Nothing is more true than the saying ‘you never know how much you love something until it is gone’.
Well imagine everyone’s surprise, when on May 10, 2010 at 10am PDT (roughly) – Twitter effectively died.
Will it come back to life? I sure hope so.
What do I mean by ‘died’?
Well, recently Twitter suddenly started displaying 0 followers and 0 following for everyone (even the infamous @aplusk millions of followers dropped to zero).
It was the great reset, personified – Twitter style. A chance for everyone to start again. Well, except it won’t let you do that either (or else Ashton Kutcher wouldn’t still be sitting on zero).
But even worse, it didn’t just start displaying 0 followers, but it started acting like 0 followers – meaning I couldn’t DM someone real fast to see what was going on.
Now I only have 5,550+ followers, but these have been hard won followers (I tend to follow back only people I know). I like to believe that I have all of these followers because I deliver value through my twitter channel to people interested in innovation and marketing insights. Granted I could probably have 100,000+ followers if I focused my energy on building up my number of followers, but frankly I believe that engagement and value fit my style more than sheer bulk.
So, what now?
Do we have to start following people again one by one?
Will the people who game the system rush back to the top (in terms of the number of followers)?
Will people lose interest in Twitter?
Or, will their isolation from normal Twitter operation reinforce for people the value that they derive from participating in the conversation and not merely consuming information?
Well, all of this depends on how long it takes Twitter to revive itself. I guess we’ll see what happens.
Two things are for sure:
- It will be interesting to watch people’s reactions
- There are a lot of panicked people at Twitter right now
UPDATE: – Apparently Twitter was hacked and is trying to rollback to before the hack
We identified and resolved a bug that permitted a user to “force” other users to follow them. We’re now working to rollback all abuse of the bug that took place. Follower/following numbers are currently at 0; we’re aware and this too should shortly be resolved.
Braden Kelley is the editor of Blogging Innovation and founder of Business Strategy Innovation, a consultancy focusing on innovation and marketing strategy. Braden is also @innovate on Twitter.