It is the act of normalizing my activity streams that has exposed the fraud that is Twitter.
Don’t be fooled by my blog’s grey and white color scheme, it is actually on the cutting edge of web 2.whatever we’re on right now.
You see, I’ve been posting information to my blog for a little over four years now (slowly but surely), and as I’ve found good sources of ancillary RSS / syndictable content (such is video postings, public bookmarks), I’ve done my best to pull them in so you can get a flavor of who I am. Unfortunately Facebook has beaten the pants off me in regards to the quality of implementation.
They accept multiple RSS input sources and aggregate them into one user-timeline, as well as handling the differentiation between public, private, and protected data, and the associated “social network” aspects of things. In addition to this they do photo hosting, comments, invites, etc., etc., and more etc.
But back to Twitter, I originally wanted to bring my “tweets” into my blog … people at work have started using it, their content is alternately relevant or funny, and thus worth my while, so I check it fairly regularly and have been posting my own little snippets as I run accross them.
Writing thoughtful blog posts is hard, writing witty one-liners is correspondingly easier and would make for a nice snack between my longer blog posts. By putting mah tweets in mah blawg, it made me realize that really they were just short, one-line blog posts, and that the value add of twitter was “Hey this might be relevant or might not be, but you can see who is subscribed to your tweeting, and btw, it’s guaranteed to be short”.
Twitter does a bunch of stuff ~socially~ that is interesting:
- maintain a social web (hopefully at least one social-web will end up being unlocked some day)
- bridge the virtual-to-real / phone-to-internet / mobile-to-pc gap
- are inherently “real-time”
- require a 140 char limit so you can’t blather on like I’m doing now
…but fundamentally RSS is public email, your social web is public address book, and “direct messages” are email-writ-small.
And when I say “public” I really mean “public, private, protected, or segregated into groups”. So any VC people who are looking for the next big thing, here is your recipe for success:
- Open, break open, or standardize social webs into some uber-web
- Preferably with pictures of people’s faces, and buckets of ‘strangers, family, friends, real close friends, work, etc’
- This also needs to be import / export compatible so that other web sites can pile on and use or add things
- Aggregate activity streams from multiple sources
- Also allowing tagging + defaults + etc (eg: share blockbuster rentals with public, and share ratings with family, friends)
- Don’t “go dark” like Facebook
- You’re either “on Facebook” or you’re not. it’s either wide open or very closed and tough to see an in-between right now
- Understand dates, calendars, etc.
- This means tying into local icals, phones, remindering, etc.
- Allow multiple faces / identities
- This means I want to present one face to my guitar-playing acquaintances or most work-mates until I choose to bring some of them in to my closer group of friends
- Be a point of trust
- Do all this but still trust that you’re not going to steal my info or “accidentally” expose my private info, etc.
- Be asymetrical
- Unrequited love… You are a fan of me, but I don’t care about you (or vice versa, but that’d never happen, right?)
- Have that opening for “Send this message with the highest level of importance”
- But also let me decide if I care about that message, when I care about that message, and if I care about that person.
Facebook is on the right track … if they could snarf up Twitter and Linked-In, they’d almost have a lock on all social networks. If they added in some extra sending / receiving options and tied in a bit better with physical devices in the real world (ie: calendaring + invites + twittering) they’d be totally awesome except for the fact that everything is hidden behind requiring a Facebook login.
The funny thing is that I can envision a future where “Facebook” replaces email, but currently Facebook requires an email address to log in.
And my bash tweet?
“Use comments with bash commands so you can edit them in your history: echo !123 or #<paste><enter> will display and edit, but not execute”
Remind me again What do I need twitter for?