The State of Twitter: Part 1

By | April 7, 2009


On January 3rd of 2008, I wrote a blog post entitled: Stop Twittering and Focus on Your Business

Well, I’m not issuing an official retraction of my stance on twitter… YET. But that day might be coming soon.

In the 16 months since I wrote that post, twitter has grown at a rapid pace, and has emerged to the forefront of the Internet’s attention.

While the principles of business building have not changed in that time period, twitter’s value as a business tool certainly has increased.

Take a look at the following chart from

twitter traffic chart

As you can see, twitter’s traffic has more than tripled in the past few months, and nearly doubled in the past month alone!

Within the past couple of weeks, twitter has reached a new point of critical mass. It was already hot, but now it’s the hottest thing on the web. It’s all over the news, it’s all over the blogosphere, and everyone’s talking about it.

Rats. I can no longer ignore it 😉

I make no apologies for not being an early adopter. There have been countless web 2.0 social networking sites launched in recent years (many of which are still bigger than twitter), and we’ve seen many of them fizzle.

I don’t want to waste my time on here-today-gone-tomorrow tactics, when I can focus on tried and true business building principles (at least as tried and true as you can get for the Internet).

But there comes a point when you have to adapt. You have to be flexible. You have to accept new technologies into your existing business structure.

When commerce started moving online, I’m sure there were plenty of old school businesses who said… we don’t need the Internet. We can keep doing things the way we’ve always done them. And those are the companies that are dying today.

The inability to adapt will cause you to be left in the dust… particularly in the online world.

Is that the case with twitter?

I don’t know yet. I’m not yet convinced, but it’s becoming more compelling by the day.

I’ve got some specific reasons why I think twitter is here to stay, and other reasons why I still think it’s totally overrated. But I’m going to save those thoughts for part 2 of this article. First I want to find out what YOU think…

I’ve set up a twitter survey to discover some current uses of and attitudes regarding twitter. This is for twitter users AND non-users.

To take the survey please go to:

Eric’s twitter survey

You will receive a special gift just for participating in the survey. I will reveal ALL of the results in part 2 of this article here on my blog next week.

In the mean time, I’ve set up my first twitter account so I can start following and being followed 🙂

By the way, IF twitter IS going to be a long lasting business tool… it’s certainly not too late to join the game.

On December 16, 2007 (just a couple weeks before I made my “Stop Twittering” post), my friend Joel Comm made his first post about twitter on his blog. He announced that he had joined twitter, although he also said “I’m still not sure what the point is of Twitter… I’m not sure I get it.” The post went by with no fanfare, and even today it has zero comments (LOL, sorry Joel).

But he took a risk on it, and within a year he was writing the first mainstream book about twitter (Twitter Power), which went on to become a best-seller, and today he is one of the most sought-after twitter experts in the world. He has over 40,000 followers, and he’s adding about 1,000 per DAY at the moment.

And all of that happened just in the past year. If twitter continues to follow its upward curve of growth, the NEXT year will be much bigger than the last year, which means there’s still plenty of time to grow your own following as twitter grows.

What are your thoughts about twitter? Please take my survey and then leave your comments here on my blog.

Have a great day!

181 thoughts on “The State of Twitter: Part 1

  1. Graham in U.K.

    Hi Eric
    “Twits Twittering”!
    OMG – all the so called ‘Gurus’ are jumping on the bandwagon and asking us to follow them on Twitter.
    So should we follow the so called new social networking formula?
    A ‘Peter Pan’ of the new social scene on the internet?
    I think not!! All this is…is a new medium of drawing attention to yourself. Isn’t there a saying that ’empty vessels make the most noise’?
    Blogs are the way to go for connecting and holding a conversation on the internet.
    Twittering – I haven’t got the time and certainly have no inclination to waste my time on this!
    Here today – gone tomorrow!
    Follow the Herd? – I don’t think so
    Not for me – that’s for sure!
    Graham in UK

  2. Brahim El mouaddin

    I’m proud of being in your data-base for years . I found you a kind person as you treat your subscribers with a unique courtesy and coolness of heart . When I started with Twitter I didn’t have in mind the idea of making commerce with thi site rather than just finding new friends . I never thought of posting a product of mine on twitter ; not yet got to that level for I still find me a novice to the domain despite years of experience with web-marketing -no moral support and materials aren’t available- . Never-mind if twitter is a commercial site as well ; it’s no harm after all . So often I try to follow a friend on twitter however I only stumble over a site of his instead . Can we make social bonds in this way ? I guess we more or less can .

  3. Harry

    I rarely send any tweets, nevertheless I frequently get emails telling me that XXX is following me. I know the stats suggest that 50%(?) of people will follow those that follow them.

    So what is Twiittter for…its for building ‘Biz Stones ultimate sucker list’…but when its up for sale it will probably have a nicer name!!

  4. Ardell

    Hey if you are some who wants to lose weight or just get healthy you can put this on twitter. For instance I lost 30 lbs. and took 3 inches off my waist if you are promoting a nutritional product put it on there. It’s another way to promote your product.

  5. Dom

    Twitter is a perfect tool for me as I don’t like to write nor read long and never ending posts… So with 140 characters it’s ok for me!

  6. Danny

    Hi Eric,
    First, my hat is off to you my friend for the MOST VALUABLE information you bring to us. I have been following you now for 3 or 4 months and finally got caught up to your current posts. Although I have been reading as many comments as possible, I have never posted one myself til now. I think (NO, I know) what you are doing is fantastic.

    I too, like you, have always been too much one-track minded to keep up with so-o-o many varialbes. I still have to maintain a 50 hour work week so my time to grow my own business online is slim. I am already cutting into my family time just to keep up and can’t seem to do a very good job of that.

    But you have made a difference and I only look for it to get better.

    As for Twitter, I have one other person with whom I try to follow (because you two have a down to earth kind of way to communicate which makes it so-o-o much easier) who has asked me to follow her and so far I have declined per lack of time.

    As for the importance of Twitter…It has truly grown in leaps and bounds. Will it be around for the long haul? Who knows!? Only time will tell. But hey, look at Facebook…the changes they have been making ARE BECAUSE of Twitter. Facebook has lost some of its value due to Twitter, therefore, their changes. Should I join, it will only be because of you and Suzanne as for now my time is so little. Would Twitter make it (easier) for me to follow you two? I don’t know. So any info you share will be greatly aknowledged and accepted.

  7. Jimmy Craig

    Hey Jane, I have to agree with you – I tweet now and then, but it really just uses up my time with absolutely no advantage – at least to date. Although I find that my personal listings in Google have gone up – related to social websites! Strange!

  8. Rick

    I’ve polled many of my followers and can’t find anyone who uses twitter at all. Seems to be more a marketing tool amongst marketing gurus and way for people who don’t have much else to do to spend time. I’m trying to build a business and have way too many distractions now.

  9. Arline Oliphint

    Carol, I don’t use cell phones or Ipods (yet) either. And I haven’t used Twitter yet. However, I believe Twitter can be accessed from a website using your computer. I’ve been using Facebook for about a month, and I think Twitter can work the same way… IF I decide to attempt it.

    That’s my understanding so far, anyway. Maybe someone will either confirm this or set me straight. Anybody??

  10. Arline Oliphint

    Excellent point! I haven’t decided to use Twitter yet, but I’ll remember that principle of courtesy when I’m on Facebook in the future. Plus, I noticed a marketer do that on Facebook once and it WAS very annoying! (I think he had his Tweets automatically publishing on Facebook, which is possible to do with a plugin I’ve heard about.)

  11. Arline Oliphint

    Eric, I somewhat agree with the comments made re: the survey being “flawed”. I did hope there would be a line (at least once at the end) for additional comments. But I guess that this blog is a good place to add more comments. 🙂

    In my case, I have not joined Twitter yet… and I’m hesitating mostly because I’m concerned it could really take up a lot of my time. I HAVE participated in a couple of training session by different individuals, and I can see there CAN be great value in using Twitter. I’m just not sure I can stay focused enough if I get involved in it. So maybe it depends partly on what stage a person is in, whether it will be a good tool for them to use or not.

    Thanks for all your quality content! I really appreciate your attitude and helpfulness, and especially your honesty and integrity.

  12. Arline Oliphint

    I’m 58, and haven’t used Twitter yet. Like you, I “know” I need to learn social networks for business purposes. Well, I finally took the plunge and got on Facebook 5 or 6 weeks ago because I found out it was the best way to keep in touch with my kids who don’t like talking on the phone. (I had been procrastinating about learning it for business reasons.)

    Well, guess what? I’m finding a lot of other middle agers on there… I’m reconnecting with cousins and friends in my own generation, as well as the younger ones. It’s fun!

    I just have to be careful not to spend too much time doing it. But it’s an easy way to see tiny snapshots of what other people you care about are doing, even when you don’t necessarily take time to make comments back to their posts.

  13. Arline Oliphint

    Thanks, Eric, for NOT putting the opt-in. I never can figure out why I need to opt in for something when I’m already on a person’s list! And most people who do this don’t “de-dup” their lists (to remove duplicate sign-ups) so I end up getting 2… 3… 4 duplicate emails from the same marketer!

  14. Arline Oliphint

    On second thought, I guess you could give an option to opt-in… for people who are not already subscribers… because not all blog readers are already on your list. It’s the forced opt-in that is the problem.

  15. Michaela

    Hi! I looked at your Easter pics on twitter, they are great.
    Love it or hate it, the reality is I got more followers via Twitter then I have on my list, and spending 15 min in the morning, and 15 min in the evening on Twitter, is not that much if I discipline myself to respect this schedule.
    Now, if the followers on twitter are targeted people – probably not, but I think at list 40% of them are.
    Eric, I use to paint my eggs for Easter, you can see pictures of them in my Ester module on: this is my lensography, and I have a module with my Easter, fait, look it over.
    Happy Easter to all of you

  16. Jim

    Twitter is an invasion of privacy that some people are willing to submit to in order to make money. In my humble opinion it is worthless to invest time and effort “Twitting”. They call them “Tweets” because “Twits” has a seriously negative connotation in the US(I’m not sure about anywhere else) To me it is all about twits and money. The domino effect could be enticing I understand that but it is not worth the loss of my personal time and business time. Besides, I’d rather play GOLF or take a walk in the park with my family ALONE!!! Not with 50 million people knowing where I am.
    I would rather be poor and homeless than to use twitter. It is not needed to make money on the internet.

  17. Pingback: The State of Twitter: Thriving but Not for Everyone | Eric’s Tips

  18. Junichi

    Dear Eric,

    This twitter survey is of great value to many, including non-English speakers.
    Would it be possible for me to translate and/or quote this survey in my blog in Japanese?

  19. Neil

    Thanks for the comprehensive research. When I get a spare day (lol) I’ll look at it in depth. When is lesson No.40 due out as I’m getting withdrawal symptoms and am all ready to go with my first product.

  20. Micah

    Hello Junichi,

    We’d love for you to share the Twitter survey results with your readers!


  21. Eric Post author

    Thanks! I’m working on it. I’ve stopped making promises of the dates, because it always takes me longer than anticipated. I’ll get all the lessons done though, thanks for your patience 🙂

  22. Ulla MM H

    I feel the same… forced… and no one with 100+ or 1000+ can have time to read tweets… and perhpas do not care either..

  23. Paul Ritchie

    Thanks Eric,
    Awesome research and I agreement some surprising feedback from people.Loved the Paris shots it is an amazing city.

  24. E. Al Whaley

    Requested a readable list of web ‘terms’ Any possibility? ENJOYED YOUR PICS and your kids are delightfully cute!
    Learning a great deal – also, trying to catch up.

  25. Jimmy Lim

    I have received Lesson #39 yesterday but I do not receive Lesson #40 today. What is wrong with Lesson #40?

  26. Micah

    Eric has been away on vacation in Europe, but is preparing new lessons. Lesson 40 will be completed and posted soon.

  27. Pingback: Twitter tips « ARTEXPOSURE

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