Yes and no. Twitter is replacing instant messaging and chatrooms. It’s an open method by which for people to communicate instantly with others. It’s also about the overheard conversation although that term has disappeared.
What does “overheard” mean? Well simply that whenever two people discuss a topic hundreds of people are following this conversation and when they decide they have an opinion they can cut in. They do have that 140 character limit though, so they need to get to the point is efficiently as possible.
When that isn’t possible then they can do the next best thing. Write a comment in a blog post or even write a blog entry of their own where the conversation that took place on twitter is synthesised into a more digestible chunk of information.
As a result twitter is changing people’s blogging habits but the question is why people want to chat publicly rather than in an enclosed space. Today people like transparency.
Disclaimer: This is a post from the 28th of Octobre 2008.
Facebook engagement has declined since farmville distracted people away from conversations and towards mindless interactions with games, the sharing of tabloid content and emotional posts. These changes have had an adverse effect on social networks and the way in which we engage with people. I have noted a shift away from individuals towards following “celebrities” and “thought leaders”. Rather than interacting with 300 people on your timeline, becoming engaged and getting to know people well we have moved to a “yelling to be noticed” model. I have many thoughts on this topic and will elaborate later.
Have you thought about how Ello, App.net and other social networks are trying to do what so many forums and discussion forums did before? They’re demonstrating how much context they are lacking. Instead of investing more time with social networks that may never gain traction I’m returning to this blog/website.
Due to the quantity of people using twitter it’s purpose has changed. From being a place where you tell people what you’re up to it’s become a place where you discuss what you’re up to and what you’re thinking about. As a result of this following people without them following you back is pointless.
I went through my twitter list this morning and it was at over 530 people being followed. I went through that list and started to remove people according to four factors. If they’re not following are they A) personalities, B) Amusing, C) active or d)responsive. If they met none of these criteria they were removed from my following list. Even those with attractive avatar pictures were removed.
That’s because twitter is a noisy place. People are tweeting about their activities 24 hours a day 7 days a week 366 days a year (since this year is a leap year) and if we start to listen and respond to those that can’t hear us then there’s a huge amount of noise generated.
It was a fast and easy process which too no more than half an hour to an hour and there is a big change. Now as I look through my timeline I find that I care about everyone in it. I know many of them well and there are quite a few I’ve met in person.
Yesterday for example it meant a lot to me when Jamie told me she was happy to have met me. It’s nice to be shown that you’re not just another piece of text on a screen. It’s nice to use twitter as a multiplatform instant messenger to chat both with old friends and to make new ones. That’s why so many people like twitter. That’s why I like it.
If you’re on twitter take the time to check who is following you and whether they react to your @ messages. If they don’t then it might be worth removing them from your follow list as they’re creating noise. Let’s keep the noise to a minimum and conversation to a maximum.
Twitter’s purpose has changed and I wanted to reflect it.
Twitter is a great idea poorly executed as a result of which I wish there was an alternative. It’s a chatroom that can be used on multiple platform which is what makes it so interesting. The managment however have decided to cancel Api support, or at least throttle it. As a result of this conversation is floundering.
As a result of this action twitter has become notoriously unreliable and people are no longer able to keep up to date with what people are doing quite as easily. This has resulted in many of my favourite tweeters being far more quiet. Others have felt the need to leave the service.
I would love an alternative to help me keep a constant wave of consciousness of what friends are doing. The 140 character model is good. It’s a very efficient way of dealing with information. We’ve got many alternatives but none are conversational yet.
I love the conversations and how you overhear so many things. I would pay for an alternative that has a far more stable track record. Give me that alternative.
I’m disappointed not angry. There’s a really good product there but it’s so badly implemented I’m losing interest in twitter.