In the early days or say the first year or so of Twitter’s life it really was a way to get to to know people. The motives were pure. Twitter provided a way to get to know people. You could build a network. Conversations were abundant. As the number of people exponentially grew, the number of “real” conversations exponentially decreased. Sure people still talked to each other but the conversations changed.
Because the perception and usage of Twitter changed without anyone really doing anything internally to change it. First the perception changed by the notion that the more followers you had, the more relevant or important you were. So when perception changed conversations were altered. It became a race to add people and not talk to them. The network or the notion of a network was altered.
Second, the usage changed from a vehicle or platform for dialogue, to a vehicle or a platform to talk at people. Call it the great migration of marketing to Twitter. Relationships were not as important as a RT of a link. A funny thing also occurred along the way as well. The early adopters also fell into this trend as well. In fact if you ask the developers of Twitter, they themselves will tell you that Twitter is a media consumption platform. We all use it to push content.
That’s too bad.
Though the people that I follow on Twitter is not that large a group (About 850) I would like to think that I know 100 of them pretty well and could call them, have a cup of coffee with them, or sit down to dinner with them. Could you say the same?