Where does Twitter fit into your communication stream?

Hi, I’m Tris and I’m addicted to Twitter…

I think it’s the fact that the messages are short and the flow of information is so fast that I just enjoy it. Rapid-fire, simultaneous discussions with tons of people at once (yeah “tons” isn’t terribly exact, I know). Twitter fills a niche between email and IM. Listservs and forums.

I’m certainly not going to be on the “Twitter solves all the world’s problems” bandwagon, but I do see it as something that works really well right now.

For example, as news of the F-18 crashing in San Diego was breaking, I caught a tweet from Rick Sanchez of CNN asking if there were people on the ground there (presumably to feed CNN with info). Could we really have imagined that even a year ago?

Scoble, though, has a beef with Twitter and Facebook that I don’t agree with. Scoble hates Twitter DMs and Facebook email, frankly I agree with the Facebook part. If you want me to ignore you message, send it via Facebook. On the other hand you want me to answer as fast as I can, DM me.

DMs are the “flash action message” of the Net to me. I get them, read them, and deal with them. Heck it’s only 140 characters. Yes, as Scoble points out, sometimes you need more space so I reply back with email me at… I also think the system where you can’t DM someone who doesn’t follow you but you follow them is kinda silly. Yes it does have a nice bit of protection in there, maybe a warning when sending “You aren’t following this person so they can’t DM back..” would be nice.

Ross Mayfield doesn’t agree with Scoble on the DM question either, but goes into the area of reciprocity that I don’t agree with, per se. Ross sees that replying is optional in Twitter, that you don’t have to follow back or respond to every @reply (could be misinterpreting him though on that point), I agree with not always following back (I don’t, but follow back most) however I try to reply to all @ replies when I see them.

Which brings me to the point of the post: where does Twitter fit into your communication stream? Is it a vital info point? Nice distraction once and a while? Just plain annoying?

Interestingly enough, FriendFeed still doesn’t hit my radar often. Now if TweetDeck had FriendFeed in it, I’d probably interact with it more. Scoble’s post on FriendFeed, I can’t figure out if he’s trying to be ironic or serious. Kinda like, no don’t blog unless you don’t want to earn money or express yourself.

Shrug.

Comments

  1. says

    Hi Tris, I’m Jon and I’m addicted to Twitter too.

    Twitter is now the first thing I check in the morning, even before email.

    And it’s almost impossible to tear myself away from it. A constant flow of interesting snippets. I find the “burstiness” of it rather strange though… no tweets from anyone for half an hour then an unstoppable flood for an hour… not sure if that’s just random or if it’s a sign that Twitter’s infrastructure is still struggling behind the scenes or, more probably, an interesting reflection on the spread of information.

    I disagree with you on one aspect of DMs though. If people you weren’t following could DM you then the system would have been lost to the spammers a long time ago. But yes, I’ve been caught before by people DMing me a question but not following me back – grrr! In theory there’s a case for a feature which allows DMs to be sent in reply to DMs regardless… but a) I’m against anything which complicates Twitter and b) it wouldn’t be long before the spammers found a way to game the system.

    I can understand how someone in Scoble’s position faces a barrage of DMs and Twitter doesn’t really give him the ability to make them a usable tool. Not a problem I’m likely to face for a long time :-)

    Jon Jennings´s last blog post..Twitter and Magpie

  2. says

    Hi Tris, I’m Jon and I’m addicted to Twitter too.

    Twitter is now the first thing I check in the morning, even before email.

    And it’s almost impossible to tear myself away from it. A constant flow of interesting snippets. I find the “burstiness” of it rather strange though… no tweets from anyone for half an hour then an unstoppable flood for an hour… not sure if that’s just random or if it’s a sign that Twitter’s infrastructure is still struggling behind the scenes or, more probably, an interesting reflection on the spread of information.

    I disagree with you on one aspect of DMs though. If people you weren’t following could DM you then the system would have been lost to the spammers a long time ago. But yes, I’ve been caught before by people DMing me a question but not following me back – grrr! In theory there’s a case for a feature which allows DMs to be sent in reply to DMs regardless… but a) I’m against anything which complicates Twitter and b) it wouldn’t be long before the spammers found a way to game the system.

    I can understand how someone in Scoble’s position faces a barrage of DMs and Twitter doesn’t really give him the ability to make them a usable tool. Not a problem I’m likely to face for a long time :-)

    Jon Jennings´s last blog post..Twitter and Magpie

  3. says

    Hi Jon …

    You’re right, unfettered DMing would kill it, but a one time pass to reply would be a good idea.

    What I also think is worth looking at is how @ replies and hashtags emerged from the community and not twitter. All good stuff.

  4. says

    Hi Jon …

    You’re right, unfettered DMing would kill it, but a one time pass to reply would be a good idea.

    What I also think is worth looking at is how @ replies and hashtags emerged from the community and not twitter. All good stuff.

  5. says

    Yes, the idea of auto-embedding some sort of GUID/UUID into the DM that you send someone so that Twitter will let a return DM pass is a great idea. I’d like to see Twitter get comfortable with their existing architecture and ahead of the game re: scaling before they try to add anything new. Also, if you’re interested in someone enough to be DMing back & forth with them, maybe you’re interested in them enough to actually follow them *LOL*

    And yes, I think it’s excellent how Twitter Inc provided a simple basic transport mechanism & API and the community has built so much on top of that… I’ve lost count of the number of great spin-off services and clients.

    Jon Jennings´s last blog post..Twitter and Magpie

  6. says

    Yes, the idea of auto-embedding some sort of GUID/UUID into the DM that you send someone so that Twitter will let a return DM pass is a great idea. I’d like to see Twitter get comfortable with their existing architecture and ahead of the game re: scaling before they try to add anything new. Also, if you’re interested in someone enough to be DMing back & forth with them, maybe you’re interested in them enough to actually follow them *LOL*

    And yes, I think it’s excellent how Twitter Inc provided a simple basic transport mechanism & API and the community has built so much on top of that… I’ve lost count of the number of great spin-off services and clients.

    Jon Jennings´s last blog post..Twitter and Magpie

  7. says

    Exactly Jon. Not to mention the fact that the whole system of micro-messaging and microblogging is a great way to send-receive info. There are lots of cool applications.

  8. says

    Exactly Jon. Not to mention the fact that the whole system of micro-messaging and microblogging is a great way to send-receive info. There are lots of cool applications.

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