Twitter 2012

Tomorrow friendfeed is coming out with a new version that’s quite different from what it did before (I have a video of the meeting where friendfeed’s co-founders demonstrate the new version to a bunch of bloggers including from VentureBeat, TechCrunch, and a variety of others. That set of videos will be up Monday morning at about 9 a.m. Pacific Time).

I’ll be honest. I’m finding that new version of friendfeed unsatisfying on one level. Why? Because it isn’t Twitter.

“Huh?” I can hear you asking me. I’m sure you’re confused because I’m friendfeed’s number one fan.

Well, hear me out. Twitter’s success is its simplicity. It has no comments. No likes. No location metadata. No attachments. No enclosures. No headlines. No body text.

It is just a “river of noise” coming at you in reverse-chronological goodness 140 characters at a time.

That simplicity along with its publicness is why it is continuing to get hype, even as Facebook passed 200 million users (which, in more common times, would guarantee it 10x the hype of Twitter).

See, celebrities are who Twitter is aiming at now and celebrities don’t get all the geeky metadata that Facebook (tagging? too hard) and friendfeed (likes? too hard) have. See, if you are hiring ghost writers to keep your public image clean, as many of the celebrity accounts have done, you can’t teach “proper liking behavior.” I’m only halfway kidding.

But there is a world I want. I call it the world of Twitter 2012. Here, let me explain.

When that plane crashed into the Hudson I was watching most of the early Tweets. Most of the tweets that came in the first hour were total noise. People saying stuff like “I hope everyone survived” or “OMG, plane crash in NY.” But there were a few tweets that I remembered. The one with the picture of the plane in the water. The ones where people in New York said “I just saw a plane crash in the Hudson.”

Those were the high value Tweets. But how do we get them to stick around?

Well, you can retweet them. That’s metadata. You can put a hashtag on them. That’s metadata.

Or you could pull them into friendfeed and “like” them and “comment” on them. That’s hard, but that’s metadata too that’s more useful than Twitter’s metadata because it doesn’t need to be included inside the Tweet (which takes away characters from Twitter’s 140).

The real problem is we need more metadata to make this new world more useful. Here’s what I want to do in Twitter 2012.

If something like the Hudson plane crash happens in Twitter 2012, I want to draw a box around New York and tell Twitter “only show me Tweets from inside this box.” To do that Twitter will need more metadata. In this case, location of where Tweets are being sent from (Twitter could easily get that from my iPhone’s GPS or use my Internet provider’s data to get detail on where my location is).

Yes, I can set that in Twitter’s profile, but really that is pretty useless (I might be in New York on vacation and if my profile says Half Moon Bay it will think I’m Tweeting from Half Moon Bay).

What else might I like in Twitter 2012?

I bet that by then not having these features will look pretty lame:

1. Grouping. I’m following too many people so tweets go by too fast to read them. I’d like to group the people I’m following so that I can see their tweets separated into folders. But that would mean making Twitter more complex. More complexity isn’t working well for friendfeed, is it? It is for geeks like me, but what about normal people? No, not as well.
2. More data types. Why do I need to come to wordpress.com to write a long blog post like this one (which you probably discovered on my Tweet stream as a URL, right?) Why can’t I do that from inside Twitter 2012? How about photos? Why do I need to use a service like TwitPic to post a photo? Why do I need to use YouTube, 12seconds.tv, or Seesmic to post a video? Why can’t I do that right from Twitter’s UI? But adding those data types to Twitter will mean making Twitter more complex and will mean that Twitter will have to copy Facebook and friendfeed.
3. Real DM’s. Twitter’s Direct Messages suck right now. I have to follow you for you to even be able to send direct messages. And when you do send them to me I can’t search through them. I can’t forward them. I can’t copy other people on them. They are really lame. Yet even though they are really lame tons of people use them (which is the biggest reason I automatically follow back everyone on Twitter who follows me now — I want all my followers to be able to DM me. If Twitter 2012 got rid of that limitation I’d stop auto following everyone).
4. Filtering. In Twitter 2012 there will be many people with millions of followers and the flow will be eight times higher than it is today. Plus, many accounts will be machine generated. The Washington State Department of Transportation shows one such account. You send a tweet to it to find out how long times to cross the border are and it Tweets you back with the time automatically. By 2012 there will be thousands of such applications you can use Twitter for.
5. Location based information. In addition to the ability to search Tweets written from New York about plane crashes, I want to see all the Tweets written from, say, University Ave. in Palo Alto about restaurant experiences there. So, if someone says “Pluto’s rocks” there should be an aggregator that lets you see how many people talked about Plutos. Obviously only people writing on their iPhones FROM Plutos on University Ave. should be listened to. After all, if they are posting from Australia it’s probably not going to be very relevant. I can see a bunch of such ideas.
6. Like with my recent video of Apture I can see a bunch of different ways to present more information. Why have just a text URL? Why not bring up a whole control pad of information about your Tweet. After all, if I link to Dave Winer’s blog, why not include links to his videos, his photos, his podcasts, etc?

Well, it’s 2:42 a.m. and I could keep going if a nice warm bed weren’t calling my name, but this is just a start of a conversation. 2012 is three years away. What would you like Twitter to become by then?

Comments

  1. As a programmer, I love twitter syntax. It’s open, flexible and easy to use. But the catch 22 is, it’s so open that alot of information is intrinsic. The key success for twitter is understanding the context of these little bursts of info and make them useful.

    Imagine sites like http://twistori.com/ that goes beyond simple text parsing, but understand the true context. It will scarily powerful.

  2. As a programmer, I love twitter syntax. It’s open, flexible and easy to use. But the catch 22 is, it’s so open that alot of information is intrinsic. The key success for twitter is understanding the context of these little bursts of info and make them useful.

    Imagine sites like http://twistori.com/ that goes beyond simple text parsing, but understand the true context. It will scarily powerful.

  3. Totally agree. As someone from the Information Retrieval domain, I also do have sorrows about Twitter’s noise in the near future. Meta-data generation both, explicit and implicit ist something Twitter seriously has to invest in. Otherwise this great simplicity will be gone soon due to a massive flood of nonesense-noise.
    They should do two things: hire a couple of hi-flyer interaction designers that ensure simplicity of upcoming features for explicit meta-data generation, and deepen activities like their trend miner to learn what ppl say for implicit meta-data generation.

    Cheers from Berlin,
    Alex @alexkorth

  4. Totally agree. As someone from the Information Retrieval domain, I also do have sorrows about Twitter’s noise in the near future. Meta-data generation both, explicit and implicit ist something Twitter seriously has to invest in. Otherwise this great simplicity will be gone soon due to a massive flood of nonesense-noise.
    They should do two things: hire a couple of hi-flyer interaction designers that ensure simplicity of upcoming features for explicit meta-data generation, and deepen activities like their trend miner to learn what ppl say for implicit meta-data generation.

    Cheers from Berlin,
    Alex @alexkorth

  5. Robert:

    Just remember, you can copy and past any DM or tweet into Gmail and then you can search, label, etc. I do it all the time. Makes my life MUCH easier and, for now, it’s the only way to handle it. It’s simple,though, and it works.

  6. Robert:

    Just remember, you can copy and past any DM or tweet into Gmail and then you can search, label, etc. I do it all the time. Makes my life MUCH easier and, for now, it’s the only way to handle it. It’s simple,though, and it works.

  7. In relation to your BestBuy screed…I could see a Tweet being sent to an individual store – “Do you have a Canon G10 in stock” and getting a reply without going through the whole website, cart, checkout process.
    However, in-store inventory is tricky. Just because the inventory system says there is one in-stock doesn’t mean there is one in stock for you. Just means it hasn’t been checked out by someone else, could very well be roaming the store in someone elses cart. That’s why there is usually a 15-30 minute delay in order confirmation for in-store pickup, someone has to physically go check/grab and hold.

  8. In relation to your BestBuy screed…I could see a Tweet being sent to an individual store – “Do you have a Canon G10 in stock” and getting a reply without going through the whole website, cart, checkout process.
    However, in-store inventory is tricky. Just because the inventory system says there is one in-stock doesn’t mean there is one in stock for you. Just means it hasn’t been checked out by someone else, could very well be roaming the store in someone elses cart. That’s why there is usually a 15-30 minute delay in order confirmation for in-store pickup, someone has to physically go check/grab and hold.

  9. Scoble, it sounds like you are describing Pownce (now dead, acquired by Vox) or Tumblr ( http://tumblr.com ).

    The services you describe exist; even britekite or FireEagle could arguably be included in your Twitted 2012 scenario.

    People use Twitter more as a launch platform than a medium now. If you go through 100% of the posts on Twitter, I’d estimate 30% are @replies, 10% are actual Tweets, and 60% are either RSS feeds or services posting to a Twitter feed (like all of you ff.im links from FriendFeed).

  10. Scoble, it sounds like you are describing Pownce (now dead, acquired by Vox) or Tumblr ( http://tumblr.com ).

    The services you describe exist; even britekite or FireEagle could arguably be included in your Twitted 2012 scenario.

    People use Twitter more as a launch platform than a medium now. If you go through 100% of the posts on Twitter, I’d estimate 30% are @replies, 10% are actual Tweets, and 60% are either RSS feeds or services posting to a Twitter feed (like all of you ff.im links from FriendFeed).

  11. Another thought – In BBY case, they had to develop a special, internal communication system/procedure for that check/grab/hold process. I could see using Twitter internally for that.

  12. Another thought – In BBY case, they had to develop a special, internal communication system/procedure for that check/grab/hold process. I could see using Twitter internally for that.

  13. We are the ones building Friendfeed by adding all our Feeds and continually updating them and the founders are the ones who will cash-in when they sell it to Google.

  14. We are the ones building Friendfeed by adding all our Feeds and continually updating them and the founders are the ones who will cash-in when they sell it to Google.

  15. The cracks start to appear (grow) in the Friendfeed armor…

    FF just grew too irrelevant, too clubby, too cliquey, too much bacon, too many kid photos, cat photos, look at me posts, chit chat that stretched 100 (off-topic) comments, too clubby (did I mention that?).

    I’m not sold a re-design will save FF. Instead I’d rather see Facebook incorporate their wide range of services that can be imported.

    A big problem with FF is the “who the hell is this person” question that always went through my mind when reading posts/links.

    One big thing which I believe Twitter will need to include is some type of authority for senders (similar to how Google has pagerank) — as the service grows (and in many respects I wonder whether it has already jumped the shark) Twitter will become increasingly noisy and tempting for spammers to try to game.

  16. The cracks start to appear (grow) in the Friendfeed armor…

    FF just grew too irrelevant, too clubby, too cliquey, too much bacon, too many kid photos, cat photos, look at me posts, chit chat that stretched 100 (off-topic) comments, too clubby (did I mention that?).

    I’m not sold a re-design will save FF. Instead I’d rather see Facebook incorporate their wide range of services that can be imported.

    A big problem with FF is the “who the hell is this person” question that always went through my mind when reading posts/links.

    One big thing which I believe Twitter will need to include is some type of authority for senders (similar to how Google has pagerank) — as the service grows (and in many respects I wonder whether it has already jumped the shark) Twitter will become increasingly noisy and tempting for spammers to try to game.

  17. I think you’re looking for a technical solution to a social problem. My solution to tweet overload is simple: I follow people who post stuff which will be interesting and relevant to me. If something is important to me, that makes sure it will find me in a timely fashion.

    In other words, it doesn’t matter (to me) if I don’t find out about the crash in the Hudson until hours later. If something is developing in the world of media or technology that I’m likely to be interested in, I want to find out about it asap. But choosing the people I follow wisely, that happens.

  18. I think you’re looking for a technical solution to a social problem. My solution to tweet overload is simple: I follow people who post stuff which will be interesting and relevant to me. If something is important to me, that makes sure it will find me in a timely fashion.

    In other words, it doesn’t matter (to me) if I don’t find out about the crash in the Hudson until hours later. If something is developing in the world of media or technology that I’m likely to be interested in, I want to find out about it asap. But choosing the people I follow wisely, that happens.

  19. Robert, it is good to read your views as this is exactly what we are addressing at Cognii. You won’t have to wait till 2012 though. This is precisely the domain where semantic and cognitive technologies will play their most significant roles in our lives as the information overload becomes the next major challenge.

  20. Robert, it is good to read your views as this is exactly what we are addressing at Cognii. You won’t have to wait till 2012 though. This is precisely the domain where semantic and cognitive technologies will play their most significant roles in our lives as the information overload becomes the next major challenge.

  21. Ian: bulls**t. You can tell other people that, but not me. 99.99999999% of tweets are noise. Even ones from really smart people like you. Anyone who says otherwise better back up their statements.

  22. Ian: bulls**t. You can tell other people that, but not me. 99.99999999% of tweets are noise. Even ones from really smart people like you. Anyone who says otherwise better back up their statements.

  23. Hey there-
    I’d like to add a very important couple of issues from our own experience working in conditions of ‘most of the world’

    1) International SMS coverage.
    The social networks today span the planet. The twiteratti ‘abroad’ from the US, UK and India are those that twitter from their PC and/or data-plan-enabled phones. Just an elite. By 2012 unfortunately still SMS will not be obsoleted by GPRS access. And those most in need of collaboration tech to make their lives efficient is in developing countries.

    Dealing with most wireless providers and operators is a tough ordeal (I can say from experience), but that’s what Twitter has smart folks for, and I’m sure phone companies would love twitter to be in their network in countries where people change prepaid numbers every so many months seeking lower costs.

    2) Phone-only usage
    Hand in hand with international SMS coverage, comes the ability to cater to cell-only users. This means doing everything – from signing up, managing profile, managing groups, updating location, etc – via SMS messages, in multiple languages

    The additional data types could be achieved by a slightly smarter API and leveraging web architecture technologies, but agree better message payloads (location, user metadata, etc) could help

    BTW, glad to hear you think Twitter should do these things by 2012 maybe we can get them to contribute to GeoChat which does a lot of this now (http://instedd.org/geochat) which is right now in a private beta deployment for humanitarian and health applications, but is an open source project too

  24. Hey there-
    I’d like to add a very important couple of issues from our own experience working in conditions of ‘most of the world’

    1) International SMS coverage.
    The social networks today span the planet. The twiteratti ‘abroad’ from the US, UK and India are those that twitter from their PC and/or data-plan-enabled phones. Just an elite. By 2012 unfortunately still SMS will not be obsoleted by GPRS access. And those most in need of collaboration tech to make their lives efficient is in developing countries.

    Dealing with most wireless providers and operators is a tough ordeal (I can say from experience), but that’s what Twitter has smart folks for, and I’m sure phone companies would love twitter to be in their network in countries where people change prepaid numbers every so many months seeking lower costs.

    2) Phone-only usage
    Hand in hand with international SMS coverage, comes the ability to cater to cell-only users. This means doing everything – from signing up, managing profile, managing groups, updating location, etc – via SMS messages, in multiple languages

    The additional data types could be achieved by a slightly smarter API and leveraging web architecture technologies, but agree better message payloads (location, user metadata, etc) could help

    BTW, glad to hear you think Twitter should do these things by 2012 maybe we can get them to contribute to GeoChat which does a lot of this now (http://instedd.org/geochat) which is right now in a private beta deployment for humanitarian and health applications, but is an open source project too

  25. Wayne: you followed the wrong people on friendfeed. I don’t have the problems you do with noise and clubiness.

    Here’s a hint: most of my friends who tweet are also on friendfeed so I can read their tweets in friendfeed. So, if Twitter is great, so is friendfeed.

    But there are other problems with friendfeed that we’ll discuss on Monday.

  26. Wayne: you followed the wrong people on friendfeed. I don’t have the problems you do with noise and clubiness.

    Here’s a hint: most of my friends who tweet are also on friendfeed so I can read their tweets in friendfeed. So, if Twitter is great, so is friendfeed.

    But there are other problems with friendfeed that we’ll discuss on Monday.

  27. But that’s the point, Robert. It’s *crazy* for you to follow me, as our interests aren’t close enough to each other. Sure, there will be tweets you’d get something from, but to you, I’d largely be noise.

    And that’s not any kind of value judgement on me as a person. You’re a great guy, but I don’t follow you on Twitter simply because what you post on there because the coalescence of interests isn’t there. You post too much stuff that, to me, is noise. But that’s entirely down to what interests me, not a criticism of you or how you use Twitter.

    There’s two kinds of people I follow: very low-noise people that I don’t know well, and people I know pretty well (not necessarily face-to-face kind of know, but I’ve physically met probably 70% of the people I follow). That means I’m interested in what they’re up to – they bring me information but also just entertainment, personal stuff which means little to “outsiders”, and so on.

    So, for me, what you see as noise is signal. And I’m sure, for you, lots of what I mean as signal will just be noise :)

  28. But that’s the point, Robert. It’s *crazy* for you to follow me, as our interests aren’t close enough to each other. Sure, there will be tweets you’d get something from, but to you, I’d largely be noise.

    And that’s not any kind of value judgement on me as a person. You’re a great guy, but I don’t follow you on Twitter simply because what you post on there because the coalescence of interests isn’t there. You post too much stuff that, to me, is noise. But that’s entirely down to what interests me, not a criticism of you or how you use Twitter.

    There’s two kinds of people I follow: very low-noise people that I don’t know well, and people I know pretty well (not necessarily face-to-face kind of know, but I’ve physically met probably 70% of the people I follow). That means I’m interested in what they’re up to – they bring me information but also just entertainment, personal stuff which means little to “outsiders”, and so on.

    So, for me, what you see as noise is signal. And I’m sure, for you, lots of what I mean as signal will just be noise :)

  29. Ian: I totally disagree. Even the best people in the tech industry that I’m highly interested in, like, say, Tim O’Reilly, Mike Arrington, or Dave Winer, have 99.999% noise. I can prove that, because I don’t like everything they write.

    And, in aggregate, everyone is noisy. It’s like looking at a pile of hay. I’m looking for the needles.

    You just need better tools. That’s why I use friendfeed so much because it has grouping. I can separately out noisy assholes from other people, like my wife, who rarely posts but who I care about a lot more than anyone else.

  30. Ian: I totally disagree. Even the best people in the tech industry that I’m highly interested in, like, say, Tim O’Reilly, Mike Arrington, or Dave Winer, have 99.999% noise. I can prove that, because I don’t like everything they write.

    And, in aggregate, everyone is noisy. It’s like looking at a pile of hay. I’m looking for the needles.

    You just need better tools. That’s why I use friendfeed so much because it has grouping. I can separately out noisy assholes from other people, like my wife, who rarely posts but who I care about a lot more than anyone else.

  31. Ian: the fact that you get +some+ value out of me, but too much noise to deal with, tells me the tools are broken.

    In friendfeed I NEVER unfollow unless you turn idiotic.

    If you turn noisy I just put you in my noisy folder. That usually solves the problem and then I can see you occassionally (I read that folder 1/100th as often as I read the one that has 150 hand-picked people in it). Folders=lists in friendfeed.

    You can also greatly reduce my noise by learning how to use friendfeed’s “hide” feature. For instance, you can hide all tweets from me that don’t have at least one “like.” This would GREATLY reduce the amount of noise you see.

  32. Ian: the fact that you get +some+ value out of me, but too much noise to deal with, tells me the tools are broken.

    In friendfeed I NEVER unfollow unless you turn idiotic.

    If you turn noisy I just put you in my noisy folder. That usually solves the problem and then I can see you occassionally (I read that folder 1/100th as often as I read the one that has 150 hand-picked people in it). Folders=lists in friendfeed.

    You can also greatly reduce my noise by learning how to use friendfeed’s “hide” feature. For instance, you can hide all tweets from me that don’t have at least one “like.” This would GREATLY reduce the amount of noise you see.

  33. But that’s the thing, Robert: I already have the tools. I just read your blog. It’s the edited highlights of what you talk about on Twitter, and the distilled wisdom of what you learn in discussions on FriendFeed. I don’t need “Scoble, Uncut”. I need “Best of Scoble” :)

  34. But that’s the thing, Robert: I already have the tools. I just read your blog. It’s the edited highlights of what you talk about on Twitter, and the distilled wisdom of what you learn in discussions on FriendFeed. I don’t need “Scoble, Uncut”. I need “Best of Scoble” :)

  35. [...] fan van Friendfeed, maar ziet bij de lancering van de nieuwe FF website mogelijkheden voor Twitter. In deze blogpost geeft hij aan wat er in de toekomst (2012) aangepast zou moeten zijn aan Twitter zodat het voor [...]

  36. Eber: I’d like that feature.

    Ian: I already told you how to get “best of Scoble.” Use friendfeed and hide everything of mine that doesn’t have at least one like on it. More on that tomorrow. I don’t blog much of anything I’m learning on friendfeed, by the way. You really are missing too much by not being there and watching what I’m doing or liking.

  37. Eber: I’d like that feature.

    Ian: I already told you how to get “best of Scoble.” Use friendfeed and hide everything of mine that doesn’t have at least one like on it. More on that tomorrow. I don’t blog much of anything I’m learning on friendfeed, by the way. You really are missing too much by not being there and watching what I’m doing or liking.

  38. “Ian: the fact that you get +some+ value out of me, but too much noise to deal with, tells me the tools are broken. ”

    And it tells us you produce noise.

    “If you turn noisy I just put you in my noisy folder. That usually solves the problem”

    Noise happens *at all scales* and for social media is *relative* to the state of consumer not just the producer. That’s why neither your or Ian’s position (“it’s the tools” v “it’s the social”) is the right one.

    What you’re looking for is called an amplifier.

  39. “Ian: the fact that you get +some+ value out of me, but too much noise to deal with, tells me the tools are broken. ”

    And it tells us you produce noise.

    “If you turn noisy I just put you in my noisy folder. That usually solves the problem”

    Noise happens *at all scales* and for social media is *relative* to the state of consumer not just the producer. That’s why neither your or Ian’s position (“it’s the tools” v “it’s the social”) is the right one.

    What you’re looking for is called an amplifier.

  40. Wayne: You’re absolutely right about “authority” ranking ….but popularity does not equate to “authority” -and your definition may differ from mine making someone have more or less authority in your eys than mine

    Robert & Ian -I have a fairly high signal rate, but still MOST of my tweets are noise to most people. Robert, you have an abnormally high signal rate. People may enjoy my flavor of noise, but that doesn’t make it less than racket. If it made sense that robert not follow you on twitter, why would he be interested in listening to you here either? I find that I get an amazing amount of value out of people who generate 99% noise (from my POV) -The KEY is knowing how to use tools to sift through that noise. Robert is particularly a master of this, it’s his primary job. The more I can sift throug the noise, the more I find that I can engage with my followers. As I begin to reace higher and higher numbers I have to adopt stronger and stronger technologies.

    If Twitter were to start including some of the metadata I could sift through it better. I use FriendFeed to do that as well. For example, I pay attention to tweets that have a large discussion following on FriendFeed (it’s there a way to find tweets that have more than X number of comments on FF, Robert? )

    Eber: There are several tools that are out and imminent that provide that think this is better implemented on the client side, giving the user the more control about how those accounts are associated with each other, if at all. The example on your blog is exactly what I would NOT want. I would want my totally personal account information to be completely seperate from the professional, and hopefully I don’t leak any data between the two.

    I think that it would be nice if there were a simple protocol for a meta-tweet.

    It would be the same length as the tweet, has fields that have pointers to the actual data

    Does not need to be implemented by Twitter to make it work either -could be implemented directly in the client -The originating client decides to attach the meta-tweet, the viewing client knows how to open the meta-tweet and extract the pointers, and provide other applications on the client machine the links to open the actual data thats pointed to in the meta-tweet. No need to wait till 2012 for that, Robert. Get me a coder and we could have it ready in a few months.

    Do you want twitter to solve all of the problems? I don’t. The beauty of twitter is the simplicity. Implementing the meta-data directly in twitter reduces the simplicity.

    Implementation in the client makes a tweet just a transport, and leave the interpretation of signal or noise up to the recipient.

  41. Wayne: You’re absolutely right about “authority” ranking ….but popularity does not equate to “authority” -and your definition may differ from mine making someone have more or less authority in your eys than mine

    Robert & Ian -I have a fairly high signal rate, but still MOST of my tweets are noise to most people. Robert, you have an abnormally high signal rate. People may enjoy my flavor of noise, but that doesn’t make it less than racket. If it made sense that robert not follow you on twitter, why would he be interested in listening to you here either? I find that I get an amazing amount of value out of people who generate 99% noise (from my POV) -The KEY is knowing how to use tools to sift through that noise. Robert is particularly a master of this, it’s his primary job. The more I can sift throug the noise, the more I find that I can engage with my followers. As I begin to reace higher and higher numbers I have to adopt stronger and stronger technologies.

    If Twitter were to start including some of the metadata I could sift through it better. I use FriendFeed to do that as well. For example, I pay attention to tweets that have a large discussion following on FriendFeed (it’s there a way to find tweets that have more than X number of comments on FF, Robert? )

    Eber: There are several tools that are out and imminent that provide that think this is better implemented on the client side, giving the user the more control about how those accounts are associated with each other, if at all. The example on your blog is exactly what I would NOT want. I would want my totally personal account information to be completely seperate from the professional, and hopefully I don’t leak any data between the two.

    I think that it would be nice if there were a simple protocol for a meta-tweet.

    It would be the same length as the tweet, has fields that have pointers to the actual data

    Does not need to be implemented by Twitter to make it work either -could be implemented directly in the client -The originating client decides to attach the meta-tweet, the viewing client knows how to open the meta-tweet and extract the pointers, and provide other applications on the client machine the links to open the actual data thats pointed to in the meta-tweet. No need to wait till 2012 for that, Robert. Get me a coder and we could have it ready in a few months.

    Do you want twitter to solve all of the problems? I don’t. The beauty of twitter is the simplicity. Implementing the meta-data directly in twitter reduces the simplicity.

    Implementation in the client makes a tweet just a transport, and leave the interpretation of signal or noise up to the recipient.

  42. guruvan-

    but why do I need to open multiple accounts if I want to keep separate content?
    and why (and how?) would you have to find out all my accounts if you wanted to follow all of my updates?
    multiple twitter accounts also means multiple email addresses… see where this is going?

  43. guruvan-

    but why do I need to open multiple accounts if I want to keep separate content?
    and why (and how?) would you have to find out all my accounts if you wanted to follow all of my updates?
    multiple twitter accounts also means multiple email addresses… see where this is going?

  44. As a person not fluent in current technology, I do use Facebook and Twitter. There are numerous articles in the blog world that discuss how to use these two social networks to increase visitors, make money, etc. For me, the more complicated they become, the less likely I will bother putting my time into them. Clean, simple…that’s what I want. If there start changing them too much (which Facebook seems to be doing), I won’t be interested in visiting and will put my energy elsewhere. I’m 100% with you that the beauty of Twitter is the simplicity.

  45. As a person not fluent in current technology, I do use Facebook and Twitter. There are numerous articles in the blog world that discuss how to use these two social networks to increase visitors, make money, etc. For me, the more complicated they become, the less likely I will bother putting my time into them. Clean, simple…that’s what I want. If there start changing them too much (which Facebook seems to be doing), I won’t be interested in visiting and will put my energy elsewhere. I’m 100% with you that the beauty of Twitter is the simplicity.

  46. Eber: I simply don’t want to mix my personal (only) life and my professional life. I don’t WANT you to find from one to the other. Thats my point. And no, the email address @ Twitter is “secret” and could be the same.

    Perhaps segmenting them the way you suggest would work for you, but I would have no interest in maintaining my life that way.

    The two notions are not mutually exclusive.

  47. Eber: I simply don’t want to mix my personal (only) life and my professional life. I don’t WANT you to find from one to the other. Thats my point. And no, the email address @ Twitter is “secret” and could be the same.

    Perhaps segmenting them the way you suggest would work for you, but I would have no interest in maintaining my life that way.

    The two notions are not mutually exclusive.

  48. Location is the biggest in my mind. The idea of a map or geographic boundary could really change the way unfolding events are responded to. HUGE potential!

    Other metadata is helpful and complexity will be required to keep the service relevant. Great post as always, thank you.

  49. Location is the biggest in my mind. The idea of a map or geographic boundary could really change the way unfolding events are responded to. HUGE potential!

    Other metadata is helpful and complexity will be required to keep the service relevant. Great post as always, thank you.

  50. guruvan: perhaps you didn’t read my post entirely, one of the suggestions is that the profiles can be made discoverable only to the people you want, and completely invisible for everyone else

    and no, you cannot have two twitter accounts with the same email address

  51. guruvan: perhaps you didn’t read my post entirely, one of the suggestions is that the profiles can be made discoverable only to the people you want, and completely invisible for everyone else

    and no, you cannot have two twitter accounts with the same email address

  52. Eber: OK – to be honest, I personally have no actual need of multiple accounts, so I’ve never tried to create them.

    but the fact that the tweet-streams are public means that if I did want to keep my personal life separate, I would not want the tweets from my personal life to have anything to do with the professional account name -That is my point. The way you are suggesting requires that my streams not be discoverable by the public. That is something other than twitter.

  53. Eber: OK – to be honest, I personally have no actual need of multiple accounts, so I’ve never tried to create them.

    but the fact that the tweet-streams are public means that if I did want to keep my personal life separate, I would not want the tweets from my personal life to have anything to do with the professional account name -That is my point. The way you are suggesting requires that my streams not be discoverable by the public. That is something other than twitter.

  54. guruvan: having non discoverable *accounts* was something you *asked* for in the first place! “I don’t WANT you to find from one to the other.”, I just pointed out that my suggestion addresses that concern, but is in no way the main point of the suggestion, the main point is to separate contents

    see, I DO use multiple accounts, why? for starters, I want to tweet both in english and spanish, but would you subscribe to my account if you saw spanish? no, most of my english account followers don’t speak spanish.

    So I had the idea that twitter could facilitate this, and then realized that there is much more benefit than can be obtained by implementing this feature

  55. guruvan: having non discoverable *accounts* was something you *asked* for in the first place! “I don’t WANT you to find from one to the other.”, I just pointed out that my suggestion addresses that concern, but is in no way the main point of the suggestion, the main point is to separate contents

    see, I DO use multiple accounts, why? for starters, I want to tweet both in english and spanish, but would you subscribe to my account if you saw spanish? no, most of my english account followers don’t speak spanish.

    So I had the idea that twitter could facilitate this, and then realized that there is much more benefit than can be obtained by implementing this feature

  56. My main point is to use Separate Identities. Your blog post does not lend itself to separate identities, only separate content streams. (This is a difference in what we would each find useful to ourselves though)

    Having separate content streams might also be valuable.

    I do speak and read spanish so I would subscribe to your stream either way…. ;)

    (but truthfully, you are correct that most of your english speaking followers would not care to see your spanish…)

  57. My main point is to use Separate Identities. Your blog post does not lend itself to separate identities, only separate content streams. (This is a difference in what we would each find useful to ourselves though)

    Having separate content streams might also be valuable.

    I do speak and read spanish so I would subscribe to your stream either way…. ;)

    (but truthfully, you are correct that most of your english speaking followers would not care to see your spanish…)

  58. Agreed on all points except for maybe 6 – I think an evolution of the social web will bring this through in a different way maybe through some sort of social identity aggregator. Friendfeed is also a bit like this though again there is little meta data to help organise the mess.

    But you say this is Twitter 2012, yet each one of the features you ask for is available through third pary addons so surely we can get there sooner?

  59. Agreed on all points except for maybe 6 – I think an evolution of the social web will bring this through in a different way maybe through some sort of social identity aggregator. Friendfeed is also a bit like this though again there is little meta data to help organise the mess.

    But you say this is Twitter 2012, yet each one of the features you ask for is available through third pary addons so surely we can get there sooner?

  60. I find this continuing meme of trying to push the entire Internet through a pipe that’s 140 characters wide really, really bizarre. A tweet to find border times? Umm…that’s a call to a web service. Don’t get me wrong; I realize that the simplicity of the UI and API are attractive in certain contexts. But I’m not going to follow some service at the Washington State DOT just to get border info easily! Tweets as RPCs, URL shorteners out the wazoo, and people who actually think they can “follow” 1,000 accounts…Twitter is a weird (and interesting) place. I like it as a petri dish, but that’s about it. Hopefully MUCH more powerful tools for socialization, information management, and agent search/analysis/synthesis will emerge, having shed their prior constraint of fitting in an SMS text. (FF is a great version 2, indeed. Still a ways to go, however.).

  61. I find this continuing meme of trying to push the entire Internet through a pipe that’s 140 characters wide really, really bizarre. A tweet to find border times? Umm…that’s a call to a web service. Don’t get me wrong; I realize that the simplicity of the UI and API are attractive in certain contexts. But I’m not going to follow some service at the Washington State DOT just to get border info easily! Tweets as RPCs, URL shorteners out the wazoo, and people who actually think they can “follow” 1,000 accounts…Twitter is a weird (and interesting) place. I like it as a petri dish, but that’s about it. Hopefully MUCH more powerful tools for socialization, information management, and agent search/analysis/synthesis will emerge, having shed their prior constraint of fitting in an SMS text. (FF is a great version 2, indeed. Still a ways to go, however.).

  62. Robert. I think that you are right on when you say that the success of twitter is simplicity + “celebrities” + light weight profile customization. The notion of celebrity is not just a Hollywood star, it can be anyone you have a lot of respect for/lookup to and want to have connection with. In that context, I think that noise is not a tremendous problem: you can follow/unfollow, you can use the grouping offered by twitter client.

    Noise becomes a problem when you start using twitter for tracking news (not people). It is off course a valid use case but I do not think that it is the key use case and not the one which is driving the viral growth of twitter. I think that if twitter is smart, they will keep the main interface dead simple and try to address this use case separately by enhancing search pages.

    The reason I am saying this is that by keeping things dead simple, twitter is a much bigger danger to facebook: Let twitter define the torrain of the fight. If twitter grows into a mini facebook, they are dead…(which is what is happening to friendfeed).

  63. Robert. I think that you are right on when you say that the success of twitter is simplicity + “celebrities” + light weight profile customization. The notion of celebrity is not just a Hollywood star, it can be anyone you have a lot of respect for/lookup to and want to have connection with. In that context, I think that noise is not a tremendous problem: you can follow/unfollow, you can use the grouping offered by twitter client.

    Noise becomes a problem when you start using twitter for tracking news (not people). It is off course a valid use case but I do not think that it is the key use case and not the one which is driving the viral growth of twitter. I think that if twitter is smart, they will keep the main interface dead simple and try to address this use case separately by enhancing search pages.

    The reason I am saying this is that by keeping things dead simple, twitter is a much bigger danger to facebook: Let twitter define the torrain of the fight. If twitter grows into a mini facebook, they are dead…(which is what is happening to friendfeed).

  64. I’m sorry, but i’m not a developer at a Twitter competitor. I do have something to say, though.

    I started my weblife diarying, first in Geocities and then Opendiary. I gladly moved on to blogging when that far more practical and versatile option arrived. The move from diarying to blogging was seamless. When microblogging came along, i started trying to figure out how that was meant to work. That change was anything but seamless; it required a complete rethink of how i addressed myself to the web.

    As you say, the whole point of Twitter is that it’s just “what i am doing now”, but that is far too Zen for folks like me to grasp right out of the box. We try to form networks, try to connect with people, try to follow and participate in conversations, and Twitter just plain isn’t about that. Sure, you can do it, but the interface seems to be set up to purposefully frustrate you should you start attempting anything like that.

    Twitter has all the characteristics of being a part of something else; a part that broke off and floated away.

    I understand that Facebook tried to purchase Twitter recently, and when the deal didn’t go through, Facebook just revamped its status indicator to become a de facto Twitter. There is a need for that sort of stream-of-consciousness bleating, but the moment you want to become involved in someone talking back to you, you have to move away from Twitter and contextualise that functionality into something else.

    IMHO, Twitter 2012 doesn’t have to be any different to the Twitter we have right now. We just have to learn what it’s for, and use it for that. If we want all that other stuff your article sets out to complexify it up with (straight after lauding its simplicity!), then we need to use something else to do that.

    There endeth the lesson.//

  65. I’m sorry, but i’m not a developer at a Twitter competitor. I do have something to say, though.

    I started my weblife diarying, first in Geocities and then Opendiary. I gladly moved on to blogging when that far more practical and versatile option arrived. The move from diarying to blogging was seamless. When microblogging came along, i started trying to figure out how that was meant to work. That change was anything but seamless; it required a complete rethink of how i addressed myself to the web.

    As you say, the whole point of Twitter is that it’s just “what i am doing now”, but that is far too Zen for folks like me to grasp right out of the box. We try to form networks, try to connect with people, try to follow and participate in conversations, and Twitter just plain isn’t about that. Sure, you can do it, but the interface seems to be set up to purposefully frustrate you should you start attempting anything like that.

    Twitter has all the characteristics of being a part of something else; a part that broke off and floated away.

    I understand that Facebook tried to purchase Twitter recently, and when the deal didn’t go through, Facebook just revamped its status indicator to become a de facto Twitter. There is a need for that sort of stream-of-consciousness bleating, but the moment you want to become involved in someone talking back to you, you have to move away from Twitter and contextualise that functionality into something else.

    IMHO, Twitter 2012 doesn’t have to be any different to the Twitter we have right now. We just have to learn what it’s for, and use it for that. If we want all that other stuff your article sets out to complexify it up with (straight after lauding its simplicity!), then we need to use something else to do that.

    There endeth the lesson.//

  66. If 99.999999999999% of your inbound tweets comprise the “river of noise,” might it be you are following the wrong mix of people?

    Also, you’re talking about twitter.com, not third-party applications. For instance, you can group your followers in TweetDeck. And like others mentioned, you can synchronize Twitter with apps like Brightkite and Tripit for locational metadata.

    Finally, the DM searchability issue is easily solved by going to your settings and auto forwarding DMs to email. Create an email filter, and you’ll never see them in your inbox.

  67. If 99.999999999999% of your inbound tweets comprise the “river of noise,” might it be you are following the wrong mix of people?

    Also, you’re talking about twitter.com, not third-party applications. For instance, you can group your followers in TweetDeck. And like others mentioned, you can synchronize Twitter with apps like Brightkite and Tripit for locational metadata.

    Finally, the DM searchability issue is easily solved by going to your settings and auto forwarding DMs to email. Create an email filter, and you’ll never see them in your inbox.

  68. Edwin: I agree wholeheartedly with your main sentiments here. Just what I was thinking about on my walk a few minutes ago. Twitter needs to KISS (keep it simple stupid!) and develop the search and the api and leave the features to be developed by third party app developers. If Twitter tries to add features, they will likely lose the game.

  69. Edwin: I agree wholeheartedly with your main sentiments here. Just what I was thinking about on my walk a few minutes ago. Twitter needs to KISS (keep it simple stupid!) and develop the search and the api and leave the features to be developed by third party app developers. If Twitter tries to add features, they will likely lose the game.

  70. When I launch my new business, you will be the first I will ask for advice (even if it’s paid :D), you have a great knowledge on sociel-networking and peoples bahavior using web content.

    Congrats!!! Great post!!!

  71. When I launch my new business, you will be the first I will ask for advice (even if it’s paid :D), you have a great knowledge on sociel-networking and peoples bahavior using web content.

    Congrats!!! Great post!!!

  72. I doubt that in three years the fabric of the net/global telecommunications infrastructure and services can be completely rewoven to allow for the development of the shared trust required for the granular, open and targeted dialog you describe and desire. A range of protocols already exists to propagate what you’ve described (LDAP, SSL Certs, PK, IRC, etc.) but all of the options add layers of complexity you don’t want. However, without trust the community as a whole will eventually have to decide if/when to exclude the disenfranchised. At the thread of such moderation is the tyranny of silence. More likely “trusted computing” will become ubiquitous and the governments or corporations will be able to revoke the rights to private or public digital content in any domain for any reason (security or copyright are too big doors today and only getting larger).

  73. I doubt that in three years the fabric of the net/global telecommunications infrastructure and services can be completely rewoven to allow for the development of the shared trust required for the granular, open and targeted dialog you describe and desire. A range of protocols already exists to propagate what you’ve described (LDAP, SSL Certs, PK, IRC, etc.) but all of the options add layers of complexity you don’t want. However, without trust the community as a whole will eventually have to decide if/when to exclude the disenfranchised. At the thread of such moderation is the tyranny of silence. More likely “trusted computing” will become ubiquitous and the governments or corporations will be able to revoke the rights to private or public digital content in any domain for any reason (security or copyright are too big doors today and only getting larger).

  74. Some good ideas. But I think everybody overhypes Twitter… In the world of Marketing and Trendwatching are different behaviours: buzz (very short term not much people) , hype (short term trend) , Trend (long term). In the future Twitter will be more complex because of more people using it, developer will try to improve the functions to keep it small and stupid (KISS) but after that it will be like ff and fb. I think there will be more innovative social network sites with never seen ideas and the whole market will divide in different (user) groups – it already happens. but i think the ultimate “social network” will be your (skype) list. I think programs as skype will be very populair when wi-fi gets really mainstream… it already is in africa and we all know africa is the new US. (:
    x

  75. Some good ideas. But I think everybody overhypes Twitter… In the world of Marketing and Trendwatching are different behaviours: buzz (very short term not much people) , hype (short term trend) , Trend (long term). In the future Twitter will be more complex because of more people using it, developer will try to improve the functions to keep it small and stupid (KISS) but after that it will be like ff and fb. I think there will be more innovative social network sites with never seen ideas and the whole market will divide in different (user) groups – it already happens. but i think the ultimate “social network” will be your (skype) list. I think programs as skype will be very populair when wi-fi gets really mainstream… it already is in africa and we all know africa is the new US. (:
    x

  76. Great post. Agree on just about all of those features.

    I understand you are familiar with TodaysMama’s new niche microblogging platform – http://www.todaysmama.com/connect. Twitter for Moms.

    What do you think about the need for niche Twitter sites? I think they feed nicely into your comments about groups.

  77. Great post. Agree on just about all of those features.

    I understand you are familiar with TodaysMama’s new niche microblogging platform – http://www.todaysmama.com/connect. Twitter for Moms.

    What do you think about the need for niche Twitter sites? I think they feed nicely into your comments about groups.

  78. As to your first 2 2012 comments, you can already group people by downloading Tweetdeck. It’s a decent program, that is free.

    As to building Twitter into an engine where you can do video/pics/etc. from. Why would you want that? The biggest mistake all these social networks are making is becoming too much the same. Different hats for different jobs!

    Facebook, Myspace and LinkedIn are all trying to look more like Twitter, Last.FM & Myspace are trying to look more like Facebook. It goes on and on. Eventually they will all look and act exactly the same, making there no point.

    Myspace is the boring site that I have to be on to run a record label, people can quickly hear our music.

    Last.FM is where I can be a fan of music.

    LinkedIn is where I can post my resume and look for work.

    Facebook is the site that I mock, that only tools that think people give a crap about them are on.

    Twitter is where I can send and recieve information at lightening speed and get links to blogs like this without having to work hard.

    The seperation is key. The more they all become the same, the less I (and others) will engage them.

    That’s my two cents.

  79. As to your first 2 2012 comments, you can already group people by downloading Tweetdeck. It’s a decent program, that is free.

    As to building Twitter into an engine where you can do video/pics/etc. from. Why would you want that? The biggest mistake all these social networks are making is becoming too much the same. Different hats for different jobs!

    Facebook, Myspace and LinkedIn are all trying to look more like Twitter, Last.FM & Myspace are trying to look more like Facebook. It goes on and on. Eventually they will all look and act exactly the same, making there no point.

    Myspace is the boring site that I have to be on to run a record label, people can quickly hear our music.

    Last.FM is where I can be a fan of music.

    LinkedIn is where I can post my resume and look for work.

    Facebook is the site that I mock, that only tools that think people give a crap about them are on.

    Twitter is where I can send and recieve information at lightening speed and get links to blogs like this without having to work hard.

    The seperation is key. The more they all become the same, the less I (and others) will engage them.

    That’s my two cents.

  80. [...] Scobleizer: Technology, innovation, and geek enthusiasm » Blog Archive Twitter 2012 « Tomorrow friendfeed is coming out with a new version that’s quite different from what it did before (I have a video of the meeting where friendfeed’s co-founders demonstrate the new version to a bunch of bloggers including from VentureBeat, TechCrunch, and a variety of others. That set of videos will be up Monday morning at about 9 a.m. Pacific Time). (tags: socialmedia web2.0 technology Social twitter microblogging network 2012) [...]

  81. I’d like to see an option where I input my interests (tags) once on my profile, and it alerts me when the people I’ve followed say something relevant to those interests. I think it would be a simpler way to filter out the noise, not to say geo tagging wouldn’t be awesome.

  82. I’d like to see an option where I input my interests (tags) once on my profile, and it alerts me when the people I’ve followed say something relevant to those interests. I think it would be a simpler way to filter out the noise, not to say geo tagging wouldn’t be awesome.

  83. Regarding: “like” them and “comment” on them.

    If those are the two things we need in twitter, then faves does the first, and website address does the other? Is there something in the api that precludes this info?

  84. Regarding: “like” them and “comment” on them.

    If those are the two things we need in twitter, then faves does the first, and website address does the other? Is there something in the api that precludes this info?

  85. So, if someone says “Pluto’s rocks” there should be an aggregator that lets you see how many people talked about Plutos. Obviously only people writing on their iPhones FROM Plutos on University Ave.

  86. Metadata FTW! Really, though, I think 2012 isn't ambitious enough. So many of these features exist in different places already. How about Twitter 2010?

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