I’ve just gotten back from the 140 Characters Conference in LA where the message, loud and clear and 10 minutes per speaker at a time, was that it’s the quality of your followers that matters, not the quantity.
More reinforcement: Twitter’s new list function is already prompting “mass unfollowings” (thanks to Mary McKinnon/@bestwebstrategy for this link).
The first #140conf in New York in June was all about the unique communities that Twitter inspired. The dominant sponsor was Hootsuite, personified by a large owl walking around hugging people. Ann Curry duked it out with Rick Sanchez. Wyclef Jean showed up, late of course, but illustrating the importance of authencity. Attendees bonded over the duct-taped power outlets.
Five months later, it appears that Twitter has…matured. The speakers in LA weren’t giddy. The lead sponsor was Kodak, represented by CMO Jeffrey Hayzlett, a glossy brochure touting Kodak’s “convergence media tactics” and coupons for 15 percent off Kodak products. You can’t have either duct tape or power outlets in the Kodak Theatre (where the Academy Awards are held) so the crowd was often bigger in the lobby than in the auditorium.
I still had fun at #140conf LA – it is Twitter, after all – but the biz talk was pervasive: strategy, goals, objectives, processes, systems, results, the four Ps and the four Es, one of which was, of course, engagement.