It seems only fitting to write this post on the third anniversary of #moo. If one could point to a single event that began the social media agvocacy movement, it would have to be #moo. The goal was to trend #moo for Mike’s (@farmerhaley) birthday and also highlight the economic crisis facing America’s Dairy business. And it succeeded, wildly. For hours the term #moo stood as one of the top trending topics on Twitter. The uniqueness of the term caught the attention of many, lots of questions were asked, and a number of agriculturalists spent the day answering questions and explaining conditions in the dairy industry. Janice has a good year-later perspective of the #moo effort as well.
At the time, Twitter was the primary social media tool used by agvocates. It seems time changes things, and now there is much more emphasis on Facebook, video’s, blogging, Pinterest and more!
So it may come as a surprise to many that the Twitter we have all come to love and know. The 140 character tweets, the simplicity, the ability to access Twitter with numerous other tools – it appears much of that may be coming to an end. Why you ask? For a very simple reason it appears, as useful as we’ve all found Twitter, they are not a non-profit or government entity chartered to serve the public good, they are a business, with the goal of making money. A lot has been invested in getting them where they are, in the range of hundreds of millions of dollars. And they simply are not generating the kind of income they need to be. So, their strategy shifts.
For many of us, this will result in a far different, possibly much less desirable Twitter than we’ve gotten used to, one with much more media, in short one that looks more like Facebook. Time will tell if this strategy is smart, if it’s what Twitter needed to do to be successful, but one thing is sure, Twitter is changing, rapidly. Here are a couple of great articles that explore this issue in depth if your interested.
So, when you hear talk about the death of Twitter, realize that it’s probably both sensationalized a bit, but also quite likely contains a bit of truth regarding the Twitter we used to know. And also realize that the genie has been let out of the bottle for agvocacy via social media, and while the platforms may change, the need and ability to connect farmers and their customers remain as strong as ever.