I made a comment on Twitter this morning about how I don't feel as if I fit in anymore. That wasn't some "woe is me" decree implying that I was going to leave Twitter. Perish the thought. It was more of an observation on the way that Twitter has impacted the way people are using it.
It's sad. Some of us early adopters of the service have been screaming for a couple years now about the value of Twitter. It's been recognized, welcomed into the mainstream with open arms, and now almost every company out there is trying to determine how to center Twitter as part of its social media strategy (I am not saying it's right, just saying that it's happening).
The problem with that is... well, my greatest Twitter fear has come true. Twitter is slowly becoming a broadcast vehicle more than an engagement vehicle. It's true that Twitter is great as a news distribution outlet, but really, the first use should be conversational. Sharing information and ideas. If a link comes along, fantastic. If you regularly engage with your network and post out your blogs (I do that), great. But don't use it as only that. And don't use it as a vehicle only to promote your stuff or just talk about your day without asking about what's going on with those in your network. And don't just ask questions and then not engage when your network, answers, either. I could go on... my grandmother (a "Miss Manners" of sorts) would be so proud.
So no, I don't feel like I fit in on Twitter anymore. And it appears based on some of the replies and direct messages I received after I commented whined, I'm not alone.
Don't talk to us. Speak with us. It doesn't matter if you follow back 100 people or 1,000 people, you should genuinely engage. No one -- not even Ashton Kutcher -- should be too far above engaging with his or her network. So why are you?