Twitter Is Where It’s @

I’ve been meaning to post about Twitter for a while.

It is fundamentally flawed. Both the concept and the design. It is ridiculously hard to read or thread conversations, if you watch more than 50 people it is easy to miss something and the layout is simply atrocious.

Yet it continues to gain popularity. I thought newcomer Plurk (much less fundamentally flawed) would overthrow it, but even I turned back to Twitter eventually.

I think Twitter some how manages to be successful because it’s addictive. Once you’ve started it’s hard to give it up. Although most start by asking, “Isn’t it just like updating your Facebook status?”, it grows on you. Stan Lee signed up just two weeks ago and I think he’s now in need of a patch to control the cravings. His page used to display a badge that said he wasn’t on the Twitter bandwagon, but that’s changed just a little hasn’t it, Stan?

It’s hard to explain but I think Gavin Heaton summed it up best when he said, “You get out what you put in”.

No Comments
  • Tannie
    Posted at December 17, 2008 7:15am, 17 December Reply

    I still haven’t fallen for Twitter. hat being said I probbably haven’t put the time in. I remember Julian saying it was the bomb too but the problem I found is once I made it I couldn’t find any marketing people to ad so it’s sort of sitting there watching only a few people and not really doing much at all.

    Maybe one day I’ll catch the bug.

  • m a t t b o w e n
    Posted at December 17, 2008 9:06am, 17 December Reply

    I’ve been on twitter for a little while, but I must admit, my thoughts are exactly with yours Zac-man. Its far too difficult to navigate for it to create a good user experience. Why is Facebook so popular? Why are Nokia phones still so popular? Its all user experience. Keep it simple and engaging and useability increases.
    It also frustrates me when people like Mark Pesce provide updates every 30secs. Is he really that important or is his life that exciting? Judging by the updates, I suspect not.

  • Gavin Heaton
    Posted at December 17, 2008 11:42am, 17 December Reply

    Twitter is interesting, Zac, not because of what it is, but because of what it provides. It flattens hierarchies and opens networks.

    I would suggest that you (and @mattbowen) try Tweetdeck for a few days. It will change the way you feel about Twitter. And if you get bored with @mpesce, don’t add him to your group list – or unfollow. It’s a free world 😉

  • Julian Cole
    Posted at December 17, 2008 3:37pm, 17 December Reply

    I think at the end of the day it about the people not the technology. Plurk was probably better but we come back to Twitter because we are using the Twitter for the people who are on it not the technology.

    Facebook really is not that much better than Myspace, it is only because everyone uses that platform that we choose to use it.

  • Kate Richardson
    Posted at December 17, 2008 4:44pm, 17 December Reply

    Jules as you and I were saying this week, Twitter is good but it’s baaaaaad.

    In the sense that it’s so addictive.

    I’m hooked.

    The interaction it enables is compelling if not the interface itself.

    I’m going to give Tweetdeck a crack

  • nat
    Posted at December 17, 2008 6:47pm, 17 December Reply

    I think Jules is right about Twitter and wrong about Facebook (partly). Twitter is about the people. I think Facebook has some key differences to myspace (namely feeds and simplicity) that I think then lead the migration and, dare I say it, lead to the tipping point.

    On Twitter, its lack of business model hasn’t been holding other businesses back from making money from it. Dell said it made over 1 mil profit from it in the last year.

  • Stan Lee
    Posted at December 18, 2008 11:36am, 18 December Reply

    Ah Twitter. Where do I start?

    Jules and Gav told me to give in and give it a go. So I did.

    Two weeks ago I announced my Twitter ID on my blog and my Facebook. As a result I built an instant group of followers. Late mover advantage perhaps?

    My 2 colleagues who joined at the same time have sat back waiting for something to happen. It hasn’t.

    I’m into social media/networking. They’re not. There’s a case study in that somewhere I’m sure.

    As for me, well I’m hooked obviously. After just 2 weeks I have a Twitter grading of 90/100 and am ranked 26th in the Melbourne Twitter Elite.

    Not that I take any notice of top tens, ranking systems etc! 😉

  • talkingdigital
    Posted at December 21, 2008 10:35pm, 21 December Reply

    Why does twitter have an “elite” and why would one care about it?

    Have to love the want of some users to be ranked/judged on some sm platforms. Why is this?

  • Jon
    Posted at December 29, 2008 11:28am, 29 December Reply

    I agree but have used Tweetdeck to overcome a lot of the problems mentions. Its not perfect either but its a good start

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