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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Twitter: What I Like. What I don’t. What I’d like to see.

Social Media
Author: Mark Dixon
Thursday, December 27, 2007
6:08 pm

When I first signed up for Twitter in May, I was skeptical at best. It seemed like a weird waste of time. However, over the ensuing months, Twitter has become a fixture in my daily life – informative, provocative and addictive – not because of the technology, but because of the people who share bits of their lives on line. Like most everything, Twitter isn’t perfect. Here are some of the things I like and don’t like about the Twitter experience:

My likes:

  • Short messages. Like headlines in the newspaper, “tweets” must be short – 140 characters or less. I can scan each one quickly, get the gist of what is being said.
  • Short links. Some tweets contain links to more content. If I’m interested, I will follow. If not, I move on. That’s how I read the newspaper.
  • Twitbin. This Twitter client is a Firefox extension that also works on Flock, which I usually use, showing the latest 20 tweets from those whom I follow in the left sidebar of the browser. This is a great way to see the latest Twitter traffic at a glance.
  • Tweetscan. This allows me so easily search the Twitter history repository by keyword. But most of all, I like the daily alerts from Tweetscan, listing the tweets which contained keywords in which I am interested.
  • @name: It is easy to address another Twitterer by writing a tweet containing his or her Twitter name preceded by an “@” symbol. “@mgd” is my Twitter name if you want to try it out. Plus, I have a Tweetscan alert set to let me now whenever an @mgd message is sent, so I don’t miss any messages.
  • Personal tweets, posted at a reasonable frequency. I like to learn what people are doing, but don’t like to read a book about them each day.
  • The “Remove” button. Sort of like the TV Off switch. I can quit following folks when I lose interest or don’t like what they have to say. And people can do the same to me.
  • Twitter sidebar on my blog. I put a small sidebar box on my blog to let readers know what I have been doing lately. It is a small, active part of my personal identity.
  • SMS Tweets. It is really easy to post a tweet from my phone. Works great in a taxi or while I’m waiting for the airplane door to close.
  • Announcment catharsis. I just get a kick out of letting folks know what I am doing from time to time.

My dislikes:

  • Large number of tweets from any one individual each day. I quit following some twitterers because their frequent posts seemed to drown out everyone else.
  • Unabashed commercial tweets. I quit following one twitterer because he only posted links to his information service website. If I was really interested in that, I could have subscribed directly to his site’s RSS feed.
  • Profanity or vulgarity. Please keep it clean, folks. Remember, I control the “Remove” button.

What I would like to see.

  • Palm OS Twitter client. I use mobile Twitter on the Safari browser, but it is kind of clumsy.
  • Archiving. I’d like to be able to easily archive my updates at a neutral site, so I can be sure to preserve my Twitter “journal” for the sake of personal history.

So, you can see that my list of likes is longer than the lists of dislikes. I know that I am way out in the long tail of Twitterdom, but I kind of like it out here. I’d be interested to know what you think. Just tweet me @mgd. I’ll chirp back!

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