10 reasons why Twitter Direct Messages suck (and so do Facebook's)

OK, over on Twitter they have this feature. It’s called “Direct Messages.” It means you can send me a Tweet that no one else can see. A LOT of people try to use this feature with me and I really, really, hate it. How many people? I have 4,388 direct messages.

Twitter isn’t the only one that sucks, either. Facebook has a Messaging feature too. 1,249 messages are waiting for me there.

I do NOT answer in either place most of the time. Why? Here’s 10 reasons why they suck and why I’d much rather you email me at scobleizer@gmail.com or, simply, just ask me a question in public!

1. I can’t delete them all. So I ignore them all.
2. I can’t put them into folders. So, no way to prioritize them. Or, if you are a Gmail addict, no way to tag messages.
3. No way to resort them. No way to see old messages. Or messages from someone specific. Email has those features.
4. No way to forward messages. That means they are useless for business. If you ask me a business question I MUST forward the question and get approvals. No way to do that on Twitter.
5. No way to BCC messages. In email I can copy my boss blindly so you can’t see that I’m doing that. That’s a way that I can keep him involved in my life and up to date on all the wild promises I’m making to people. That’s why I don’t make promises on Twitter or Facebook.
6. You ask me a question that requires a 500 word response but you ask it in a place that limits me to 140 characters. Thanks for frustrating me.
7. I can’t respond to your own DM’s unless you follow me. Seriously. The design of Twitter’s DM’s +is+ that lame.
8. I can’t put an auto answer onto DM’s so that I can tell you to get a clue and to send me email instead.
9. I can’t CC, or copy other people, or send a message to a group. Things that email has been able to do for years.
10. I can’t move my DM’s out of Twitter and into other systems. That’s something that I’ve been able to do with email for years and it’s served me well. Even Hotmail lets me forward emails to Gmail.
11. UPDATE, this just came in via Twitter from @TraciKnoppe: “@Scobleizer Use your great influence for good & get Twitter to chng the DM req. & API limits. Make it so number one. :P”

Anyway, I hate DMs. Don’t you? @ev can we get these things fixed? Yes, that’s my form of direct messaging @ev because this feature has caused me so much hell over the years.

Comments

  1. Yes! I may not have *quite* the number of DMs as you (17, including some archived), but everything you write is accurate and incredibly vexing. ESPECIALLY the inability to respond to someone who’s just DMed, but who does not follow.

    I’d add 1a. Sometimes the ability to even delete messages one-by-one simply disappears for a few day.

  2. Yes! I may not have *quite* the number of DMs as you (17, including some archived), but everything you write is accurate and incredibly vexing. ESPECIALLY the inability to respond to someone who’s just DMed, but who does not follow.

    I’d add 1a. Sometimes the ability to even delete messages one-by-one simply disappears for a few day.

  3. I hate them as much as you do. “Send me a DM. No, wait, I’ll follow you then you follow me then send me the DM and I will send one back then we will both unfollow each other again.” It’s not worth it.

  4. I hate them as much as you do. “Send me a DM. No, wait, I’ll follow you then you follow me then send me the DM and I will send one back then we will both unfollow each other again.” It’s not worth it.

  5. Nice rant! Though it can probably be summed up as, “email is better”. I am not sure why we can’t use email as the real delivery mechanism. We can even have an “email user” link on the site itself. Why is this so hard?

  6. Nice rant! Though it can probably be summed up as, “email is better”. I am not sure why we can’t use email as the real delivery mechanism. We can even have an “email user” link on the site itself. Why is this so hard?

  7. It frustrates us little people too! There’s got to be a way around it. I’m trying to grow my business and reach the right people. I don’t have any time to waste on inefficient things.

  8. It frustrates us little people too! There’s got to be a way around it. I’m trying to grow my business and reach the right people. I don’t have any time to waste on inefficient things.

  9. You are comparing two services (mail and twitter) that cannot be compared since both are so different. Both have a set of generic features, although they both have a set of specific features that will make any comparison very difficult or even impossible. Perhaps DM on Twitter is just not the medium that suits your needs ;).

  10. I agree with you to a point. I only use DM with people who are following me (usually those I know f-f so in that context its really like an instant txt message), and find if I try to DM those that I follow I can’t so, @ seems to be the best. However, DM can be useful if you want to literally use it as just that, messaging that you don’t want the public channel to see. I guess its useful more for newbies (like me) who still find the twitter thing a bit daunting!

  11. You are comparing two services (mail and twitter) that cannot be compared since both are so different. Both have a set of generic features, although they both have a set of specific features that will make any comparison very difficult or even impossible. Perhaps DM on Twitter is just not the medium that suits your needs ;).

  12. I agree with you to a point. I only use DM with people who are following me (usually those I know f-f so in that context its really like an instant txt message), and find if I try to DM those that I follow I can’t so, @ seems to be the best. However, DM can be useful if you want to literally use it as just that, messaging that you don’t want the public channel to see. I guess its useful more for newbies (like me) who still find the twitter thing a bit daunting!

  13. Ahhhh, now I understand why you did not answer my DM’s! lol Thanks so much for this post which really makes a lot of sense. Truthfully, I never thought much about these points because I don’t get the massive kind of DM’s that you get. ( I only have 1207 followers and most of my conversation is through @ ‘s ).

  14. Ahhhh, now I understand why you did not answer my DM’s! lol Thanks so much for this post which really makes a lot of sense. Truthfully, I never thought much about these points because I don’t get the massive kind of DM’s that you get. ( I only have 1207 followers and most of my conversation is through @ ‘s ).

  15. I prefer Facebook messages to email for most informal personal correspondence and because FB has inbox search, that makes the process pretty easy for me. But I 100% agree with you on DMs. I have 1,600 DMs and NONE of them are searchable so if I don’t catch them and respond early, it’s a black hole. Thanks for trying to get this feature improved.

  16. I prefer Facebook messages to email for most informal personal correspondence and because FB has inbox search, that makes the process pretty easy for me. But I 100% agree with you on DMs. I have 1,600 DMs and NONE of them are searchable so if I don’t catch them and respond early, it’s a black hole. Thanks for trying to get this feature improved.

  17. Scoble,
    Thanks for your thoughts on this. I had started using DM as an IM client (I use Twhirl when on my computer – which feels, in many ways, like an IM app). Now I see for Twitter connections with a very large following this can be stupid and annoying.
    I think in some cases DM still has value, but I’m going to be far more selective in the future.
    Peter

  18. I generally agree with all of these. No point re-inventing the wheel: if Twitter would simply integrate its messaging system with email, users could apply their existing workflows to manage Twitter communications. Just give us some auto-reply options and the ability to classify what gets forwarded. We’ll do the rest.

  19. Scoble,
    Thanks for your thoughts on this. I had started using DM as an IM client (I use Twhirl when on my computer – which feels, in many ways, like an IM app). Now I see for Twitter connections with a very large following this can be stupid and annoying.
    I think in some cases DM still has value, but I’m going to be far more selective in the future.
    Peter

  20. I generally agree with all of these. No point re-inventing the wheel: if Twitter would simply integrate its messaging system with email, users could apply their existing workflows to manage Twitter communications. Just give us some auto-reply options and the ability to classify what gets forwarded. We’ll do the rest.

  21. I don’t hate DMs. There should however be one (easy to implement feature) which is the ability to select people you want to have “DM releationship” with. Your real buddys. That’s all…

  22. I don’t hate them, I just use them differently and rarely. Me and a buddy work on video projects and DMs are a good way for us to stay in commo with short messages on phone or computer (increasing chance of success). They also come in handy when I need to contact a Twitter friend who isn’t on my phone address book.

    DMs and SMS work best as a way to set up longer communication (“Call me ASAP”), so making them larger just encourages people to use them in more annoying ways. My .02.

  23. I don’t hate DMs. There should however be one (easy to implement feature) which is the ability to select people you want to have “DM releationship” with. Your real buddys. That’s all…

  24. I don’t hate them, I just use them differently and rarely. Me and a buddy work on video projects and DMs are a good way for us to stay in commo with short messages on phone or computer (increasing chance of success). They also come in handy when I need to contact a Twitter friend who isn’t on my phone address book.

    DMs and SMS work best as a way to set up longer communication (“Call me ASAP”), so making them larger just encourages people to use them in more annoying ways. My .02.

  25. Now that you put it that way–what were they thinking? I think they were thinking that people wouldn’t be using the feature as regular email but more a personal shout out related to a Tweet or Facebook message.

    Also I know that my daughter and her cohorts don’t use traditional email so its txt, Facebook or twitter for them.

    Perhaps the good folks at Twitter/ could create a way that your DM’s are forwarded to your gmail account or they could give people the option to block DMs.

    For me, I certainly have a limited number of DMs and with my TweetDeck it’s easy to take a look. But if I were popular…..

    Since I do not have a huge following

  26. Now that you put it that way–what were they thinking? I think they were thinking that people wouldn’t be using the feature as regular email but more a personal shout out related to a Tweet or Facebook message.

    Also I know that my daughter and her cohorts don’t use traditional email so its txt, Facebook or twitter for them.

    Perhaps the good folks at Twitter/ could create a way that your DM’s are forwarded to your gmail account or they could give people the option to block DMs.

    For me, I certainly have a limited number of DMs and with my TweetDeck it’s easy to take a look. But if I were popular…..

    Since I do not have a huge following

  27. email is better, sure! But I use always Twitter DM for rapid conversations (like chat but private) with many of my friends. I love them. Sure for work or longer answers, mail is better. But DM notifications also arrive in my gmail, and I have mail addresses of friends who DM me…so if I want I can mail them or DM…

  28. email is better, sure! But I use always Twitter DM for rapid conversations (like chat but private) with many of my friends. I love them. Sure for work or longer answers, mail is better. But DM notifications also arrive in my gmail, and I have mail addresses of friends who DM me…so if I want I can mail them or DM…

  29. Not being obscenely popular, yet, I haven’t quite come to HATE DMs with a purple passion, but you’ve made your reasons clear and I agree with some of them.

    I like robdiana’s suggestion: an “email user” link would be much more useful.

    There are times when a private message is needed; sometimes, I have no other contact info for a person. And I certainly wouldn’t want to just blurt my phone number out to Twitter and, by extension, Google (@Pistachio, that was a classic).

    A select multiple and/or mass delete feature would address many of your complaints, and I’ve seen a number of people suggest that. I don’t know why it’s not an option. My solution? I just don’t bother cleaning out the inbox. If Twitter servers are overloaded as a result, maybe they’ll fix that problem one day, eh?

    DMs are a useful way to see if someone’s following you back. (@Scobelizer, I guess you don’t have to worry about DMs from me! :) But it would be just as useful to have a “Following back? Yes!” message displayed on a user’s profile when you land there.

  30. Not being obscenely popular, yet, I haven’t quite come to HATE DMs with a purple passion, but you’ve made your reasons clear and I agree with some of them.

    I like robdiana’s suggestion: an “email user” link would be much more useful.

    There are times when a private message is needed; sometimes, I have no other contact info for a person. And I certainly wouldn’t want to just blurt my phone number out to Twitter and, by extension, Google (@Pistachio, that was a classic).

    A select multiple and/or mass delete feature would address many of your complaints, and I’ve seen a number of people suggest that. I don’t know why it’s not an option. My solution? I just don’t bother cleaning out the inbox. If Twitter servers are overloaded as a result, maybe they’ll fix that problem one day, eh?

    DMs are a useful way to see if someone’s following you back. (@Scobelizer, I guess you don’t have to worry about DMs from me! :) But it would be just as useful to have a “Following back? Yes!” message displayed on a user’s profile when you land there.

  31. 6. You ask me a question that requires a 500 word response but you ask it in a place that limits me to 140 characters. Thanks for frustrating me.

    And that makes DMs or Twitter bad? If someone sends you a DM when they really should call around to your home, is that another reason DMs suck?

  32. 6. You ask me a question that requires a 500 word response but you ask it in a place that limits me to 140 characters. Thanks for frustrating me.

    And that makes DMs or Twitter bad? If someone sends you a DM when they really should call around to your home, is that another reason DMs suck?

  33. Reason # 1 why I have gmail account in my Twitter profile: please contact me thru gmail! Really, many folks luv DM as a “back channel” for open @ convos @ Twitter.

  34. Reason # 1 why I have gmail account in my Twitter profile: please contact me thru gmail! Really, many folks luv DM as a “back channel” for open @ convos @ Twitter.

  35. I don’t hate DMs because there are just certain things you don’t want to share with 80 bazillion people. I just would like my recycle bin back and a better way to clear them (perhaps a select all/delete button) Someone mentioned the other day about how when they are deleted, it deletes the receiving party’s also…yeah that needs cleared up too.
    All in all, I’m for them :)
    Peace

  36. I don’t hate DMs because there are just certain things you don’t want to share with 80 bazillion people. I just would like my recycle bin back and a better way to clear them (perhaps a select all/delete button) Someone mentioned the other day about how when they are deleted, it deletes the receiving party’s also…yeah that needs cleared up too.
    All in all, I’m for them :)
    Peace

  37. It seems almost too obvious to say this, but like your use of Facebook Mr. Scoble, you are certainly the uber user who bumps up against constraints that the rest of us may never encounter. That being said, I think it is admirable on some level that you challenge the limits to the point of even breaking the system. Not only that, but you also offer helpful solutions. Rock on.

    In terms of my use of DMs, I talk to a lot of bloggers and friends this way and find it to be a good way to get in touch with folks (1) quickly and/or (2) for whom I do not have an email address.

    I also appreciate you posting about this so my feelings are no longer hurt that you have never returned any DMs I have sent :P Saw you were in DC a few weeks back and I suggested some coffee or sumthin. Now I know, DM is not the way to go with you! ~ L.

  38. It seems almost too obvious to say this, but like your use of Facebook Mr. Scoble, you are certainly the uber user who bumps up against constraints that the rest of us may never encounter. That being said, I think it is admirable on some level that you challenge the limits to the point of even breaking the system. Not only that, but you also offer helpful solutions. Rock on.

    In terms of my use of DMs, I talk to a lot of bloggers and friends this way and find it to be a good way to get in touch with folks (1) quickly and/or (2) for whom I do not have an email address.

    I also appreciate you posting about this so my feelings are no longer hurt that you have never returned any DMs I have sent :P Saw you were in DC a few weeks back and I suggested some coffee or sumthin. Now I know, DM is not the way to go with you! ~ L.

  39. I only find DM’s useful for quick messages outside of the public’s eye, like to exchange e-mail addresses for lengthier correspondence. I wasn’t aware so many people used DM’s for serious interactions. That would get annoying very fast.

  40. I only find DM’s useful for quick messages outside of the public’s eye, like to exchange e-mail addresses for lengthier correspondence. I wasn’t aware so many people used DM’s for serious interactions. That would get annoying very fast.

  41. Your social media celebrity status puts you in an entirely different league. Most of us don’t have those volume problems. Agree with all your reasons why it’s sub-optimal. I do find them valuable for communicating with my vendor partners in a quick message. I can be sitting in a meeting and tap out a DM to get the conversation started. Helpful in that way. Cheers.

  42. Your social media celebrity status puts you in an entirely different league. Most of us don’t have those volume problems. Agree with all your reasons why it’s sub-optimal. I do find them valuable for communicating with my vendor partners in a quick message. I can be sitting in a meeting and tap out a DM to get the conversation started. Helpful in that way. Cheers.

  43. Twitter DMs also have the annoying behaviour that if the person who sent them to you deletes them out of their sent messages page, they’re removed from *your* inbox as well. (I’m not sure, but I think the reverse also used to be true, where if you delete a received DM it was removed from the person’s sent box too. Maybe this might be why you can no longer delete the DMs received).

  44. Twitter DMs also have the annoying behaviour that if the person who sent them to you deletes them out of their sent messages page, they’re removed from *your* inbox as well. (I’m not sure, but I think the reverse also used to be true, where if you delete a received DM it was removed from the person’s sent box too. Maybe this might be why you can no longer delete the DMs received).

  45. No, I like them. They’re a handy way of responding to somebody I barely know and whose email I do not have. They help the personal flow of Twitter for me and are often more appropriate than @replies. If I start to make further contact with someone, *then* I may get their email and use that instead.

  46. No, I like them. They’re a handy way of responding to somebody I barely know and whose email I do not have. They help the personal flow of Twitter for me and are often more appropriate than @replies. If I start to make further contact with someone, *then* I may get their email and use that instead.

  47. While I’m very much with you overall on the problems with DM, I’m a bit confused as to your points 4 & 10.

    My DMs come straight to my Gmail inbox where I can forward, sort, etc. at will.

    What I can’t do is respond to them from my email (my workaround is to remove the Twitter address and replace it with the sender’s actual email address, which is kind of a pain)

    If I want to respond via DM, I have to log back into Twitter and do it that way which is time consuming and often defeats the reason I’ve turned off Twitter in the first place (concentrating on cleaning up my email inbox)

    But if Twitter DMs would act like regular email– show up in my Gmail inbox with the ability to respond directly from email, that would be a start. Though, to your point #6, not a full-on solution.

  48. While I’m very much with you overall on the problems with DM, I’m a bit confused as to your points 4 & 10.

    My DMs come straight to my Gmail inbox where I can forward, sort, etc. at will.

    What I can’t do is respond to them from my email (my workaround is to remove the Twitter address and replace it with the sender’s actual email address, which is kind of a pain)

    If I want to respond via DM, I have to log back into Twitter and do it that way which is time consuming and often defeats the reason I’ve turned off Twitter in the first place (concentrating on cleaning up my email inbox)

    But if Twitter DMs would act like regular email– show up in my Gmail inbox with the ability to respond directly from email, that would be a start. Though, to your point #6, not a full-on solution.

  49. I hate DM’s too and here’s why. I’ve had the following experience with two different people.

    - I’m following X but X doesn’t follow me.
    - X tweets about some topic to which I reply @X
    - X sends a DM asking for more details
    - I try DMing back to X but that is not possible (he’s not following me, remember?) so I reply @X asking him to follow me so that I can reply via DM (that info was confidential n couldn’t pass that on the public timeline.)
    - I get another DM in return which has a smiley! Doesn’t bother to follow me!

    I’ve had not one but two such experiences from two different people. Why even send a DM asking for information when you don’t want to follow that person?

    It’s because of this breed of Tweeps that I hate the DM feature of Twitter.

  50. I hate DM’s too and here’s why. I’ve had the following experience with two different people.

    - I’m following X but X doesn’t follow me.
    - X tweets about some topic to which I reply @X
    - X sends a DM asking for more details
    - I try DMing back to X but that is not possible (he’s not following me, remember?) so I reply @X asking him to follow me so that I can reply via DM (that info was confidential n couldn’t pass that on the public timeline.)
    - I get another DM in return which has a smiley! Doesn’t bother to follow me!

    I’ve had not one but two such experiences from two different people. Why even send a DM asking for information when you don’t want to follow that person?

    It’s because of this breed of Tweeps that I hate the DM feature of Twitter.

  51. I tend to send DM to people but only if I know they read them and if I dont know them, I do inlcude my email address. If I do not get an reaction I’ll try to get out the mail address of that person, which btw is often hard to do.

    Personally I do receive and read ALL of my DM and FB message in my mail inbox as they are forwarded. Depending on the content of the message I do invest more or less time to find out how to answer.

    not being able to reply in DM is a reason not to reply at all, etc.

    btw @amanda – every single good email client has a decent search feature. if you rely on fb for having search, you have a whole lot of other issues.

  52. I tend to send DM to people but only if I know they read them and if I dont know them, I do inlcude my email address. If I do not get an reaction I’ll try to get out the mail address of that person, which btw is often hard to do.

    Personally I do receive and read ALL of my DM and FB message in my mail inbox as they are forwarded. Depending on the content of the message I do invest more or less time to find out how to answer.

    not being able to reply in DM is a reason not to reply at all, etc.

    btw @amanda – every single good email client has a decent search feature. if you rely on fb for having search, you have a whole lot of other issues.

  53. Kinda serves you right for not telling people strongly enough to mail you for ‘important’ things. Not to mention the fact that you follow 21k+ people. I like DMs, because they’re a good substitute when I don’t want to mail someone for a really small thing, or to reach them quickly (DMs notifications go out as SMS’ here) no matter where they are.

    Getting rid of DMs is not the solution. Fixing ‘your’ way of using DMs is. A good way to start will be to set Twitter to mail you when you get a DM. That way you can file them and read them at your own leisure. You could maybe set up a bot that could send a DM back to a user telling them to mail you instead. There are various ways to deal with it. Getting rid of the feature will mess things up for people who’re use to it *and* use it sensibly.

  54. Kinda serves you right for not telling people strongly enough to mail you for ‘important’ things. Not to mention the fact that you follow 21k+ people. I like DMs, because they’re a good substitute when I don’t want to mail someone for a really small thing, or to reach them quickly (DMs notifications go out as SMS’ here) no matter where they are.

    Getting rid of DMs is not the solution. Fixing ‘your’ way of using DMs is. A good way to start will be to set Twitter to mail you when you get a DM. That way you can file them and read them at your own leisure. You could maybe set up a bot that could send a DM back to a user telling them to mail you instead. There are various ways to deal with it. Getting rid of the feature will mess things up for people who’re use to it *and* use it sensibly.

  55. It’s like blog comments!! Oh wait, you’re using blog comments! ;)

    Add to your list – auto-DMs. Follow someone and get a “thanks for following me. I like you. Here’s my sales pitch” DM. Sigh.

  56. It’s like blog comments!! Oh wait, you’re using blog comments! ;)

    Add to your list – auto-DMs. Follow someone and get a “thanks for following me. I like you. Here’s my sales pitch” DM. Sigh.

  57. I think of Twitter like a group of people sitting in a cafe/restaurant/pub and talking to one another.

    In the 3D world, when someone goes to the toilet he misses out on the conversation that takes place while he/she is away. With twitter you have a standing record of what went on, and you can catch up.

    And you don’t need a piece of paper with you to write down the details of that link to a good story, or whatever.

    But not everything should be said out loud to the group, particularly when there is a throng of people who are just passing by, all listening to the conversation.

    So I see a use for direct messages. I don’t want to say everything in public – and some things, such as “All the links on your website are old and dead – you need to look at them”, are nicer said in private, so as not to embarrass someone by broadcasting them.

    But the biggest reason for direct messages is that without them I haven’t a hope of seeing messages intended for me unless I happen to chance upon them.

    And as not everyone is in my time zone, and as I am not on twitter all the time, I am going to miss certain public messages unless I go hunting, and while I do look back over the previous hours’ messages – I might easily miss a message.

    One thing I would like is for Twitter to email me when someone replies to one of my direct messages, in the same way that it emails me when I receive a direct message.

  58. I think of Twitter like a group of people sitting in a cafe/restaurant/pub and talking to one another.

    In the 3D world, when someone goes to the toilet he misses out on the conversation that takes place while he/she is away. With twitter you have a standing record of what went on, and you can catch up.

    And you don’t need a piece of paper with you to write down the details of that link to a good story, or whatever.

    But not everything should be said out loud to the group, particularly when there is a throng of people who are just passing by, all listening to the conversation.

    So I see a use for direct messages. I don’t want to say everything in public – and some things, such as “All the links on your website are old and dead – you need to look at them”, are nicer said in private, so as not to embarrass someone by broadcasting them.

    But the biggest reason for direct messages is that without them I haven’t a hope of seeing messages intended for me unless I happen to chance upon them.

    And as not everyone is in my time zone, and as I am not on twitter all the time, I am going to miss certain public messages unless I go hunting, and while I do look back over the previous hours’ messages – I might easily miss a message.

    One thing I would like is for Twitter to email me when someone replies to one of my direct messages, in the same way that it emails me when I receive a direct message.

  59. Another one who agrees here. Even the notifications for DMs, whether it’s the default web interface, or a specific client like Tweetdeck, generally suck or are nonexistent. 140 characters for public bulletins is interesting, occasionally useful, and frequently humorous, but for private messaging it becomes comical and absurd.

  60. Another one who agrees here. Even the notifications for DMs, whether it’s the default web interface, or a specific client like Tweetdeck, generally suck or are nonexistent. 140 characters for public bulletins is interesting, occasionally useful, and frequently humorous, but for private messaging it becomes comical and absurd.

  61. These are some great feature requests, but twitter isn’t email.

    I certainly see the value in everything that you’re asking for, but since I don’t get that many DMs this isn’t a problem for me.

    What should happen, is that someone should make a twitter tool that lets you do all these things and more with your DMs. Maybe a tweet deck add-on that whenever you get a DM it auto-responds that the sender should email you instead. I say “someone should” because I’m not a programmer and have no clue if such a tool is even technically possible.

    Cheers!
    @rafaelmarquez

  62. These are some great feature requests, but twitter isn’t email.

    I certainly see the value in everything that you’re asking for, but since I don’t get that many DMs this isn’t a problem for me.

    What should happen, is that someone should make a twitter tool that lets you do all these things and more with your DMs. Maybe a tweet deck add-on that whenever you get a DM it auto-responds that the sender should email you instead. I say “someone should” because I’m not a programmer and have no clue if such a tool is even technically possible.

    Cheers!
    @rafaelmarquez

  63. Here is a suggestion to organizing your direct messages from Twitter using any mail client that allows for the creation of folders and rules like Apples Mail.app which I use regularly for not only email but RSS feeds as well.

    First with Mail you have the ability to create multiple folders and attach rules for any email message including but not limited to who it is from, subject of email, text within the content, who it’s from, and pretty much any other defining aspect of any particulars in any email message.

    Second, is the ability of creating rules for folders which indicated above can be a slew of variables to direct any message to any folder based on pretty much any predetermined variable or variables which allows you to segment your email messages down to a single keyword or phrase.

    I have personally created 2 rules for Twitter emails which are as follows:

    1)New followers-This rule moves all messages received that contain “is now following” in the subject line of the email. I have a couple Twitter accounts so I have also added account specifics to the rule which directs the messages to their respective folder based on which account has a new follower.

    2) Direct messages- This rules segments direct messages to their respective account folders I’ve created which allows me easy access to every direct message I’ve ever received.

    Using this process you can do pretty much anything you would do with any other email message received.

    Hope this helps take the burden away from the featureless DM section on Twitter.

    Sincerely,
    Joshua Needham
    http://Twitter.com/iphonedevforum

    2)

  64. Here is a suggestion to organizing your direct messages from Twitter using any mail client that allows for the creation of folders and rules like Apples Mail.app which I use regularly for not only email but RSS feeds as well.

    First with Mail you have the ability to create multiple folders and attach rules for any email message including but not limited to who it is from, subject of email, text within the content, who it’s from, and pretty much any other defining aspect of any particulars in any email message.

    Second, is the ability of creating rules for folders which indicated above can be a slew of variables to direct any message to any folder based on pretty much any predetermined variable or variables which allows you to segment your email messages down to a single keyword or phrase.

    I have personally created 2 rules for Twitter emails which are as follows:

    1)New followers-This rule moves all messages received that contain “is now following” in the subject line of the email. I have a couple Twitter accounts so I have also added account specifics to the rule which directs the messages to their respective folder based on which account has a new follower.

    2) Direct messages- This rules segments direct messages to their respective account folders I’ve created which allows me easy access to every direct message I’ve ever received.

    Using this process you can do pretty much anything you would do with any other email message received.

    Hope this helps take the burden away from the featureless DM section on Twitter.

    Sincerely,
    Joshua Needham
    http://Twitter.com/iphonedevforum

    2)

  65. [...] Scoble has a piece on Twitter DMs, essentially why he hates them and therefore ignores them.  I send DMs quite frequently, and I think that what Scoble may not understand is that they too have a time and place.  It is a matter of convenience and the person receiving the message. [...]

  66. I use the DM to thank people for following me and have any DMs I receive forwarded to my gmail account. This hasn’t been a big issue for me but I certainly see your point given the volume you’re dealing with.

  67. I use the DM to thank people for following me and have any DMs I receive forwarded to my gmail account. This hasn’t been a big issue for me but I certainly see your point given the volume you’re dealing with.

  68. I like them. I use it in preference to e-mail, like a text message, but platform agnostic. That said, I have dozends of followers, not hundreds. May I humbly suggest you pay attention enough to block the pests so you can pay attention to the pearls?

  69. I like them. I use it in preference to e-mail, like a text message, but platform agnostic. That said, I have dozends of followers, not hundreds. May I humbly suggest you pay attention enough to block the pests so you can pay attention to the pearls?

  70. I don’t get a large volume of DMs, but I have missed them, even with the email alerts turned on. But at least twitter’s DM email alerts contain the content of the message (unlike other sites who just send the email telling you there is a message for you without actually sending you the message).

    Now if only I could reply to that DM notification email with a < 140 character email and have it show up as a DM to the originator, letting us each use the tool that works best for us.

  71. I don’t get a large volume of DMs, but I have missed them, even with the email alerts turned on. But at least twitter’s DM email alerts contain the content of the message (unlike other sites who just send the email telling you there is a message for you without actually sending you the message).

    Now if only I could reply to that DM notification email with a < 140 character email and have it show up as a DM to the originator, letting us each use the tool that works best for us.

  72. I don’t get a large volume of DMs, but I have missed them, even with the email alerts turned on. But at least twitter’s DM email alerts contain the content of the message (unlike other sites who just send the email telling you there is a message for you without actually sending you the message).

    Now if only I could reply to that DM notification email with a < 140 character email and have it show up as a DM to the originator, letting us each use the tool that works best for us.

  73. Not sure I can agree with you here 100%. DM’s are a different monster all together. Rather than hating the DM, maybe throw some vile at the folks who send the DM that requires more than 120 characters.

    I am not so sure it is the system (DM) that is at fault here. I think it is more about how everyone and thier dog is trying to use twitter for so many different purposes.

    All the points you make however are very agreeable and on point… but for the average user of Twitter with no where near as many followers as you DM’s are a great little tool.

    With so many services (facebook, friendfeed, twitter etc) that you, myself and others are subscribed to, follow and are followed at, it has almost become impossible to maintain all of these different social networks and respond to everyone. Maybe there just needs to be a better way.. do not know what it is, but there has to be one right?

    Maybe one way to curve the issue is do like @garyvee does… put in your profile how to contact you and explain you will never get to DM’s.

    Anyway… that is my take.

    - Doc

  74. I don’t get a large volume of DMs, but I have missed them, even with the email alerts turned on. But at least twitter’s DM email alerts contain the content of the message (unlike other sites who just send the email telling you there is a message for you without actually sending you the message).

    Now if only I could reply to that DM notification email with a < 140 character email and have it show up as a DM to the originator, letting us each use the tool that works best for us.

  75. Not sure I can agree with you here 100%. DM’s are a different monster all together. Rather than hating the DM, maybe throw some vile at the folks who send the DM that requires more than 120 characters.

    I am not so sure it is the system (DM) that is at fault here. I think it is more about how everyone and thier dog is trying to use twitter for so many different purposes.

    All the points you make however are very agreeable and on point… but for the average user of Twitter with no where near as many followers as you DM’s are a great little tool.

    With so many services (facebook, friendfeed, twitter etc) that you, myself and others are subscribed to, follow and are followed at, it has almost become impossible to maintain all of these different social networks and respond to everyone. Maybe there just needs to be a better way.. do not know what it is, but there has to be one right?

    Maybe one way to curve the issue is do like @garyvee does… put in your profile how to contact you and explain you will never get to DM’s.

    Anyway… that is my take.

    - Doc

  76. Essentially you’re saying that twitter’s DM should become yet-another email service, which would be pointless. We DO HAVE email already, and it’s a major fail. Too many email marketing messages, newsletter, spams, work emails, etc

    How can @ev fix DM messages?

    1) EMAIL ALERTS. Anytime you receive a DM, twitter sends a copy to your email. There you can click and respond through twitter, or just hit reply and continue the conversation by email. Best of both worlds, and address all your points above…

    2) DM ANYONE. Let anyone DM any other user, regardless their follow status. Twitter was one of the first platforms to break the concept of “friend”, allowing asynchronous social communications between peers; why on earth DM should require synchronous connection between the two? The recipient still have the option to just ignore the message or to block the person entirely…

    Also, taking the opportunity we’re discussing twitter improvements, REPLIES are also broken!

    3) REPLIES ANYWHERE ON TWEETS: the “@user” should be recognized as a reply anywhere on the tweet, regardless if it’s on the beginning or not.
    (it was like this before, but I suspect they changed to make it easier/faster to optimize the SQL queries, using standard indexing instead of full-text index)

    my 2 cents.

  77. Essentially you’re saying that twitter’s DM should become yet-another email service, which would be pointless. We DO HAVE email already, and it’s a major fail. Too many email marketing messages, newsletter, spams, work emails, etc

    How can @ev fix DM messages?

    1) EMAIL ALERTS. Anytime you receive a DM, twitter sends a copy to your email. There you can click and respond through twitter, or just hit reply and continue the conversation by email. Best of both worlds, and address all your points above…

    2) DM ANYONE. Let anyone DM any other user, regardless their follow status. Twitter was one of the first platforms to break the concept of “friend”, allowing asynchronous social communications between peers; why on earth DM should require synchronous connection between the two? The recipient still have the option to just ignore the message or to block the person entirely…

    Also, taking the opportunity we’re discussing twitter improvements, REPLIES are also broken!

    3) REPLIES ANYWHERE ON TWEETS: the “@user” should be recognized as a reply anywhere on the tweet, regardless if it’s on the beginning or not.
    (it was like this before, but I suspect they changed to make it easier/faster to optimize the SQL queries, using standard indexing instead of full-text index)

    my 2 cents.

  78. These are a lot of valid point – and the post is a great rant – but for those of us with significantly fewer followers, it’s less relevant. Twitterers who choose to only follow people they virtually “know” enjoy DMs because they’re not for business, or for public consumption. Just informal asides to the larger group conversation.

    I suppose it all boils down to the different ways people use Twitter in the first place.

  79. These are a lot of valid point – and the post is a great rant – but for those of us with significantly fewer followers, it’s less relevant. Twitterers who choose to only follow people they virtually “know” enjoy DMs because they’re not for business, or for public consumption. Just informal asides to the larger group conversation.

    I suppose it all boils down to the different ways people use Twitter in the first place.

  80. You, sir Scoble, are a power user with 1000s of followers so I can understand why the existing features are not capable of meeting your needs.

    I think that for most users the current DM feature is sufficient, but I’m sure we’ll see some of the features requested above incorporated in the next year.

    @cbell619

  81. You, sir Scoble, are a power user with 1000s of followers so I can understand why the existing features are not capable of meeting your needs.

    I think that for most users the current DM feature is sufficient, but I’m sure we’ll see some of the features requested above incorporated in the next year.

    @cbell619

  82. You should rename this to “The top 10 reasons why Twitter should convert DMs to email addresses”. That’s essentially what this article is saying. While we’re at it, get rid of instant messaging systems too. They have a lot of the same problems you listed here. Drop everything and revert to email. Right?

  83. You should rename this to “The top 10 reasons why Twitter should convert DMs to email addresses”. That’s essentially what this article is saying. While we’re at it, get rid of instant messaging systems too. They have a lot of the same problems you listed here. Drop everything and revert to email. Right?

  84. Robert — Your enumerated points are an excellent reminder that the granddaddy (and still heavyweight champion) of the online social media is . . . e-mail.

  85. You’re asking for full email features in Twitter? You know it’s designed the way it is due to the limitations of GSM SMS messages, right?

    6, 7, and 9 don’t apply to Facebook.
    5. Doesn’t even make sense given the 140 character limit of Twitter. Use email for that.

    If you’re talking about Facebook, you have some valid complaints. You’re trying to use Twitter for things it was not designed for, though.

  86. You’re asking for full email features in Twitter? You know it’s designed the way it is due to the limitations of GSM SMS messages, right?

    6, 7, and 9 don’t apply to Facebook.
    5. Doesn’t even make sense given the 140 character limit of Twitter. Use email for that.

    If you’re talking about Facebook, you have some valid complaints. You’re trying to use Twitter for things it was not designed for, though.

  87. Why don’t you try to offer up some sort of a solution? Do you want all of these problems fixed? That’s probably a good lot of work. Do you want all DMs fully disabled? That’s might piss off a few people who use the feature. Do you want the ability to set your preferences to disable DM?

    If you truly want change, it seems like the best way to get it is to offer a few solutions. I’m not sure what the best answer is here.

  88. Why don’t you try to offer up some sort of a solution? Do you want all of these problems fixed? That’s probably a good lot of work. Do you want all DMs fully disabled? That’s might piss off a few people who use the feature. Do you want the ability to set your preferences to disable DM?

    If you truly want change, it seems like the best way to get it is to offer a few solutions. I’m not sure what the best answer is here.

  89. If one is popular or has power of any kind: one gets direct messages and complain. (We understand)
    If one is a nobody and no power at all: one gets no direct messages and complain for the lack of interest.

    We are nobody: @LEADSExplorer

  90. If one is popular or has power of any kind: one gets direct messages and complain. (We understand)
    If one is a nobody and no power at all: one gets no direct messages and complain for the lack of interest.

    We are nobody: @LEADSExplorer

  91. Good luck getting either @ev OR Facebook to respond on this. The only thing Twitter ever responds to is if you call them out publicly for blaming their outages on you. ;-) They say they listen, but they don’t.

  92. Good luck getting either @ev OR Facebook to respond on this. The only thing Twitter ever responds to is if you call them out publicly for blaming their outages on you. ;-) They say they listen, but they don’t.

  93. Robert,

    AS I read your post I thought, why couldn’t Twitter allow you to get direct messages wherever you want them. Forwarded to your email, or printed out and sent via carrier pigeon, if that is what you want.

  94. Robert,

    AS I read your post I thought, why couldn’t Twitter allow you to get direct messages wherever you want them. Forwarded to your email, or printed out and sent via carrier pigeon, if that is what you want.

  95. I wrote a small bookmarklet to help with the mass deleting of DMs. You can find it on my site, here: http://dcortesi.com/tools/dm_deleter/

    One of the challenges, though, is keeping up with Twitter. I’ve had to update it once a month or so. Not to mention the times (like right now) where the delete functionality is disabled on DMs, which also affects the bookmarklet.

    It’s a hack, but it works quite well and I know several people whack a few thousand at a time much to the demise of the Twitter database…

  96. I wrote a small bookmarklet to help with the mass deleting of DMs. You can find it on my site, here: http://dcortesi.com/tools/dm_deleter/

    One of the challenges, though, is keeping up with Twitter. I’ve had to update it once a month or so. Not to mention the times (like right now) where the delete functionality is disabled on DMs, which also affects the bookmarklet.

    It’s a hack, but it works quite well and I know several people whack a few thousand at a time much to the demise of the Twitter database…

  97. True, so DM’s suck. But again, I think a lot of Twitters popularity, is its extreme simplicity. There are 140 characters and not a lot of bells and whistles. Twitter is no doubt as a communication tool. I guess what I mean is that its not the DM as such that is really bad, its the way people chose to use it for things they should use email for.

  98. True, so DM’s suck. But again, I think a lot of Twitters popularity, is its extreme simplicity. There are 140 characters and not a lot of bells and whistles. Twitter is no doubt as a communication tool. I guess what I mean is that its not the DM as such that is really bad, its the way people chose to use it for things they should use email for.

  99. Twitter totally flunked the usability test on this DM issue. One of the first people I followed there sent me an automated DM message which of course I could not respond to leading me to (incorrectly) believe that I could not message anyone who wasn’t following me. I even wrote a blog post on it.

    The way it flips between sent and inbox is confusing too. And what ARE they thinking not allowing us to EASILY delete messages? That means options to delete one, many or all at once.

    We also need a way to mark messages we want to answer later because the time will come when you can’t answer all of them right away and then they’ll fall through the cracks leading people to believe you’re ignoring them.

    Every system that exists would greatly benefit by recruiting power users with experience beta testing to improve their usability – ideally when they first start so they notice these “little” things that lose new users.

    I am not the only one with a background in diagnosing computer issues and usability and we are not all that difficult to find. I volunteer to test any system willing to actually listen to and act on valid feedback.

  100. Twitter totally flunked the usability test on this DM issue. One of the first people I followed there sent me an automated DM message which of course I could not respond to leading me to (incorrectly) believe that I could not message anyone who wasn’t following me. I even wrote a blog post on it.

    The way it flips between sent and inbox is confusing too. And what ARE they thinking not allowing us to EASILY delete messages? That means options to delete one, many or all at once.

    We also need a way to mark messages we want to answer later because the time will come when you can’t answer all of them right away and then they’ll fall through the cracks leading people to believe you’re ignoring them.

    Every system that exists would greatly benefit by recruiting power users with experience beta testing to improve their usability – ideally when they first start so they notice these “little” things that lose new users.

    I am not the only one with a background in diagnosing computer issues and usability and we are not all that difficult to find. I volunteer to test any system willing to actually listen to and act on valid feedback.

  101. I can understand your frustration, though I still like the DM feature. If someone DMs me and I need more space, I simply say hey shoot me an email.

    My thoughts:
    1) We should be able to bulk delete.
    2) If I put them in folders then I would never get to them ;) So please no folders.
    3) Re sort is a GOOD idea- by user by date. GREAT IDEA !
    7) If someone DM’s me I should be able to reply whether they follow me or not.

    But DM is not email so I really wouldn’t want Twitter DM to have email features.

    “I can’t CC, or copy other people, or send a message to a group. Things that email has been able to do for years”

    Isn’t the idea of twitter simple fast communication in 140 characters or less ?

    I agree if the reply needs 140 characters or more – people really don’t use DM use an email. I think its an issue with the people DM’ing you though not Twitter.

    Which leads me to my favorite rant – Hey PEOPLE if you want to work online in this industry list your email on your blog or website. OK rant over :)

    Twitter is for simple DMs Email is for email.

  102. I can understand your frustration, though I still like the DM feature. If someone DMs me and I need more space, I simply say hey shoot me an email.

    My thoughts:
    1) We should be able to bulk delete.
    2) If I put them in folders then I would never get to them ;) So please no folders.
    3) Re sort is a GOOD idea- by user by date. GREAT IDEA !
    7) If someone DM’s me I should be able to reply whether they follow me or not.

    But DM is not email so I really wouldn’t want Twitter DM to have email features.

    “I can’t CC, or copy other people, or send a message to a group. Things that email has been able to do for years”

    Isn’t the idea of twitter simple fast communication in 140 characters or less ?

    I agree if the reply needs 140 characters or more – people really don’t use DM use an email. I think its an issue with the people DM’ing you though not Twitter.

    Which leads me to my favorite rant – Hey PEOPLE if you want to work online in this industry list your email on your blog or website. OK rant over :)

    Twitter is for simple DMs Email is for email.

  103. 1. Best policy to ignore on the system and let Gmail or your email filters do the rest.

    2. Actually, I do just that very thing with Gmail. I apply tags. You’ll simply need to key off the content and header of the message. Please see below for a light tutorial on the items you can key off in your own filtering strategy with either server side or desktop approaches:

    From envelope is of the form

    twitter-dm-USERNAME=DOMAIN@postmaster.twitter.com

    Where USERNAME@DOMAIN is your registered email address

    Note that the “twitter-dm” is consistent with all DM’s sent since the most recent changes to the email envelope.

    Subject is of the form

    Direct message from TWITTERNAME

    Also, and more importantly, there are a significant number of X headers included of the form

    X-Twitter*

    Example:
    X-Twittercreatedat: Fri Dec 05 16:28:15 +0000 2008
    X-Twitterrecipientscreenname: [TWITTERNAME]
    X-Twitterrecipientid: [NUMERICVALUE]
    X-Twitteremailtype: direct_message
    X-Twitterdirectmessageid: [NUMERICVALUE]
    X-Twittersenderid: [NUMERICVALUE]
    X-Twittersendername: [TWITTERNAME]
    X-Twittersenderscreenname: [TWITTERNAME]
    X-Twitterrecipientname: [TWITTERNAME]

    Where [value] represents the specific item as the name implies.

    Please review your headers to see what I mean.

    3-10. See point 2.
    11. Please don’t do that.

  104. 1. Best policy to ignore on the system and let Gmail or your email filters do the rest.

    2. Actually, I do just that very thing with Gmail. I apply tags. You’ll simply need to key off the content and header of the message. Please see below for a light tutorial on the items you can key off in your own filtering strategy with either server side or desktop approaches:

    From envelope is of the form

    twitter-dm-USERNAME=DOMAIN@postmaster.twitter.com

    Where USERNAME@DOMAIN is your registered email address

    Note that the “twitter-dm” is consistent with all DM’s sent since the most recent changes to the email envelope.

    Subject is of the form

    Direct message from TWITTERNAME

    Also, and more importantly, there are a significant number of X headers included of the form

    X-Twitter*

    Example:
    X-Twittercreatedat: Fri Dec 05 16:28:15 +0000 2008
    X-Twitterrecipientscreenname: [TWITTERNAME]
    X-Twitterrecipientid: [NUMERICVALUE]
    X-Twitteremailtype: direct_message
    X-Twitterdirectmessageid: [NUMERICVALUE]
    X-Twittersenderid: [NUMERICVALUE]
    X-Twittersendername: [TWITTERNAME]
    X-Twittersenderscreenname: [TWITTERNAME]
    X-Twitterrecipientname: [TWITTERNAME]

    Where [value] represents the specific item as the name implies.

    Please review your headers to see what I mean.

    3-10. See point 2.
    11. Please don’t do that.

  105. Oh, and to clarify — it is apparent that Facebook is just not as adept or as invested as the Twitter team in their use of items to key off in their email service.

    I’ll reserve calling Facebook email a steaming bucket of fail because I’m sure

    a) they can fix it pretty quickly and extend upon Twitter’s ideas and approach

    and/or/but

    b) they don’t really care about the feature at all outside of its use in the Facebook silo… yet?

  106. Oh, and to clarify — it is apparent that Facebook is just not as adept or as invested as the Twitter team in their use of items to key off in their email service.

    I’ll reserve calling Facebook email a steaming bucket of fail because I’m sure

    a) they can fix it pretty quickly and extend upon Twitter’s ideas and approach

    and/or/but

    b) they don’t really care about the feature at all outside of its use in the Facebook silo… yet?

  107. DM does have a use case with web services built around Twitter. For e.g. Buxfer has a service where you can manage your financial transactions just by sending DM to buxfer.

    But you are right that the design is a little flawed that you cannot control DM in anyway.

  108. DM does have a use case with web services built around Twitter. For e.g. Buxfer has a service where you can manage your financial transactions just by sending DM to buxfer.

    But you are right that the design is a little flawed that you cannot control DM in anyway.

  109. My numero uno beef with the DM system is the lack of search functionality.

    Your #7 about DMs and following is less frustrating but equally annoying.

  110. I think that DM sucks only for busy or popular people, because they don’t have much time and they are getting many messages. For small twitter users like me DM don’t me anything, because i get only 1-5 messages per week and there is no problem to answer it..

  111. I think that DM sucks only for busy or popular people, because they don’t have much time and they are getting many messages. For small twitter users like me DM don’t me anything, because i get only 1-5 messages per week and there is no problem to answer it..

  112. I agree with you completely, why implement something to superceed an existing product, like email, which, for all it’s faults, works the way I want and expect it to. With correct integration between messaging systems I should never need to copy-paste, fullstop.

    This is the reason that a few friends and I build a Unified Messaging Platform which makes it possible for people to access their messages/data with the interface they want, rather than being locked into mail/usenet/web/ftp/twitter/chat/etc… Sadly VCs didn’t think it was so innovative in 2000 so we gave up and suffer like everybody else. Although we suffer slightly less… :)

  113. I agree with you completely, why implement something to superceed an existing product, like email, which, for all it’s faults, works the way I want and expect it to. With correct integration between messaging systems I should never need to copy-paste, fullstop.

    This is the reason that a few friends and I build a Unified Messaging Platform which makes it possible for people to access their messages/data with the interface they want, rather than being locked into mail/usenet/web/ftp/twitter/chat/etc… Sadly VCs didn’t think it was so innovative in 2000 so we gave up and suffer like everybody else. Although we suffer slightly less… :)

  114. I have a solution for two of the problem you are facing. I wanted to say this yesterday itself. (before 70 odd people commented =D )
    The problems you face: No way to sort DM’s
    Not easy to search

    Well I don’t have many mails 25 odd may be. Mopst of them are not in my twitter profile as I deleted them. So where are these mails? IN my inbox of course. I get an alert everytime someone DMs me and the message is delivered to my inbox, where I tag it and archive it (gmail). When I have to search for info within those mails well gmail search’s ability to search within particular tags comes handy!

    Now the problem you face now is similar to the problem I have with an old email id of mine. I get only spam mails there now and they are so many in number that I get tired deleting them. What you can do ignore all the past DMs and start reading all new Dms now on. Cos I find DMs helpful. Certain things are better kept betw 2 individuals than blurted out to the whole world!

  115. I have a solution for two of the problem you are facing. I wanted to say this yesterday itself. (before 70 odd people commented =D )
    The problems you face: No way to sort DM’s
    Not easy to search

    Well I don’t have many mails 25 odd may be. Mopst of them are not in my twitter profile as I deleted them. So where are these mails? IN my inbox of course. I get an alert everytime someone DMs me and the message is delivered to my inbox, where I tag it and archive it (gmail). When I have to search for info within those mails well gmail search’s ability to search within particular tags comes handy!

    Now the problem you face now is similar to the problem I have with an old email id of mine. I get only spam mails there now and they are so many in number that I get tired deleting them. What you can do ignore all the past DMs and start reading all new Dms now on. Cos I find DMs helpful. Certain things are better kept betw 2 individuals than blurted out to the whole world!

  116. Oh yes talking abt mailing instead of DM, that is not practical in all cases. In your case your email id on your blog, it is convenient for anyone to mail you. But what about the rest? I don’t want many people to know my personal id, I am more comfortable if they would simply DM me or reply @chupchap.

  117. Oh yes talking abt mailing instead of DM, that is not practical in all cases. In your case your email id on your blog, it is convenient for anyone to mail you. But what about the rest? I don’t want many people to know my personal id, I am more comfortable if they would simply DM me or reply @chupchap.

  118. Great points indeed. I’m glad I’m not that popular, so my DM frustration has been minimal. If I complain it would go unheard perhaps, but you can help improve things…

  119. Great points indeed. I’m glad I’m not that popular, so my DM frustration has been minimal. If I complain it would go unheard perhaps, but you can help improve things…

  120. Personally I think you are looking at DMs all wrong. They are more like SMS than email. I have my DMs go straight to SMS. If it’s something I need to answer, I usually do so by email or phone or normal sms.

    Of course you are right in that people who use them for long drawn out back and forth conversation should be shot.

  121. Personally I think you are looking at DMs all wrong. They are more like SMS than email. I have my DMs go straight to SMS. If it’s something I need to answer, I usually do so by email or phone or normal sms.

    Of course you are right in that people who use them for long drawn out back and forth conversation should be shot.

  122. Robert as usual nice points that prove once again you are *the man* in social networking. The transparency of the social space is a large part of the appeal and there’s little need at Twitter for “privacy” – that is missing the point. Do we ever need privacy? Sure, but we have many private venues already – the important changes are in the social space.

  123. Robert as usual nice points that prove once again you are *the man* in social networking. The transparency of the social space is a large part of the appeal and there’s little need at Twitter for “privacy” – that is missing the point. Do we ever need privacy? Sure, but we have many private venues already – the important changes are in the social space.

  124. Completely agree about Twitter’s useless DM feature.

    But Facebook’s I actually use, generally for quick personal correspondence that I don’t care about archiving or finding later.

    I think Facebook’s works better for me for several reasons:
    1) I don’t approve any Facebook requests from people I don’t actually know, and I try to keep my Facebook circle of friends fairly small (I have “only” 306).

    2) Facebook messages come to my cell phone via SMS. Basically nothing else does except a direct SMS or tweets from a select few people I used to work with.

    3) There are lots of people for whom the only e-mail address I have is a work one, and I generally prefer to send them an FB message (that until recently at least would tend to show up in their personal e-mail) instead of an actual e-mail.

  125. Completely agree about Twitter’s useless DM feature.

    But Facebook’s I actually use, generally for quick personal correspondence that I don’t care about archiving or finding later.

    I think Facebook’s works better for me for several reasons:
    1) I don’t approve any Facebook requests from people I don’t actually know, and I try to keep my Facebook circle of friends fairly small (I have “only” 306).

    2) Facebook messages come to my cell phone via SMS. Basically nothing else does except a direct SMS or tweets from a select few people I used to work with.

    3) There are lots of people for whom the only e-mail address I have is a work one, and I generally prefer to send them an FB message (that until recently at least would tend to show up in their personal e-mail) instead of an actual e-mail.

  126. Wow. A completely free service that a ton of people seem to enjoy, use, and find value in; a free platform that has enabled scobleizer to interact, advertise, and extend its reach to consumers it might otherwise have no connection to. Blogging about this inferior service has given you prime real estate on the home page of techmeme (probably not for the first time), which I clicked to get here. The post has 77 comments so far, plus more have obviously viewed, yet somehow, twitter has made your life hell. Methinks if anything, twitter’s existence has increased your relevance ranking on the internets. Without them, your voice would be muted. Twitter provides both megaphone and hearing aid, and for one who’s business is pretty much talking, I see twitter as an awesome utility for aspiring scobles everywhere. Peace out!

  127. Wow. A completely free service that a ton of people seem to enjoy, use, and find value in; a free platform that has enabled scobleizer to interact, advertise, and extend its reach to consumers it might otherwise have no connection to. Blogging about this inferior service has given you prime real estate on the home page of techmeme (probably not for the first time), which I clicked to get here. The post has 77 comments so far, plus more have obviously viewed, yet somehow, twitter has made your life hell. Methinks if anything, twitter’s existence has increased your relevance ranking on the internets. Without them, your voice would be muted. Twitter provides both megaphone and hearing aid, and for one who’s business is pretty much talking, I see twitter as an awesome utility for aspiring scobles everywhere. Peace out!

  128. Twitter is a simple service. Direct messages are meant as a way to send SMS to someone without having to know their phone number. It’s not email. If you think someone asks you a question that requires an email, then ask for an email address.

    Twitter is not a GTD application, it’s not email, it’s not complex in any way shape or form. It’s a broadcast platform for 140 character text that has a point to point backchannel, however, it is a text broadcast platform first.

    Adding a layer of complexity means adding another reason that my mother won’t use it.

  129. Twitter is a simple service. Direct messages are meant as a way to send SMS to someone without having to know their phone number. It’s not email. If you think someone asks you a question that requires an email, then ask for an email address.

    Twitter is not a GTD application, it’s not email, it’s not complex in any way shape or form. It’s a broadcast platform for 140 character text that has a point to point backchannel, however, it is a text broadcast platform first.

    Adding a layer of complexity means adding another reason that my mother won’t use it.

  130. I guess that ancient non-hip-Web 2.0-thing called “email” still has it’s uses. But see, any tech fails at your noise volume level — IM, DM, Tweets, what have you. Nothing will work, no matter how many David Allens you worship.

    Just get the broadcasting tools (shaky cell phone cams, FriendFeed and etcc. spewers), all the essential evangelist tools needed to spread the messages, whilst never having to listen (or bother with) the actual flocks.

  131. I guess that ancient non-hip-Web 2.0-thing called “email” still has it’s uses. But see, any tech fails at your noise volume level — IM, DM, Tweets, what have you. Nothing will work, no matter how many David Allens you worship.

    Just get the broadcasting tools (shaky cell phone cams, FriendFeed and etcc. spewers), all the essential evangelist tools needed to spread the messages, whilst never having to listen (or bother with) the actual flocks.

  132. I like Twitter DM. I can always reply with an e-mail, I do not HAVE to reply with DM. But, I get less than 3 DM’s a day. Do you think getting over 4,000+ DM’s is a typical case, or an edge case?

    (Also, if I have a blog post that gets 3 replies that’s a lot, so maybe I am just boring.)

    My e-mail backs up way, WAY more that my Twitter DMs.

    I like Twitter DM because I am always able to receive them as I am always plugged into Twitter on multiple devices and I can choose to reply in real time or later.

    The people I get DM’s from are almost always friends.

    Steve Sloan

  133. I like Twitter DM. I can always reply with an e-mail, I do not HAVE to reply with DM. But, I get less than 3 DM’s a day. Do you think getting over 4,000+ DM’s is a typical case, or an edge case?

    (Also, if I have a blog post that gets 3 replies that’s a lot, so maybe I am just boring.)

    My e-mail backs up way, WAY more that my Twitter DMs.

    I like Twitter DM because I am always able to receive them as I am always plugged into Twitter on multiple devices and I can choose to reply in real time or later.

    The people I get DM’s from are almost always friends.

    Steve Sloan

  134. While I couldn’t get through all of your reasons, as I read the first couple I thought of an idea. Why don’t Twitter, Facebook or whomever has this similar feature offer an auto-forward function to send the DM to your email. Well wait, it sort of already does this. Include in reply-to the persons email address or a unique reply address that would transcribe your email reply back into the proprietary format of the social network. Eh?

  135. While I couldn’t get through all of your reasons, as I read the first couple I thought of an idea. Why don’t Twitter, Facebook or whomever has this similar feature offer an auto-forward function to send the DM to your email. Well wait, it sort of already does this. Include in reply-to the persons email address or a unique reply address that would transcribe your email reply back into the proprietary format of the social network. Eh?

  136. You hate DM because you chose to ignore Twitter’s spirit, which is simplicity and chronology, and want it to be more a kind of business email-like app full of features.

    What I would like you to consider before flaming against DM and Twitter.

    1. Why “having the ability to delete them all” has to do with read them or ignore them all? I really didn’t understand this argument.

    2. Folders is more for email. Twitter is not an Exchange plugin or a Blackberry feature. Plus: priority on Twitter is chronology, is WHAT IS HAPPENING NOW, so forget about twisting it or making another priority. The DM that just arrived is the priority.

    3. Just what I said: Twitter is not email. Stop trying to make them match in every feature.

    4. Again, you’re trying to make Twitter DM feature work for your business, but that’s not the main purpose of it. Twitter is not for business or conference calls or business meetings. It’s not a Project Manager software.

    5. Copy your boss? You’re joking, right?

    6. Asking a question that needs a 500c response it’s the questioner’s problem. And you can tell that in less 140c. You choose to become frustrated because you want it to be so. Besides, you want to make those 10 reasons, so you just invented this one. I want to tweet a 150c tweet, oh, I’m so frustrated.

    7. Actually I agree on this one.

    8. Do you know you can choose to be notified by email when you receive a DM, and the DM message will go in it?

    9. Again and again, Twitter is not email. Plus, group feature is missing on the whole Twitter and not only in DM feature. Twimc, particularly, I don’t want group messaging, it’s the kind of complexity that it would start killing what I think Twitter really is. Please, don’t be ICQ, Twitter. Don’t be Microsoft Project either.

    10. Seriously? Email, again?

  137. You hate DM because you chose to ignore Twitter’s spirit, which is simplicity and chronology, and want it to be more a kind of business email-like app full of features.

    What I would like you to consider before flaming against DM and Twitter.

    1. Why “having the ability to delete them all” has to do with read them or ignore them all? I really didn’t understand this argument.

    2. Folders is more for email. Twitter is not an Exchange plugin or a Blackberry feature. Plus: priority on Twitter is chronology, is WHAT IS HAPPENING NOW, so forget about twisting it or making another priority. The DM that just arrived is the priority.

    3. Just what I said: Twitter is not email. Stop trying to make them match in every feature.

    4. Again, you’re trying to make Twitter DM feature work for your business, but that’s not the main purpose of it. Twitter is not for business or conference calls or business meetings. It’s not a Project Manager software.

    5. Copy your boss? You’re joking, right?

    6. Asking a question that needs a 500c response it’s the questioner’s problem. And you can tell that in less 140c. You choose to become frustrated because you want it to be so. Besides, you want to make those 10 reasons, so you just invented this one. I want to tweet a 150c tweet, oh, I’m so frustrated.

    7. Actually I agree on this one.

    8. Do you know you can choose to be notified by email when you receive a DM, and the DM message will go in it?

    9. Again and again, Twitter is not email. Plus, group feature is missing on the whole Twitter and not only in DM feature. Twimc, particularly, I don’t want group messaging, it’s the kind of complexity that it would start killing what I think Twitter really is. Please, don’t be ICQ, Twitter. Don’t be Microsoft Project either.

    10. Seriously? Email, again?

  138. The only good reason for DM in Twitter and Facebook is to protect you from showing your e-mail address — or, as I have discovered, as a means to draw you into Twitter to get an account for the sole purpose of reaching out to someone who will only allow you to contact them via Twitter. So, the Twitter folk or the Twitter die-hards are using DM to perpetuate their social network, rather than to as a good design decision.

    The right way to build the feature is simply to offer an option: DM to Twitter account or use a Twitter form to send an e-mail (including actual reply address) directly to your Gmail (or other preferred location)

    Twitter is great for many things, but the benefits of short messages, follows and DMs run into a wall in many cases, like this. My twitter network is negligible and its already impossible to parse through the messages I get on my feed in any useful way.

  139. The only good reason for DM in Twitter and Facebook is to protect you from showing your e-mail address — or, as I have discovered, as a means to draw you into Twitter to get an account for the sole purpose of reaching out to someone who will only allow you to contact them via Twitter. So, the Twitter folk or the Twitter die-hards are using DM to perpetuate their social network, rather than to as a good design decision.

    The right way to build the feature is simply to offer an option: DM to Twitter account or use a Twitter form to send an e-mail (including actual reply address) directly to your Gmail (or other preferred location)

    Twitter is great for many things, but the benefits of short messages, follows and DMs run into a wall in many cases, like this. My twitter network is negligible and its already impossible to parse through the messages I get on my feed in any useful way.

  140. We have so many avenues of communication it is hard to know which to use when. For example if I see an event advertised on Twitter by someone whom I follow, then I am likely to DM him/her for details. Why? It’s rude to @respond because no one else is interested, I don’t have another way of contacting you, the context is reasonable, so it is another string to my communication bow.

    DMs as replacement for IM are certainly messed up. We tend to be more selective about our IM buddies, so would expect to have richer conversations on IM. So no substitute there.

    DMs as replacement for email – well sometimes the context is in the DM thread so the communication should be there.

    But in general DM (and the whole of Twitter) is a very weak 2-way medium. It is actually a pretty weak one-way medium since the communication space is flat. It depends on the level of intimacy one has with the tweeter (twitterer). It’s like getting the Christmas letter that goes to everyone. I don’t care about Uncle Albert’s gout, but someone on the recipient list probably does…..

  141. We have so many avenues of communication it is hard to know which to use when. For example if I see an event advertised on Twitter by someone whom I follow, then I am likely to DM him/her for details. Why? It’s rude to @respond because no one else is interested, I don’t have another way of contacting you, the context is reasonable, so it is another string to my communication bow.

    DMs as replacement for IM are certainly messed up. We tend to be more selective about our IM buddies, so would expect to have richer conversations on IM. So no substitute there.

    DMs as replacement for email – well sometimes the context is in the DM thread so the communication should be there.

    But in general DM (and the whole of Twitter) is a very weak 2-way medium. It is actually a pretty weak one-way medium since the communication space is flat. It depends on the level of intimacy one has with the tweeter (twitterer). It’s like getting the Christmas letter that goes to everyone. I don’t care about Uncle Albert’s gout, but someone on the recipient list probably does…..

  142. Not only that I don’t like Twitter’s DM’s and Facebook mssgs for the all technical annoyances mentioned above, but the major factor I found here /chez moi/ is non-technical.
    I find very rude and indecent (call it netiquette) if someone on Facebook sends me a message (and I have lot of them unread) and on my web site on several places there is ‘contact’ page with email. Academic people usually send email directly, the others send messages – I wonder if people read ‘contact’, or notifications for sending email, or they are just idle and it’s easier to spam you on FB?

  143. Not only that I don’t like Twitter’s DM’s and Facebook mssgs for the all technical annoyances mentioned above, but the major factor I found here /chez moi/ is non-technical.
    I find very rude and indecent (call it netiquette) if someone on Facebook sends me a message (and I have lot of them unread) and on my web site on several places there is ‘contact’ page with email. Academic people usually send email directly, the others send messages – I wonder if people read ‘contact’, or notifications for sending email, or they are just idle and it’s easier to spam you on FB?

  144. I have been using peekamo.com. Its mobile based but find that its much easier to use than DM and have been in conversation with the guys there and they tell me all the features you are talking about will be implement there within the next few weeks.

    If anyone is interested checked it out. It’s http://peekamo.com, and they always appreciate feedback and actually listen.

  145. I have been using peekamo.com. Its mobile based but find that its much easier to use than DM and have been in conversation with the guys there and they tell me all the features you are talking about will be implement there within the next few weeks.

    If anyone is interested checked it out. It’s http://peekamo.com, and they always appreciate feedback and actually listen.

  146. I agree with a lot of the comments above that different technologies should be used for different things – email, facebook and twitter.

    But also that the use or misuse of DM is annoying for people with a lot of followers. As such can appreciate some of your points and reason for request for email or open tweets. Perhaps also request a polite ‘No DMs’ in your bio so that new followers get the message or get reminded of this post and don’t DM?

    So… the No Direct Mail notices make their way from the letterbox to social media channels. DM really has had a bad rap over the years!

  147. I agree with a lot of the comments above that different technologies should be used for different things – email, facebook and twitter.

    But also that the use or misuse of DM is annoying for people with a lot of followers. As such can appreciate some of your points and reason for request for email or open tweets. Perhaps also request a polite ‘No DMs’ in your bio so that new followers get the message or get reminded of this post and don’t DM?

    So… the No Direct Mail notices make their way from the letterbox to social media channels. DM really has had a bad rap over the years!

  148. I often find direct messages ages after they were sent. I don’t mind messages on Facebook though as I find this easier to manage than my email in boxes – mainly because of the volume is currently more manageable.

  149. I often find direct messages ages after they were sent. I don’t mind messages on Facebook though as I find this easier to manage than my email in boxes – mainly because of the volume is currently more manageable.

  150. [...] direct messaging, but that’s because they use that messaging in a different way than I do. Scoble’s complaints about Twitter DMs are centered upon the limitations of the tool and technology without realizing that this form of [...]

  151. I like it. But then again, I only DM with people that I would txt, so it’s virtually the same thing, just with a 140 limit.

    If I were in your shoes, I probably wouldn’t like it so much.

  152. I like it. But then again, I only DM with people that I would txt, so it’s virtually the same thing, just with a 140 limit.

    If I were in your shoes, I probably wouldn’t like it so much.

  153. If you are tired of facebook but want a way to connect with artists and musicians
    then you should check out http://www.putiton.com
    If you are tired of facebook but still want to connect with your friends then pick up the phone…

  154. Some people will just bitch and moan about everything… The solution is quite simple don't use twitter don't use facebook if it irritates you so much that you have to write a web article about it… Use your email then…

  155. Some people will just bitch and moan about everything… The solution is quite simple don't use twitter don't use facebook if it irritates you so much that you have to write a web article about it… Use your email then…