It’s the name. Really. Twitter is doomed because it has a lame name. Twitter? Tweets? Tweeters?
Let me parenthetically add that I love Twitter, permanently have TweetDeck open and running, tweet about 10-15 times a day, and have met some of the most interesting and affable people in the world thanks to this great little piece of social media technology. I like Twitter better than Facebook, though for different reasons. So it’s not like I’m a social mediaphobe, or that I can’t get into the technology, despite being 41 years old in 48 hours.
But TWITTER? Geesh, it’s like a name my 7-year-old thought up. I seriously think that the name itself is stunting its growth, and making it the butt of jokes. A couple days ago, the US Secretary of State joked that she “wouldn’t know a twitter from a tweeter”, and this was not only acceptable, it was funny. Ha ha. The most important communications medium of the nascent (and apparently declining) Iranian Revolution, and the US Secy of State thinks it’s funny to joke about how she doesn’t know anything about it. This is like “M” joking that she never reads any of the gobbledygook in the intelligence reports.
I bet you $10 that if it were called “Zip”, and we were all “zipping” because we are “zippers”, or something a bit less…kindergarteny…than “Twitter”…there would be far fewer jokes about it and more people taking it seriously. How seriously can you take “tweeting”? I mean, I’m an evangelist for this technology, and even I feel silly when I’m explaining it to people.
Okay, so “doomed” is a bit harsh. I think Twitter has a long life ahead of it, despite Internet gurus pronouncing it moribund because it doesn’t have a 100% participation rate. I think it’s a fantastic business tool, and I’ll keep using it no matter what it’s called, and I will not be alone.
But part of me will always wonder how much the name of the thing is cooling its growth.