Are you hoping to be an innovator to create the next Twitter?
I’ve heard lots of people talking about what the next communication innovation is going to be. They ask “what’s the next Twitter?”, although I remember people asking earlier “what’s the next Facebook?”, and before that, “what’s the next blog?”, and before that, “what’s the next YouTube?” and before that, “what’s the next Google?”
I’d like to suggest a place where we can watch for the next Twitter… or where innovators should start looking to build the next Twitter.
In each case, you’ll note that innovation occurs not on the content level as most people assume. Rather, it takes place on the content channel level. In other words…
Search content was around before the Google content channel came onto the scene but Google transformed search content by making it easy and reliable
Video content was around before the YouTube content channel came onto the scene but YouTube transformed video content by making it social, highly searchable, and all in one place.
Journalling-style content was around before the blog content channel came onto the scene but blogs transformed journal content by providing content management systems, standardization, and mashable capabilities.
Being friends with someone and sharing how you are doing at the moment was around before the Facebook content channel came onto the scene but Facebook transformed the social scene by providing a centralized location for people to manage and extend their social life.
Microblog content was around before the Twitter content channel came onto the scene but Twitter created a single easy-to-use repository with standards (i.e. hashtags, @name standards, RT abbreviations, etc.) for people to broadcast and interact.
So, where is the next Twitter going to be? I believe that the content is already out there, as it was it in every other online innovation listed above. It’s not content where innovation happens very often. (Yes, it does happen but not as often). It’s the content channel where innovation happens.
Listen up innovators: Figure out what content people are currently producing that is unstandardized, unwieldy, disparate, untrusted, and bring it together into a convenient, standardized format.
[Photo credit: bubblemonkey]