So Twitter and LinkedIn are interconnecting. What is the background to this and where is it leading?
Twitter seems to have caught many people’s mindshare because it is fundamentally different from most other services; its asymmetric “follower” relationship is more complex and flexible than simple connections on LinkedIn or friends on Facebook. Other services are now following(!).
Personal fun is not the whole story; some major businesses are using Twitter for customer service. Dell, BT, and PayPal have all been reported to be benefitting from its use. And let’s not forget that the current President of the US is unlikely to have been elected without his use of social media.
LinkedIn began as a fairly straightforward and solid service for keeping track of colleagues. As LinkedIn is used mainly by people for professional purposes, the relationship with Twitter is particularly interesting and potentially complementary.
This partnership may be the first significant example of collaborative connection between social networking/media services.
In the end, it is probable that they will all need to take part in some form of open interconnection or they will be isolated from the mainstream.
Today’s social media feels like the early days of email when people were on CompuServe or AOL or some other “walled garden” system and only communicated with others on the same service. Eventually, that situation dissolved into general purpose internet email, as the commodity aspect of each service’s communication became subsumed into a layer accessible to all.
Management of addresses is the usual constraint on its rate of adoption.
These are interesting times for individual and organizational communication!