The recent guest post from Lennart van Opbergen at Martinair was a good lead in to an article one reader sent me soon afterwards about Twitter.

Roughly two-fifths of Twitter accounts have never sent a tweet, according to analysis by RJ Metrics, and a quarter of those signed up have no followers. Further, 80 per cent of all Twitter users have tweeted fewer than 10 times and only 17 per cent – not quite one-fifth – tweeted in December.

Despite the gloomy tone of that paragraph, the article actually goes on to make a good case for the value of Twitter. The power for airlines and many other businesses looking for new (cost effective) ways to promote their product is probably in using it as a largely one way form of communication – almost like a variation on the good old email distribution list. The article I was sent then goes on to say:

So while there may be fewer people active on Twitter than the number of account holders suggests, it is also clear those who use it are using it more intensively. This is backed up by a finding by social media monitoring company Sysomos that the most committed 5 per cent of Twitter users account for 75 per cent of tweets. This suggests the platform is moving towards the few-to-many model that typifies all other information media. Think about television, newspapers, radio, blogging: the audience is always considerably greater than the number of producers of the content being consumed.

Rather that eveyone having an active voice, we are moving towards power users – this raises a whole new question of how companies should treat power users and should airlines factor a person’s social media standing into their calculation of customer value. The question is, which passengers really deserve VIP status? In a non airline context, the case of Heather Armstrong and Maytag illustrates this dilemma quite nicely.

The title says this will be my last Twitter related post for a while, but it should actually be my last post of any kind for a while. I’m taking my main vacation for the year, starting tomorrow. If you want a clue as to where I am travelling to, it is the country where freedom of speech seems to be disappearing at an alarming rate.

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