twitter and IxDA once again

19 Aug 2008 - 2:48pm
5 years ago
16 replies
910 reads
Matt Nish-Lapidus
2007

Hi Everybody.

So, I finally broke down and am starting to get into twitter.. But
there is still one big problem in my mind, sort of usability issue.

Here's the situation:

- I'm following user123
- user123 is not following me
- i post a link to an article that user123 would be very interested
in based on our conversations or user123's feed
- user123 never sees it unless I @user123 the tweet

this, to me, points to a break down in twitter as a sort of "chat"
client... it means that all conversations could be very one sided. As
a new twitter user I only have 19 people following me, but I'm
following 50... that means that most of the people's posts that I'm
reading (and are informing my posts) aren't seeing mine. This also
makes it feel a little cliquey.. There are a number of people all
following each other, having conversations. In order to participate
fully you'd have to be followed by all those people...

Does that make any sense? Has anybody else had this same sort of
communication breakdown on twitter? How does this effect the use of
twitter as an IxDA communication medium?

(ps. sorry to bring this up again :) )

--
Matt Nish-Lapidus
work: matt at bibliocommons.com / www.bibliocommons.com
--
personal: mattnl at gmail.com
twitter: emenel

Comments

19 Aug 2008 - 3:16pm
subimage interactive
2004

I see Twitter as more of a broadcast medium than a chat client, but of
course it could be both.

Think of it as a blog with smaller updates. For instance, I use it for
Cashboard as a system status update. I also use it to alert customers
to development efforts as they happen.

http://twitter.com/cashboard

I do have a personal twitter account which is indeed a bit more
"cliquey" as you describe. For the time being I'm updating it as an
experiment, seeing if it increases traffic to my site, blog, or
anything else.

--------------------
seth - subimage llc
-----
http://sublog.subimage.com
-----
Cashboard - Estimates, invoices, and time tracking software - for free!
http://www.getcashboard.com
-----
Substruct - Open source RoR e-commerce software.
http://code.google.com/p/substruct/

On Tue, Aug 19, 2008 at 12:48 PM, Matthew Nish-Lapidus <mattnl at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi Everybody.
>
> So, I finally broke down and am starting to get into twitter.. But
> there is still one big problem in my mind, sort of usability issue.
>
> Here's the situation:
>
> - I'm following user123
> - user123 is not following me
> - i post a link to an article that user123 would be very interested
> in based on our conversations or user123's feed
> - user123 never sees it unless I @user123 the tweet
>
> this, to me, points to a break down in twitter as a sort of "chat"
> client... it means that all conversations could be very one sided. As
> a new twitter user I only have 19 people following me, but I'm
> following 50... that means that most of the people's posts that I'm
> reading (and are informing my posts) aren't seeing mine. This also
> makes it feel a little cliquey.. There are a number of people all
> following each other, having conversations. In order to participate
> fully you'd have to be followed by all those people...
>
> Does that make any sense? Has anybody else had this same sort of
> communication breakdown on twitter? How does this effect the use of
> twitter as an IxDA communication medium?
>
> (ps. sorry to bring this up again :) )
>
> --
> Matt Nish-Lapidus
> work: matt at bibliocommons.com / www.bibliocommons.com
> --
> personal: mattnl at gmail.com
> twitter: emenel
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

19 Aug 2008 - 4:16pm
jet
2008

seth b wrote:

> Think of it as a blog with smaller updates.

Many of the people I know who use twitter will ignore it for hours at a
time during the day and *not* come back and play catchup.

These days, if I want a specific person to know something, I stick to
the email.

--
jet / KG6ZVQ
http://www.flatline.net
pgp: 0xD0D8C2E8 AC9B 0A23 C61A 1B4A 27C5 F799 A681 3C11 D0D8 C2E8

19 Aug 2008 - 4:37pm
Fredrik Matheson
2005

It depends on what you want to use it for.
For broadcasting "hey this might be interesting" bits of information to your
friends, it works well.

Just like shouting across a room to a friend, sending a message to one
friend and letting everyone in your "gang" hear what you're saying adds a
dimension not found in e-mail. You could do the same thing on Facebook etc.
but then you'd have to visit that person's page or subscribe to numerous
feeds.

But yes, it is a slight letdown to realize that the cool kids you're
following aren't following you. Drop them a line if you want them to notice
your message.

- Fredrik

19 Aug 2008 - 5:39pm
Dave Malouf
2005

HI Matt,
@daveixd here. I think you just need to take your time w/ it. I
can't believe who is following me sometimes. Like why the heck? And
then there are the peeps whom I'm "pissed" that don't follow me
(they have their accts locked up) b/c I'm constantly getting 1/2 of
their conversations b/c I follow like everyone they are talking to.
It in an essence is the reality of community. There are people who
listen to you and people who don't, but if you start to say
interesting things people start listening.

But a lot of people are using tools whereby they are less likely to
miss an @ (even from someone not following them) than just a standard
broadcast message. So don't be afraid to @ people who aren't
following you. It might just be the way you get noticed.

But I do think you need to consider twitter differently from other
paradigms and evolve your expecations and your behavior towards it.
Explore, experiment and you'll find what ends up working FOR YOU
using all the tools w/in the system.

I.e. some people live on Summize searches and that way they keep up
with topics or people based on those query results thus never missing
anything. Others ignore that completely and just rely on the great AIR
(or other) based clients they use. Others live entirely on their
iPhone apps. I mix it up a lot except for summize.

All I know is that I miss it, when I'm away for too long. ;-)

-- dave

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=32187

19 Aug 2008 - 6:03pm
Robert Hoekman, Jr.
2005

>
> But yes, it is a slight letdown to realize that the cool kids you're
> following aren't following you. Drop them a line if you want them to notice
> your message.
>

Direct messages are arguably the best solution. Type a "d" and a space
before the user's ID, as in ...

"d SomeGuy Hey—thought you'd like to know your shoe is untied."

This sends the user an email, and many Twitter clients also show direct
messages within the main feed, so between these options, the person should
get the message.

-r-

19 Aug 2008 - 6:19pm
Valeska OLeary
2008

Due to the popularity of Twitter and need to research the latest trends I
began to explore Twitter and complain about it's uselessness. Eventually
started discovering interesting people and stumbling upon useful insights. I
became more and more engaged and kept finding things I'd otherwise never
find (browse vs research mode). I also started to enjoy the camaraderie of
like minded professionals commenting on current affairs and experiences.
Furthermore I enjoyed the responses to my own updates or tweets and
networking opportunities discovered.

Twitter may not stand up to the empirical logic and best practices of user
experience; but for those that enjoy Twitter it adds a lot of value. Call it
randomness, serendipity, or whatever... I enjoy it and have noticed some of
the most accomplished thought-leaders in the digital space seem to like it
to. So maybe there's something worthwhile there after all. In terms of
usability, it's hard to believe there is anyone who is confused by the UI.

~valeska o'leary (and yes, I'm on Twitter: ValeskaUXBoston)

20 Aug 2008 - 8:54am
Benjamin Ho
2007

Maybe this thread can be called, "Ok, who broke down and gone
Twittering?" =]

I finally went on as well and first found it to be useless. But then
I saw all the different messages going on that made me curious. Then
I tried following some people, but they had updates almost every
hour! So that flooded my updates and I couldn't follow them anymore
because there was too much noise.

That, I would say is the only downfall of Twitter - noise. I prefer
the once-a-day update, maybe even two, but not every hour! Keeping
up with people can seem more like a task than pure enjoyment.

@benjamin_ho

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=32187

20 Aug 2008 - 9:14am
Scott McDaniel
2007

On Tue, Aug 19, 2008 at 7:19 PM, Valeska O'Leary
<valeskaoleary at yahoo.com> wrote:
...
> I also started to enjoy the camaraderie of
> like minded professionals commenting on current affairs and experiences.
> Furthermore I enjoyed the responses to my own updates or tweets and
> networking opportunities discovered.
>
> Twitter may not stand up to the empirical logic and best practices of user
> experience; but for those that enjoy Twitter it adds a lot of value. Call it
> randomness, serendipity, or whatever... I enjoy it and have noticed some of
> the most accomplished thought-leaders in the digital space seem to like it
> to. So maybe there's something worthwhile there after all. In terms of
> usability, it's hard to believe there is anyone who is confused by the UI.
>
> ~valeska o'leary (and yes, I'm on Twitter: ValeskaUXBoston)

See, that's what I've been missing - I'm on it, I occasionally post to
it, but I always feel
either out of place or sarcastic when doing so (e.g. "I'm going to the
bathroom now")*.
I don't tend to worry over empirical logic, I just felt left behind
with this new technology all
the kids use. So maybe looking at it that way will work for me, and
for the shrinking faction
of friends who don't understand and/or hate it.

Scott

--
The lesson here is that we cannot remove artificial dependencies, but
we can reduce them. - Hao He

20 Aug 2008 - 1:48pm
Dave Malouf
2005

So why does it work? What makes Twitter work? I'm not interested in
what makes it fail. I'm interested in analyzing the positives.

What makes twitter work where other micro-blogs fall short?

What are the different positive practices, flows, styles of use that
people have recognized?

What are people doing on it that adds value to their life? What
visceral 'entertainment' or 'intimacy' value are they getting
from twitter?
What new information or quality or access changes are they getting to
information they would have otherwise gotten access to differently?

I'm sure there are a host of questions, but I started to realize, I
was leading people.

-- dave

ps. Twitter has changed the nature of my writing. I don't over
compose like before. I reduced the number of unnecessary modifiers,
especially adverbs and adverb phrases.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=32187

20 Aug 2008 - 6:06pm
Jeremy Yuille
2007

for me, the SMS alerts were the killer aspect... they really brought
out the realtime interaction for me.
(and now they've turned em off for us here in .au I'm not sure how
useful it'll be to me)
my fave scenario where Twitter has worked was while I was in NYC
using it to bridge US SMS carriers, getting really helpful dining
advice from locals.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from ixda.org (via iPhone)
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=32187

20 Aug 2008 - 9:05pm
Eric Scheid
2006

On 20/8/08 6:54 AM, "Benjamin Ho" <benoh2 at yahoo.com> wrote:

> That, I would say is the only downfall of Twitter - noise. I prefer
> the once-a-day update, maybe even two, but not every hour! Keeping
> up with people can seem more like a task than pure enjoyment.

curious to know what you means of accessing twitter is - are you just using
the website? I know that if I only use the website the volume of updates
would be tedious and overwhelming .. however I use a client side tool that
polls their site (via an API) and flashes a little note on the edge of my
screen every time there's an update. If I'm busy it just flows on by, if I'm
not I can eavesdrop on the buzz of the hour.

(Twitteriffic + Growl on Mac OS X)

e.

20 Aug 2008 - 9:20pm
Eric Scheid
2006

On 20/8/08 11:48 AM, "David Malouf" <dave at ixda.org> wrote:

> So why does it work? What makes Twitter work? I'm not interested in
> what makes it fail. I'm interested in analyzing the positives.
>
> What makes twitter work where other micro-blogs fall short?

I find I'm able to micro-post a plea to the lazy web and get back sensible
answers at any time of the day - the ease of replying (vs going to a web
page and composing a comment reply to a blog post) probably helps.

http://twitter.com/ericscheid/statuses/892199752
http://twitter.com/ericscheid/statuses/892256637
http://twitter.com/ericscheid/statuses/891169993

The fact that all the updates from the people you follow is just lumped
together into one stream, with no overhead to micro-manage .. while I follow
a hundred or more twitterers I wouldn't add the same into my feed reader
because my feed reader insists on displaying each feed source with it's own
heading, post count, etc; and also presents me the opportunity to exhaust my
attention by arranging (and re-arranging) the feeds into little hierarchical
taxonomies.

The multi-platform aspect of twitter is also a winner. If you only engage
with twitter via conventional web browsers then you're only getting a small
slice of the bigger picture. Able to read/write on mobile web devices is not
too unsurprising, having direct messages sent to your phone as an SMS is/was
mondo useful (small furor here in oz because they just turned that off).

e.

21 Aug 2008 - 2:49pm
jet
2008

David Malouf wrote:
> What makes twitter work where other micro-blogs fall short?

Critical mass. Seriously, I tried the other ones but not enough of my
friends were there to keep me there. Sames goes for LiveJournal -- I
don't use it because of the feature set, but because it has critical
mass of my friends and communities.

If my friends/news sources all moved from twitter to Pounce, I probably
would as well, ads be damned.

--
jet / KG6ZVQ
http://www.flatline.net
pgp: 0xD0D8C2E8 AC9B 0A23 C61A 1B4A 27C5 F799 A681 3C11 D0D8 C2E8

20 Aug 2008 - 2:05pm
Terence Fitzgerald
2008

>
> What makes Twitter work? . . . What are people doing on it that adds value
> to their life?

Two things. It allows people to place themselves at the center of the
information stream (or at least gives them the perception that they're at
the center). And it enables them to do so in the most convenient and
ubiquitous manner possible: on text-enabled mobile devices.

I suspect (with absolutely no data at hand to back up my suspicion) that far
more people are active Twitterers than they are monitors of Tweets. That's
regarding social users, of course, because I know a few people, journalists
mostly, who monitor Twitter actively for professional reasons. However,
they limit their incoming Tweets to only professionally relevant sources. I
doubt it's the professional users who drove Twitter's popularity.

Terence Fitzgerald
Taxonomy Systems Analyst
Relegence/AOL

21 Aug 2008 - 1:53am
Melissa Casburn
2008

Depends on how you define microblog: as a dedicated app or a component within a larger site? Facebook and MySpace have integrated "current status" into their apps. LiveJournal and other blog sites use the "mood" field to create the same sense of "right here, right now". Twitter and Plurk are focused solely on this idea, and I'd argue that Twitter has first-mover advantage in the category, as people now have their networks established (what else could explain why people have stuck with the Fail Whale this often and this long?). I also think that Twitter nailed the brand... what the heck does "plurk" even mean?

Here's why it works for me:
- Their open API means lots of people get to build new ways to interact with it, and lots of people do... so I get to pick the experiences that work best for me on my laptop and my iPhone.
- I love that I can follow someone without forcing them to follow me. It lets me glean info from Jared Spool, Kathy Sierra and Jeremiah Owyang that I'd never have access to if everything had to even-steven.
- When I'm alone in the airport and my plane is delayed and I'm tearing my hair out, the constant, lightweight flow of tweets connects me to my home and my people. Twitter calms me down.
- My tweetstream is made up of friends, colleagues and family; tweets aimed at certain segments of my followers are likely irrelevant (and possibly even annoying) to the rest. This raises interesting questions in my mind about the nature of networks and of communication and about the relative value of the info we release into the wild. Twitter, in its utter simplicity, feeds complicated internal dialogues that I find valuable.

(Hi! I'm an Information Architect/User Experience Designer/Interaction Designer/Call It What You Will with a faboo interactive agency in Portland, OR called ISITE Design, and I've just joined IxDA.)

----- Original Message ----
From: Eric Scheid <eric.scheid at ironclad.net.au>
To: IxD <discuss at ixda.org>
Sent: Wednesday, August 20, 2008 7:20:24 PM
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] twitter and IxDA once again

On 20/8/08 11:48 AM, "David Malouf" <dave at ixda.org> wrote:

> So why does it work? What makes Twitter work? I'm not interested in
> what makes it fail. I'm interested in analyzing the positives.
>
> What makes twitter work where other micro-blogs fall short?

24 Aug 2008 - 5:28am
Jeremy Yuille
2007

and since being on holiday with a 3g ifone, i'd have to say that twitter
strikes me as an awesome emotional transaction engine

Syndicate content Get the feed