September 04, 2009

Stop polluting Twitter!

I am big fan of twitter. I will even go as far as admitting that I am addicted. But lately, I am getting rather annoyed with it. I'll explain why after explaining why I do like Twitter. Twitter isn't interesting because of the technology that lies behind it (hardly rocket science, even if they didn't get it right at first. But then again, how could they have foreseen how it was going to be used?). Even the service that Twitter is providing isn't all that exciting either, although its simplicity is what makes it so powerful. So, what is it then that makes Twitter so interesting?

The success of any social medium is hugely determined by the activity of its users. If that activity can't be sparked in a new social application, then it is doomed from the start, but that is besides my point here. Twitter literally floods me with lots and lots of updates from many people (and organizations) from around the world. I hardly read any of them, because that would mean I would probably have to read hundreds of messages each minute. I dip into my stream a few times per day and read the 10 or 20 most recent updates or so. I never scroll down or go to the next page of updates. I just consume what I see at that moment. That is the nature of Twitter. It is sort of real-time. That is what makes Twitter so interesting and useful. You instantly know what is going on right now in your network.

My current annoyance with Twitter doesn't have anything to do with Twitter itself, but with the shallowness of many (or should I say "most"?) of its users lately. All these people seem to care about is their precious number of followers. Sure, having an audience for the things you want to share is necessary, but it is a means and not a goal in itself. I really hate to see how Twitter gets polluted with updates that are all too obviously aimed at gaining followers.

Lately, I get lots of updates hashtagged with #NPF and containing a list of twitter names. A list of nice people to follow. Give me a break! Why don't you just submit "follow me please, please, please, pretty please?" Stop polluting Twitter!!

My advice to you when you receive a #NPF is this: block and unfollow the sender and do not return the courtesy that it seems to be.

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