There’s a report in Vice’s Motherboard that Twitter is experimenting with arranging your Twitter feed in a non-chronological order that’s curated by an algorithm. It’s similar to what Facebook does with showing you the posts you’d find most interesting.
Twitter is trying to find a way to make itself more appealing to a mass audience and grow their numbers. Twitter could be realizing the forcing it’s users to consume the full stream is overwhelming. Twitter may be the world’s microphone but if you follow many accounts that’s a lot to handle. It’s easier to just show consumers the things they’ll find most interesting.
I’m an off and on TweetDeck user for consuming Twitter. But then I realized that the fact that TweetDeck exists and is useful demonstrates Twitter’s problem. The stream is just too much that you have to break it into different columns. This is great for power users but the eyes of normal people glaze over.
Of course, while curated Twitter streams is better UX for consumers, it’s terrible for people and brands that use Twitter as a means to communicate with their audience. With the way it is now, it’s fairly straightforward how Twitter works and what you need to get seen. If Twitter moves towards algorithm-driven curation, we’ll have no clue if or how to actually reach the audience that we’ve built up, just like Facebook. You’ll probably have to pay in order to reach your audience on Twitter, much like Facebook.
I’m super curious how this’ll all shake out.
One of the most underrated features on Twitter has also quickly become one of my favorite. It’s Twitter Lists.
Twitter Lists is a way to stick different Twitter accounts into groups and then see all their posts in a dedicated feed. This is great if you have a group of accounts that all tweet about a similar topic and that you’d wanna see what they’re saying together.
For example, I have a Twitter List for people that tweet about St Louis stuff. This includes news outlets, sports teams, restaurants, neighborhoods, politicians and more. Seeing all their tweets together gives me a picture of what’s happening in the city. It’s given me great ideas for weekend adventures with the family.
Unfortunately, during the simplification of Twitter in order to make it something that can garner more mass appeal, Twitter Lists has become a pretty buried feature. But it’s worth seeking out. You can find them when you click over to your profile when you’re signed in.
I have other Twitter Lists like…
There’s one called VIP. It’s tweets that I absolutely can’t miss. I wanna read every single one. It’s family, close friends, and co-workers. This lists and its members is obviously private.
There’s my STL Tech list of people in the St Louis tech and startup community.
There’s my Food list. It’s famous chefs and food media sites that I love to follow. Food is one of my passions. 🙂
I need to build out a few more. They’re that useful.
Do you use, follow, or create Twitter Lists?
It’s true. I’m kind of in love with TweetDeck. It’s a Twitter client that lets me see everything that’s going on in my world with all of my friends.
Well they just did something which took the usefulness of the product to a whole new level. They integrated Facebook statuses, to which I can dedicate a whole column of my TweetDeck. It’s pretty AWESOME.
I wish Facebook would let TweetDeck pull down more then just the status updates because then I could really abandon going to Facebook.com but this is good for now.
One thing I’ve noticed recently is that a lot of my
normal non-techie friends have started using Twitter. I think Twitter is slowly becoming mainstream. What do you think?
Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank published a column this morning slamming congressman for using Twitter and Qik to give color commentary and play by play last night during President Obama’s address to a joint session of Congress.
In the column he says…
President Obama spoke of economic calamity and war last night in that solemn rite of democracy, the address to the joint session of Congress. And lawmakers watched him with the dignity Americans have come to expect of their leaders: They whipped out their BlackBerrys and began sending text messages like high school kids bored in math class.
This column seems very telling to the extent which many members of the old guard just don’t get where the world is going.
I don’t want to be communicated to by politics in page long press releases or newspaper op-eds that are full of buzz words and empty rhetoric. I want to to get the unfettered access. I want to hear their unfiltered thoughts and I want to be able to hold conversation with them about these thoughts.
Twitter and Qik are great tools for this transparency… for this level of access and conversation.
It is our government. These politicians represent us and thus should do anything and everything they can to connect and form relationships with us their constituents.
The Economist has a funny and kind of sad blog post, “How Twitter stopped a coup.” Essentially, the Virginia State Republican Chairman tweeted that a Democrat in the state Senate was about to switch parties potentially giving Republicans control. The tweet got back to the Democrats and gave them the time to browbeat the state senator into staying where he was.
Moral of the story: Twitter is great for expressing your inner thoughts but there are some thoughts that should just stay in your head.
One conversation that I’ve been seeing more of is – how do i get more people to follow me on Twitter? Well, Ryan Carson of Carsonified just posted his top 5 tips and especially hit the ball out of the park with one of them, “Make real-life friends.”
I’ve gotten to know a lot of the leading figures in the web industry – people who are really influential on the Twitter space. I didn’t have some sort of Machiavellian plan – these were just the folks who were speaking at FOWA and FOWD. Once I was trusted by people, they were happy to connect me and recommend me.
The important thing is that I wasn’t trying to use people – I have a genuine interest getting to know them and be of help if they need me for anything.
One of the biggest parts of my job is getting out there, extending the size of the company’s community, and making new friends. Twitter works perfectly as a mechanism for me to stay in touch with those friends… to know what’s going on with my “global neighborhood.” Often, they want to stay in touch with me too and they’ll follow me.