes it clear that filters need to be built into the system with some level of user perspective and interest in mind. Maybe like Google’s preferred sites, enabling us to tag preferred users. ( http://www.google.com/experimental/ )

    Sorry I didn’t get to meet you in person in Austin or San Francisco! Would be great to catch up live sometime.

  3. You get the feeling at the moment that Twitter is a personal service which has been gatecrashed by corporates. There is of course no right way to use Twitter other than what the community at the time deems acceptable and good practice. Personally though I think the corporates who use Twitter on a personal basis ie their marketing officer has his or her own channel will work better probably than a corporate channel as it humanises the organisation more.


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