20 March 2010

Why Twitter Is Starting To Annoy Me

Twitter has its place. I used to think that it had a clear value in certain situations but not in others. Now I am finding it very hard to see anything but a few small cases when it will be useful.

Among the times when I thought it might be useful is as a tool to add to comment on certain activities. If you will the use of Twitter as a self broadcasting tool. I believe this was the original value. I still think this works but only in moderation. EXTREME MODERATION.

Another use I thought was originally useful was the ability to post questions. However at the recent Phocuswright event in Berlin - I saw it getting out of hand. Despite the use of a moderator and #tags. The questions coming through don't necessarily function without extensive effort. I actually found it very annoying and distracting. Why? Because there is as much drivel in there as there are nuggets. it just confirmed to me a suspicion I have harboured for a long time that the empty vessels make the most noise. Unfortunately in Twitterland most noise makes that person a superstar....

On my way back from Europe I stopped off for a client meeting in the heart of Long Island (NY). The rather up-market hotel the client put me in did the pre-requisite "Follow us on Facebook and Twitter" etc. I have come to think that this is somewhat arrogant. Just like Ashton Kutcher's Tweets, it is both pointless and mindless. I think what has happened is that once everyone jumps on the bandwagon - then the value starts to diminish. I have come to the conclusion that hotels and other suppliers are all still suffering from Telex/TWX withdrawal and that Twitter is in fact a new form of this one way messaging. They needed something that began with the letter T on their letterhead!

I have found that there is little reason to follow people on Twitter all the time - but even focused on the occasional time when it could be useful - I cannot seem to follow them without the sense that 140 Characters are really not doing it for me.

So my conclusion is that Twitter has now become the latest contributor to the delinquency of our fellow man. All we are doing is spreading more data drivel and useless bits and bites. We are really confusing noise based data with information.

I wish that there was some useful way to edit out some of this noise but I doubt it. The entire exercise seems to be based on the principle that the wisdom of the crowd trumps analysis and thought. I just have a problem with that notion.

I am sure that this will upset some of the die hard Twitter fans. But I find myself being turned off by Tweets. I will however stay open to anyone who can convince me that there is a tool which is has an ability to edit out useless drivel. Then perhaps I can get interested in it again.

Yours Curmudgeonly