The Average Person Can't Figure Out Twitter

I’ve been taking a look at the usage of many Twitter users over the past few weeks and I’ve also noticed that a lot more of my friends have been joining recently. While Twitter can be an extremely valuable tool, there is a serious hurdle for it. I’ve seen many users join the site, add 10 or 20 friends and start tweeting. Within a matter of weeks their tweeting frequency dies down and eventually they stop using it.

The biggest problem for these individuals? The 10 or 20 people that they follow need to be interesting enough for them to return to the site regularly. While a small segment of these individuals enjoy getting text message updates from their close friends, at a certain point receiving mundane updates from the average Joe simply fails to excite.

Then again, perhaps following the average Joe (or should I say “Joe the plumber”?) will not provide a lot of value. The real value comes out of following those individuals that can create the most engaging media within 140 characters. Many of my friends don’t understand why I tweet and they don’t have the same virtual friends that I do.

There’s an extremely engaging group of individuals on the site that understand its power and take advantage of it. Maybe I’m simply over analyzing the act of engaging with other people on Twitter. Any individual who isn’t “hyperconnected” is not going to benefit equally and I would argue is much more likely to eventually leave the site. Do you think the average person gets the same benefit from Twitter as the hyperconnected social media people do?

Is there a simple way to explain the benefits of Twitter to someone who doesn’t understand what the purpose is? Personally, I didn’t get a huge benefit until I travelled around and began to witness the benefit of following the behind the scenes chatter.