OK, so it's been some time since I have posted to my blog, but even that admission seems so archaic (in Internet time). These days one has the option of tweeting, Facebook status update, Facebook "note," good old email blast, etc. Of course, newspapers do still exist. And my wife, Rabbi Dr. Haviva Ner-David recently started a column in the Jerusalem Post weekend edition. But her articles also appear on-line. And she also writes a column in an on-line only publication called Zeek.
Can all of these options enter the mainstream? I don't think so. What will need to happen is a form of leveling, with Twitter and similar services acting as notification engines, Facebook as a semi-closed circle of "friends," and blogs staying what they were intended to be: "my" voice out into public domain. Blogs are essentially a diary exposed to the world. Some tend to use the medium for more professional reasons, others more personal, and some (like me) a combination.
In one of the companies I am involved in, AttracTV, we are starting to see this all come together. AttracTV developed a platform for "Vidgets," which are applications that run as overlay on video being streamed. Amongst the first vidgets we released were Twitter and Facebook applications. And we see the different usage patterns, around the same content, playing out in real time. We also operate our own proprietary chat application, which is a very closed community (only people watching that content).
But as we know, 99% of the population reads, listens, and watches. They do not create. Facebook has nudged those statistics a bit, and while FB have not released stats yet, I would guess less than 10% of FB users actually update their status on regular basis. Thus the key in moving forward is how do the 99% process the Tweets, FB status updates, blog postings, news flashes, etc. Jeff Pulver has over 350,000 followers to his tweets. How many read each one? (especially given at the rate that Jeff puts information/thoughts/opinions out there...). What does it mean to have 350,000 followers? I subscribe to Jeff's blog, but I couldn't deal with his never ending tweet stream, turned it off hours after I opened up my twitter account.
If Twitter is smart and wants to continue to be the channel they are, they will need to give the 99% of us the tools to manage the avalanche of information. I assume they (and hundreds of third party developers) are hard at work at it right now.
In the end, we will remain the same human beings we are right now. Most of us are passive, some of us are active. The active ones will seek out the best ways to make their voice heard.