Twitter Thoughts

I twittered from the Defrag event instead of blogging it; not for any specific reason other than just trying something new. I liked it, here are some observations:.

  1. The twitter storm (aka twitterhea) can be a little overwhelming. Fortunately for me, I’m not known for abusing my twitter privileges so I got a hall pass but I can see how for some high volume twitterers this could turn off followers.
  2. The lack of groups functionality in Twitter is a major limitation. Hat tip to Dennis for forwarding this link about faking groups in Twitter.
  3. The groups issue is more complicated than just allowing for a tag of identifier that followers can use. I would love to have the ability to generate self-forming groups around events, for example at Defrag there were 6 people I knew who were twittering but I only knew them because we met, there had to be more people who were twittering and were hiding in plain sight. How about using something like Quova to discover when tweets are coming from a common access point and group them together?
  4. The 140 character limit inspires much debate and commentary, I won’t add to that other than to say I looked at my tweets from Defrag and was struck by how much context was lost because of the character limitation, however when I looked at the aggregate tweets from all the other people twittering Defrag it was as if the context had been reconstructed. It was as if you took an image and broke it down into bags of pixels that you distributed to partygoers and they self-organized and reassembled the picture to it’s original form.
  5. Snitter is awesome but the threading of replies in Twitterific may turn me, following replies that are unthreaded is a pain. One other unexpected benefit to using a desktop client: performance on Twitter mon/tues was just awful through the web interface (I think Tues may have been our wifi connection), however my Snitter client just breezed on through with little interruption.
  6. I moderated the VC panel on Tuesday afternoon and because Albert Wenger was on the panel I brought my laptop to the podium and took questions for the panel via Twitter without telling the panel until it was over. In terms of interaction, I thought the VC panel was one of the better than I had seen or participated in and it was no doubt due to the fact that there were more interesting questions being generated from the audience than I could have done on my own.

I would encourage conference organizers to embrace Twitter, it’s a great tool for bringing people together and encouraging backchannel dialog that is in broader view than IRC. I’ll twitter future events but will likely balance blogging and twittering for the best effect.

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