Lawyers, by my calculations, are mostly non-users of Twitter. Though it may seem everyone around you is using Twitter and that it makes all the sense in the world to do so for staying abreast of legal developments and networking, less than 15% of lawyers use Twitter.
In an attempt to grab some attention and attract new users, Banks reports that according to company insiders, Twitter is going to launch a radically different homepage.
No question Twitter doesn’t make it easy for a new user to see the value in Twitter. A few pictures accompanied by “tweets” that can look like gibberish to the amateur eye don’t exactly make it clear where to start. Not a lot of social networking pull at play.
If Twitter is going to attempt to become a true social network, I agree with Banks on what Twitter needs to do.
Twitter needs to redesign its homepage and create one that will make the visitor feel like they truly should become a member of the community. The company could do that by making these visitors see the potential Twitter has for discussion, conversation, marketing and plain old social networking, right off the bat. In order to do that, the new homepage should include featured tweets, some additional information about what Twitter can do for you, why one would advertise with Twitter, and show people with whom a user could connect.
Here’s a screenshot which has been leaked, and supposedly tested for the past few months.
The focus appears to be a friendly feel and to draw new users into popular channels. Users will then see tweets and users by subject, as opposed to the splash screen that welcomes prospective users before they sign up today.
Will this get Twitter more users? Your guess is as good as mine, but I have my doubts.
Twitter as a firehose of news—when not harnessed effectively by the user—will never attract a majority of people. An AP or UPI teletype never made it into households.
We may just rely on the minority of people to move news and information across Twitter. That news will then surface in other ways online and offline.
Though Twitter executives don’t like relinquishing control of their feed to third parties, Twitter works well when it is broken down into niche subjects. Think lawyers, lawyers in Texas, lawyers doing family law and lawyers doing family law in Texas.
Having third-party editors, such as bar associations, publishers or social networks such as LXBN, curating such Twitter feeds by true niches makes it easier for a lawyer to see the value in Twitter – for learning and networking.
What do you think? Will the new “Happy Twitter” with channels get lawyers to see the value in Twitter and join the social network? I don’t see it until we break Twitter down into niche areas of the law.
I see the changes more of a way to create some much needed buzz about Twitter than to morph Twitter into a widely used social network.
Image courtesy of Flickr by Rosaura Ochoa