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Author name (Administrator) #1
Member since May 2011 · 2485 posts · Location: Brisbane
Group memberships: Administrators, Members
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Subject: The problem with Twitter
Twitter gets a lot of press, and I confess I don't really understand why.  I mean, I understand that the technologically illiterate amongst us are agog at this amazing ability to post 140-character messages...  Actually, I don't even get that.  The best I can figure is that Twitter made something easier and more accessible so that the slobbering masses could figure it out.

But beyond the reason people are excited about it is something else I don't get: What's it GOOD for?  There has always been some fundamental disconnect between me and Twitter.  Despite a week during the Pirate Bay trial where I found the twitter updates to be timely and informative, I couldn't figure out why anyone would prefer twitter over other existing methods of communication.

I still don't know why other people find it fascinating, but I have finally figured out exactly why I don't: I have to pay attention to it to make it useful, and I've got other things to do. 

Never mind that most updates are trivially uninteresting minutae about peoples' lives ("I just ate soup!"), I have to dedicate some new view-hole in my life to watch the damned thing.  Even if they were posting interesting things, how am I to get the updates in a timely fashion?  How do I filter the uninteresting noise?

I already subscribe to about 75 great RSS feeds of people or sites I find valuable, twitter requires some sort of dedication to view and the signal:noise ratio is so bad I can't even see the bottom of the graph.

Twitter is not valuable to me, it's too hard to watch and too much trivia.  I've come up with a use for it (my forum sig is auto-updated with my last twitter post) but I have to believe that everyone who uses it is a techno-newb that can't understand IRC and finds registering for forums unbearably complicated.

If you're interested, here's my Twitter feed, though it's mostly random quotes and other uninteresting shit that looks funny in a sig, but makes no sense in just about any context).

My collated newsfeed (via friendfeed) is much, much more interesting.
This post was edited on 2009-04-17, 09:37 by NFG.
Edit reason: Added poll
Poll: Do you find Twitter useful?
(0 votes ·   0%) It's awesome!
(0 votes ·   0%) It's a fun diversion.
(5 votes · 83%) It's not interesting.
(One vote · 17%) Twitter sucks, & Twitter users are assholes.
This poll has no time limit · 6 votes
Author name (Administrator) #2
Member since May 2011 · 2485 posts · Location: Brisbane
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Subject: Talking about twitter again...
I think one problem I have with twitter is its permanence.  It has all the formal structure of IRC, with throwaway comments and the sort of inane conversations you have when you're talking to friends, and it's permanent so people can view it and read your silliness long after you've come to your senses and moved on.

I already have IRC, for the silly.  I already have webpages for the permanence.  What, really, do I need twitter for?  If the world was at war and I could get to, I might update with my status (32 bullets left.  72% health. Need meat and/or medkit) but for now...  Twitter is the tool for internet newbs who don't know about the tools that already exist.


Twitter is always one step removed from everything I'm doing.  Consider:
  • I'm checking facebook.  Update fb status, or go to
  • I'm working on my website: post new thread or go to
  • I'm on the train with iphone: log in to MSN or go to

Twitter is never where I already am.
This post was edited on 2010-03-28, 20:49 by NFG.
Author name #3
User title: Vacant lot.
Member since Dec 2009 · 17 posts · Location: Melbbourne
Group memberships: Citizens, Members, Underground
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Twitter is one of my 8 homepages, and I always close it, regardless of what's new and exciting in the lives of the people and businesses I follow.

Why? Well, the page is too short for the comment turn-over and I find that the comments are all just references to other comments that eventually mean nothing anyway.

What is the point? When, as you say, there are already sites with more experience. And what's more is that between a few of them, they serve a product of a larger coverage of these same areas in a more user friendly way.
Author name #4
User title: Kitten Blaster
Member since Feb 2010 · 89 posts
Group memberships: Citizens, Members
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i think it's important for people to understand that twitter sucks.  ;)

it's the poor man's poor man's blog.  yeah, it's a shitty copy of a shitty copy.  invented by the chinese?  i think it's possible. DOUBLE ZING! ;)
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