Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Twitter: Where Nobody Knows Your Name


So I was in Washington, D.C., this past weekend for a lovely wedding, traveling back to a city where I started my career and worked for 15 years after college.

And I conducted a little experiment among the more than 100 folks gathered for the wedding, all of whom were quite intelligent, armed with all kinds of the latest devices (many, many people had iPhones, for example) and not sluggish about technology.

They were also made up of a wide range of ages and genders, from kids to seniors.

And so I asked a large group of people–about 30–and here is the grand total who knew what Twitter was: 0

FriendFeed: 0

Widget: 1 (but she thought it was one of the units used in a business class study).

Facebook: Everyone I asked knew about it and about half had an account, although different people used it differently.

In other words, confirming for me what I wrote last week about the intense obsession with the hottest new services like Twitter and FriendFeed, in the echo chamber of Silicon Valley, and how no one else cares yet.

I wrote:

You don’t know?

Neither does most of the human race, in truth, which is just getting around to noticing Facebook and maybe, just maybe, figuring out how to properly use a SuperPoke (my advice: never ever!).”

While I really do like all these services, and use Twitter daily (and it is apparently getting more venture money), it is interesting to wonder when the delta is reached when early adopter interest meets mainstream attention.


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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work