You don’t know what you want to read. This is demonstrated every time you scan a Twitter feed and click on a juicy-looking link. This sort of serendipity — “the fact of making fortunate discoveries by chance,” according to Freedictionary.com — is what’s really behind Twitter’s explosive growth.The new information, places, and experiences you chance upon on Twitter are what entice and addict new users. The urge to discover new pleasures is what fuels the growth of StumbleUpon, the serendipity-driven Web service that recently eclipsed Digg as a traffic source to Gawker.
Now Twitter is going to turn serendipity into cash, which is why Dick Costolo was made CEO. Will Twitter be able to help advertisers tap into serendipity? If so, it will be powerful: the joy of discovery can fuel purchases and brand loyalty, if it can be captured.
We’ll be looking at these themes at IGNITION, Business Insider’s conference on the future of media, taking place Dec. 2-3, 2010, in New York at the Time Warner centre. StumbleUpon’s Garrett Camp will speak. So will Gawker’s Nick Denton. And John Borthwick, CEO of Betaworks. So will lots of other very cool people, on a variety of themes. Check out the agenda or just take the plunge and buy tickets while early-bird prices are still available.
How do we really want to find stuff on the web? Through serendipity, search, the social graph? Is the future of advertising the hypertargeting of a Facebook ad, where the advertiser understands your preferences, income, friends, and media habits well enough that she can serve you the perfect ad? Or as the case of Twitter suggests, you need to discover the right ad? What does this mean for digital and traditional media companies? Find out more on all this at IGNITION.
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