A couple of days ago I posted my thousandth Twitter update, and an earth shattering post it was to:
A comment appropriately enough about Twitter, an update that was meaningless to anyone who wasn’t already aware of Opera Unite, and representative of the banality of so many of my Twitter comments.
As I discussed when I passed my 100th Twitter comment, the value of Twitter is hard to quantify, especially in monetary terms. Throughout social media, the value of the content we generate is generally indirect rather than direct: Dave Winer has made over $2 million via the stuff he talks about on his blog, whilst I have made $32.02 through the Google Adwords on this blog.
Nonetheless the dream of direct income remains. On the same day as I posted my 1,000th update, I received an email asking me to review the TwitPub marketplace. Basically TwitPub allows you to create a Twitter stream that people pay to get Direct Messages from. Whilst the concept is interesting, the content offered is generally poor. The only feed I came across which had any subscribers (supposedly ’2′) was a feed for real time trading alerts (at $0.99 a month), and the author’s web site link was to a page of adverts.
Twitter works because you follow many people, no single person is indispensable. If you want to get useful trading information you would do better follow numerous people in the field and drawing your own conclusions rather than paying $0.99 for the opinions of one person, however good they are.
So who could make use of TwitPub? Those who already have a loyal fan-base. It provides a simple means of monetising an existing brand. But when everyone else is offering their Twitter streams for free, I don’t imagine most fans being loyal for long.
Twitter, like other social media, is most likely to generate income indirectly. For me that has been £100 to write an opinion piece on Twitter in a magazine (JISC Inform 25 – see page 20). I doubt my Twitter-stream would ever generate that sort of income through TwitPub.