Guest poster Atherton Bartelby at Mashable listed on Tuesday 10 reasons why he will refuse to follow you on Twitter. Aside from the very annoying fact the article attempts to tell me that there’s a right way for me to use Twitter, reason number three in particular stuck in my craw:
#3: Your “website” listed is a MySpace Profile
…or, far worse, an AngelFire “page.”
I’ll admit it: I had a MySpace profile…until I deleted it a year ago when it became obvious that only teenagers and musicians were still using it. I also had a GeoCities/AngelFire “page”…for my very first website when I first got on the Internet in 1994. If the Twitter user in question happens to be an actual teenager, or musician whose MySpace presence truly works for them, then fine. But I tend to pass over those users whose proffered web presence is, well, clearly doing it wrong.
It doesn’t take much these days to establish a web presence that seems genuine and thoughtful, and appears to intend to attract and build an online community based on the content it provides. AngelFire pages simply don’t communicate that.
After glancing over the rest of them, he could have more or less just skipped all the ten reasons and said “if it looks like a fake or sales and marketing related user, I’m not going to follow your account.
But the dig at MySpace fails to notice one key element of Twitter that it seems most of us aren’t noticing at the moment: Twitter is the new MySpace.
Back in 2006, I launched an experimental video podcast network that used MySpace as the primary thrust of it’s marketing. The content was very high-brow (as compared to what’s typically thought of as MySpace content), being accessible hacker-centric technology news and general commentary on world affairs.
Using the system to find folks to subscribe to our podcast was surprisingly easy, and we grew our download and viewer-count to over 60,000 a month.
If you look at even more recent history, a primary fixture on the Mashable site layout were places to download MySpace templates. Some of the most popular features on the site, at least by comment counts, continue to be MySpace related list posts.
So what’s the great sin in having a MySpace profile as your primary point of contact? Chances are if it’s listed, it’s because it’s worked for that user. If you’re going to discount out of hand a Twitter user because they list a MySpace profile for their primary point of contact, it’s going to be you who ends up out of touch with most of the web’s userbase, not them.
In short, you’re doing it wrong.