I think the guys at Pear Analytics, as reported by the BBC here, are missing the point about Twitter.
The whole bloody point of this social web business is that there is zero cost to tweet or post or comment. So it is almost impossible to pass-along no value. Even if only my mum is interested that ‘I’m eating a sandwich’ then I have passed on a tiny bit of value at zero cost.
Moreover, it is exactly their categorization of this kind of message as ‘pointless babble’ that show they miss the point.
We are in an age of zero cost, peer to peer and mass communication. It is not the role of anybody to describe conversation as pointless babble. That’s an old media mindset. There aren’t gatekeepers any more. I’ll define what I think is pointless thank you very much.
It is very difficult to separately categorize ‘self-promotion’ from ‘conversation’ or even ‘pointless babble’. Anybody in the business of self-promotion is increasingly required to engage in conversation.
And far more importantly: Aggregate the pointless babble of hundreds of thousands of people and it’s no longer pointless babble.