Yo @chrisbrogan you’re doing Twitter wrong

It started as a little joke that I said on stage at the BlogWorld Expo. One of my fellow panelists said she didn’t like people who told other people that they were doing Twitter wrong. So, of course, I blurted out “Chris Brogan is doing Twitter wrong.” Mostly as a joke, but partly because, well, I think he’s doing Twitter wrong. More on why in a moment.

Of course Chris heard about it and he got back at me on stage at the Web 2.0 Expo by pointing out that he is doing Twitter right. That’s why his video is embedded on this post.

How did I find Brogan’s video about serendipity? Well, I often read my Tech News Brands list. I saw a link there to David Armano’s blog, which pointed out what a great speech this was.

Oh, I do love finding good stuff in my lists.

Speaking of good stuff, you gotta watch Baratunde Thurston’s speech, titled “there’s a hashtag for that.”

So, that’s off topic. Why don’t I like how Chris Brogan does Twitter?

Because I can’t find his good blogs and videos. Why? Because he does so many conversations. Look at his Twitter home page. All you see is @replies. This is what makes Brogan Brogan, because he’s going to answer you no matter how popular he gets. But, that means I can’t find the good stuff he publishes.

I wish he’d do a separate feed of just his blog posts and well-thought out things.

Actually it was that realization that made me open up two new Twitter accounts: scobleblog is a feed of just my blog posts and scoblemedia is a feed of just my videos and podcasts I’m on.

So, Brogan, can you do the same thing? Give me JUST YOU in one feed and all your conversations in another (I do like that too).

Oh, I should admit that I stole this idea from Guy Kawasaki. He does Twitter wrong too, but that’s a different post. :-)

About Robert Scoble

As Startup Liaison for Rackspace, the Open Cloud Computing Company, I travel the world with Rocky Barbanica looking for what's happening on the bleeding edge of technology and report that here.

44 thoughts on “Yo @chrisbrogan you’re doing Twitter wrong

  1. How about asking Chris to strike a better balance between what he says and what/who he replies to? Two streams in one? Er, it's not the technical solution either in the sense of creating two separate streams, or getting Twitter to adopt functionality to allow filtering, but it's an option with it's own set of benefits.

    Great conversation, thanks.

  2. untill now i thought you (Scoble) were the one who responded to everyone even if you are a sort of celebrity and an important, busy man who has other things to do! well now thanks to your post that position is now officially with Chris. i know you weren't replying to all the stuff that people write to you on twitter not only @ mentions but also “in reply to” tweets. i know you weren't replying to all of them as you did on friendfeed or mail etc, but hey folks Chris Brogan deserves my sincerest regards for all the replies that he does even though he is President of so and so and a verified account on twitter!

    HAIL Chris Brogan!

  3. I completely reject the idea that there is one or even a small number of right ways to use Twitter. I think one can say that how they use Twitter is the right way for them but to assume that means other ways are wrong is just, well, it's just wrong.

    Twitter lists does change a lot but really only for people who invest the time to use them in some detail. Not everyone will do that. Or should.

  4. LOL. You guys are funny. I thought everyone knows to go to http://chrisbrogan.com [HIS BLOG] to read his blog posts.

    And, on the whole joke about who's doing Twitter right or wrong… sure, it's fun to makes those jokes (and maybe even sorta not be joking) – but really — IF we all did everything the same, and we only liked what others do because they do it just like we do it — or the way we think is better – or if people who joined this space just started doing only what others very strongly IMPLY they should do – just to fit in — then people would stop innovating, evolving and this space would get boring really fast.

    I hope you continue to do what you, continually evolving. I hope that Brogan does what he does, continually evolving. I hope that Solis continues to do what he does, while evolving, I hope Loren at 1938media continues to do what he does, while evolving, iJustine, etc. I do NOT want to get bored here. It will be like MySpace all over again. <just kidding myspace>

    We can't box people on Twitter into what is a right or wrong way – We can just like it or not like it – share why we like it or “suggest alternatives” (that's spin for “I don't like it!”)…Follow or Unfollow…Friend or Unfriend…Pay attention to everything and choose to ignore completely or –as a happy “personal growth project” ignore some things someone does that you don't like because you like the other things they do…

    But..you know me. I like everything…Well…except..Burger King Burgers…I enjoy their goofy marketing, but I don't seem to like Burger King “flame-fresh” burgers…but you know what? I don't call them and tell to change it – other people love it. I just don't eat there.

    Happy Monday YA'LL!

  5. “What we need is a filter on Twitter home page: tweets+replies, only tweets, only replies.” This would be sublime! I don't believe there is a right or wrong way to do Twitter, there are just varying degress of effectiveness.

  6. Use Yahoo's pipes, filter out anything with @ replies…plug that into an RSS reader, or better yet…setup a brogan bot…that RT's all that valuable information by plugging that same yahoo pipe into a twitter feed account.

  7. @replies would be fine if there was an organic way to follow the threads. You know, string them together based on time. I'm sure there is an app for that, but I don't want to LeoLaporte my computer to the breaking point with one more cool app.

    Some of us 'older' folks have a bit of a hard time following the layered replies and RTs all jammed into a 140 character gazpacho of bits. This is where I actually start losing it with Twitter and I will usually just go on to the next tweet rather than disambiguate one of those…

  8. “I'm a digress here”, but Mr Thurston's Nigerian first name doesn't exist – “Babatunde” does, and means “Father returns” (reincarnates), and the Arabic word “Rafiq” means “Friend”.

  9. I think that the world is chaining, the old school of b2b, b2c, CRM, ERP and big corporations is changing to a more personal readership kind of way.
    Not to say that i am an export or blogger, i am just a guy who also try to work and understand this world, make it a better place for all of us.

    i want a personal relationship with a brand/product/biz/company/cooperate i want my personal designed nike shows.
    So what is Chris Brogan a person a blog a brand a biz?? i don't know, but when i send him a mail he reply! and that feel my up more then anything i can explain. i know he does it to many people and there are who say that he may not reply to all himself, but at the end of the day what do we have if not the personal relationship that we made, and the good that we leave in the world at the end of the day.

    Robert, Thank you for this post, i learned a lot from it mostly about myself and the way i look at things, i love the fact that you are reachable, and honored to be posting a note in your blog.

  10. So because you decided not to use RSS any more and instead rely on things you notice on twitter that means Chris is using twitter wrong? He should only tweet about things he is doing? I think you can still get what you want by watching for what others say about Chris in your twitter lists.

  11. If you really like Chris Brogan's blog (and I do too) rather than search for it on Twitter, why don't you subscribe by e-mail? Personally, I think everyone should have the subscribe by e-mail option on their blogs. I never check my RSS feed…
    Still can't quite figure out Twitter's new lists (to compete with TweetDeck?). I am a big fan of the conversational feel of Twitter and prefer to keep one account for both conversation and “news” aggregator, but I see your point.
    Thanks for keeping it fresh and real!

  12. I still use aggregators, of all kinds. Blog aggregators, news aggregators, twitter lists, and RSS. Until I can get them all in one place, that's how it will be for me. I find something different on every site. For instance, hooked on http://www.regator.com It aggregates the blogosphere, not just tech. The entire blogosphere. I like that it points me to interesting blog posts, and I can go back and find something that was published 1 minute ago, or one hour.

    Twitter is a great tool to find interesting news, topics, conversations, but sometimes that info can be a leaf floating down the river. If you aren't standing by the shoreline when the leaf passes by, you miss seeing it.

    I need multiple tools, I use multiple tools, and I think I find more, and find more value, because of it.

    Mike
    http://www.twitter.com/mikelizun

  13. I’ve split my blog feed and reg feed forever just for the reason Robert says. Maybe someone doesn’t want my blog post mixed in with other stuff. SO, they have the choice. Follow one, both, or neither. ;-p

  14. I'm one of the 700. I enjoy Roberts blog a bunch, but can list follow his main stream. I have a very small follow list and like having a group that I truly listen to as my default (that's what our follow list is now).

    I do subscribe to Roberts blog as well but check Twitter more often than my reader. And my reader is a bit backlogged with awesome feeds, so I don't always even see his posts there.

  15. That would be preferable! But until then I think Roberts method is pretty good. Self sorting, and filtering without throwing info on the floor (or self censoring too much).

  16. Dude, I don't care what you like. I'm not going back to using slow RSS readers. I also totally disagree with you. I read thousands of tweets per day and most of them contain enough info to judge whether or not an article is interesting. Just flip through my lists on Twitter to get an idea of how I use it:

    http://twitter.com/Scobleizer/lists

  17. I'm on kristy's side here–the one reason I like RSS more than Twitter is I can read most articles in my feed without having to click to open a new tab. Just makes the browsing process much smoother. From Twitter the 140 character limit means I don't even get enough information to get interested in the article.

  18. Yeah nevermind, I read more comments and saw your replies to this same question. Definitely a feature request, which _could_ be implemented by the person you're following as you suggest, OR by a smarter Twitter client (either proper or 3rd party) capable of letting you slice and dice as you see fit. My hunch is the latter option is the better overall answer. I will probably never have enough followers to have this problem, but if I did I could see the burden of responsibility go either way, depending on who valued it the most (reader or content author).

  19. I know I'm being dense here, but aren't you pretty much describing an RSS feed? Or are you simply saying you'd like Twitter to completely replace the need for RSS/Atom feeds of the “well thought out” content on the internet?

  20. The readability issue could be addressed by offering different following options and/or filtered views.View/follow:
    1- unfiltered tweeter stream (tweets, retweets, @replies)
    2- only tweets without @replies
    Like with RSS and blogs/blogs with comments/comments only.
    There is not a good way to tweet, I am sure 1,000s of users love and get value out of the Brogan's @replies.

  21. @scobleizer the beauty is that there is no one right way. I'd argue @chrisbrogan has his following because his brand is his conversation. He tweet discusses his post ideas before and after the posts, also his conversations is what makes his unique.

    You raise an interesting point abt Twiter feeds by business and conversation by peeps.

    There are list management twitter apps coming up, @listiti is one which helps discovery of not just what you want Chris to push as news but tweets from his feed thats interesting for me on my tags.

    Your tweet leading to this blog post was serendipitous and I won't want to miss it by subscribing to your blog like a New York Times instead of Scoble and his conversations leading to his blog sometimes. But thats just me!

  22. It's a feature request. Doesn't mean he has to listen to it. But the fact that I got 700 followers in less than a week to my blog feed tells me there's at least SOME people who want separate feeds for separate behaviors.

  23. That is how those brands have chosen to push their content in to the community though. That certainly doesn't make it “the” right way….just “their” way.
    I guess fundamentally I don't agree with you saying that he is doing it wrong simply because he's not delivering exactly what you want in the format you want it in. All of the information you are asking for is out there in an easy to access format.

  24. Sorry, Kristy, when Twitter shipped lists everything changed. Look at http://twitter.com/Scobleizer/tech-news-brands for instance. Those brands have NOTHING to do with conversations. Twitter now is BOTH a conversation tool AND an aggregator of interesting information sources. So, it's my thesis that, if Brogan wants to best use Twitter, that he'll provide his readers two separate feeds. One that is just him, one that is more “talkative.” I want BOTH from him, but separate.

  25. Agreed on all counts! And I don’t think that breaking out a new Twitter feed should only apply if you want to break out different content. What about reviews and sponsored content? Was just at WOMMA and shared how BlogHer does this. This may mean starting from scratch with a new feed and having fewer followers, but someone like Brogan can easily catch up, and the alternative is having your regulars unfollow you because they are not getting what they signed up for.

    Guy Kawasaki: Don’t get me started. I love his stuff, but not interested in playing better golf. I’d love it if he broke out AllTop stuff from his stuff.

  26. I completely disagree with you on this point. RSS feeds deliver exactly what you're asking Chris to create a separate account (s) for. That's already done. Twitter, for him and for many others, is about and for the conversations. I'd offer that through the use of RSS and taking responsibility for your media consumption (i.e. utilizing a feed reader) you will get everything you want filtered just the way you're asking for it.
    Twitter's lists I'd argue are NOT a news aggregator unless the person who created that list put nothing but “feeds” into it. Otherwise they are helpful tools in organizing contacts and people.

  27. Ari: no one needs to listen to me, but the good content brands are already doing this. @techcrunch is separate from @arrington, for instance. Why is this? Because then I can listen to them separately and in separate lists. Lists has CHANGED OUR EXPECTATIONS OF TWITTER and the good people will change their behavior accordingly.

  28. Ari: no one needs to listen to me, but the good content brands are already doing this. @techcrunch is separate from @arrington, for instance. Why is this? Because then I can listen to them separately and in separate lists. Lists has CHANGED OUR EXPECTATIONS OF TWITTER and the good people will change their behavior accordingly.

  29. Ugh, I liked your comment by accident and can't figure out how to unlike.

    Moving on…I don't use RSS aggregators either, I just click on your list and scroll through. @s to the people we don't follow, don't show up, so it doesn't bother me. ;)

  30. Right, @replies don't show up in my feeds on my clients. If they did I would be forced to unfollow Brogan. But I do which I could have a feed in Twitter where I could find just Brogan's blog so I could add him to one of my lists and follow him closely there.

  31. That is just the point. I don't use RSS news aggregators anymore. Have you seen Twitter's lists? They TOTALLY change Twitter into a news aggregator along with a conversation tool.

  32. Robert, I'd rather see a timeline filled with @replies than someone who NEVER interacts and only pushes out content, with a #ad here and there. Though either which way, why and how a person uses Twitter shouldn't be up to us to dictate — especially since most of us already subscribed to Chris' blog via RSS.

  33. At least his @ replies don't show up on your home stream. Didn't it used to do that? I think that's one of the reason's Chris originally advocated it, because it promoted others into other user's streams. And he's all about promoting others first. Oh well, different strokes. If everyone did twitter the same way there wouldn't be as much serendipity.

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