Google/Brightcove Rumor Shows The Power Of Twitter, Which Is A Bad Thing
Mark Glaser's Tweet from earlier today about Google being in talks to acquire Brightcove made its way around the web in record time thanks to Twitter. While some might say that shows the power of Twitter, which it does, that's not a good thing. Within two hours of the Tweet, more than a dozen major websites and blogs were talking about the report, all based on a 102 character sentence.
While I'm not taking aim at Mark, I don't know who his source was or what was discussed, I think this is a great example of where Twitter is dangerous. If this kind of news first came out on a blog, people would expect some analysis of the story, would expect to read the authors take on what it means and the blog would give the author enough room to give their take on the news. But with Twitter, how much can someone really explain something in 140 characters? As Mark pointed out in a follow-up Tweet, he never said Google "acquired" Brightcove, he said his source told him they were in discussions. Something that probably would have come across a lot stronger if it was a blog post, as opposed to a one sentence comment on Twitter. That said, he should not be so surprised with the amount of coverage his Tweet got as Google and Brightcove are two companies that are well respected powerhouses in their individual industries.
But the bottom line here is that Twitter is a dangerous outlet to use for reporting news that may or may not be true. Blogs provide a lot better platform for being able to give your take on something and personally, I think too many people are becoming way too comfortable with Twitter and using it thinking it replaces a blog post. You can't explain anything on Twitter, which is why any Tweet that actually needs to talk about something useful, provides a link to it on a blog or website.
For more reasons why I'm not a fan of Twitter, see my post from last month, Twitter's Down Again, I Wish It Would Stay Down For Good.