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Macworld and is Twitter ready for the tipping point?

Posted by Danny Whatmough on 7th January 2009

There’s nothing like a new gadget to wipe away those January-blues and so its with great excitement (and slight jealousy of those who attend) that I always look forward to the tech-tastic first week of the New Year that brings Macworld and CES. [Disclosure: I’m a bit of an Apple fanboy]

Part 1 was always going to be overshadowed by (the lack of) a certain Mr Jobs and his death hormone rumours reports. And to be honest, I’m not surprised he stayed away as Macworld 2009 won’t really be remembered for anything in particular [although DRM-free music will have quite an effect on the music industry], even if previous years had set a high-precedent.

So…it wasn’t the keynote itself that was interesting me, it was what the announcement did to Twitter.

Twitter has continued to draw attention over the Christmas period with yet more celebrity additions and a fair amount of national media exposure [albeit mainly written by journos who really don’t understand what it is all about and driven by the aforementioned celebrity interest].

And so, my not-particularly-ground-breaking/jumping-on-the-bandwagon prediction is that 2009 will see Twitter hitting the mainstream or reaching ‘tipping point’ as us digital/marketing-types prefer to say.

But it wont get there if what happened last night continues.

From the start of Macworld, Twitter started only showing comments that were posted 15 minutes before. Not good. Ok, ok, to be fair, it didn’t just collapse as it probably would’ve this time last year. But it creaked, and this creaking went on for some time.

Now, us techy, early-adopters tolerate this (and we’ve tolerated Twitter more than most) but the general populus wont.

And, at the end of the day, live community events like a Macworld keynote are exactly where a network like Twitter should come into its own. It is where it should shine. Having a undercurrent of comment and dialogue on Twitter whilst following the live event is what gives that added dimension.

So here’s to Mr Ballmer and CES. And here’s to a good year for Twitter. Let’s just hope they don’t follow the damp-squib precedent set by Macworld 09.

Danny Whatmough