Bram Pitoyo, Interlude, Links

Social Progression In Twitter

Lately, I noticed that a lot of Twitterers have been trimming their followings or putting texts that signify allegiance to a particular color team (or side of town, in the case of Portland.) This, along with Jason Grigsby’s Twitter First Posts article, made me think that these phenomena can be summarized into phases in a user’s social progression in Twitter.

NOTE: this document will be revised as the medium evolves and matures, and at your hat tips and suggestions.

Here we go.

  1. Introduced to Twitter and its concept. Extremely confused at its pointless, navel-gazing capabilities.
  2. Finally convinced to join. Created username similar to last email address in order to aid memory.
  3. First Twitter post. Usually about figuring out “what this Twitter-thing is all about.
  4. More posts as one adds more friends and is convinced that Twitter was really pointless, after all.
  5. Regretted joining in the first place. Temporary withdrawal (usually measured in months.) NOTE: not everyone will experience this phase.
  6. Either:
    • Rediscovery, usually through peer pressure or event, or
    • Elimination of a barrier of reentry through a Twitter client (in the case of Allison McKeever [@allisonm], it was twhirl), followed by rediscovery.
  7. Convinced to start using again with bits of skepticism. May or may not proclaimed “Hello world. I’m back.”
  8. Added more friends, usually ones who are responsible for bringing the user back into Twitter, or have attended events with, or ones located locally. I think that real-world connection with Twitter followers (E.g. commenting, sharing and making inside jokes about events) are very crucial to success at starting again.
  9. Participated in memes (E.g. Superhero Week, Color Wars, East/Westside battle, recontextualizing Tweets, etc.) and, somewhere along the lines, recognized Twitter avatars as a tool for personal branding (credit: @ahockley and @reidab.)
  10. Social life enhanced thanks to Twitter. Started going to more events, meeting more people following them. I think that a user reaches the ‘point of no return’ when he/she finally meet another user offline. At this point, the user realizes that the said meeting happened purely due to Twitter, and therefore must continue using it to maintain further communication with the person and seek out more people to connect with.
  11. Somewhere along this points, realized that “there is only so much anyone can pay attention to. otherwise the experience is ruined” (credit: @pixelmatrix.)
  12. Started self-talking innocuously.
  13. Trimmed followings.
  14. Used Twitter-specific vocabularies, usually mashup of a noun or verb with the word “Twitter.” Ie. twavatar, twawkward, etc. (credit: @ahockley.)
  15. Started referring to non-Twitterers with ‘@’ prefix.
  16. Used hashtags (ie. #pdxst, #inno, #bacon, and more recently, #waffle.)
  17. Began to drift back into real life. Infatuation with Twitter dwindles as one settles into a real relationship. E.g. Don’t need to stay up all night talking anymore, don’t need to sleep all cuddled up, and don’t need to tell each other every move we make. (Credit: @gwalter)
  18. Following list unknowingly grown. Didn’t realize that self has potential in following more followers than what she has prior

Anybody have ideas or revisions to this list?