Twitter Needs to Grow Up Or Die
I wrote the following on Twitter today. I was trying to make a point about Twitter’s character limitations:
1. Twitter’s 140 character limitation encourages incomplete thoughts and/or abuse of obscure and meaningless short-forms (IYKWIM)…
2. It’s a challenge (or even impossible) to limit our thoughts to only 140 characters, so we continue writing over several tweets like I am here…
3. The character limitation makes Twitter ineffective to communicate what I really want to say. So why bother?
————————————————– end of communication —————————————————-
Perhaps this isn’t the best of illustrations, but hopefully you can see that because of the stringent character limitation I felt compelled to carry my thoughts over several tweets.
Now imagine trying to follow me on your Twitter home page. Especially if you have thousands of ‘friends’ who are all tweeting at the same time!
My tweets might have appeared disjointed and out of context. You would need to visit my Twitter homepage and read the time-line to understand the point I was really trying to make.
Think back on all the messages you’ve read when you had no clue what the writer was saying because they tried to cram too much into just a few characters. Even at the best of times we can find it difficult to put our ideas into words with an infinite number of characters available.
So how on earth can we expect to convey it all in only 140 characters?
I thought social networking was supposed to make it easy for us to socialize? Sure, the 140 character limitation helps us to separate Twittering (i.e. micro-blogging) from real blogging, but don’t you think it’s a little too restrictive?
SMS technology is so old school. I thought this was web 2.0?
It might appeal to some who can’t put a sentence together but what about the rest of us? What is the point of a communications tool that severely restricts our ability to communicate? That sounds like a contradiction of terms to me.
Shouldn’t social sites like Twitter be about communicating effectively – correct? And isn’t ease of use the real attraction of Twitter? Not just being a so-called “micro” blogging service.
But other social sites like FriendFeed are just as easy to use and offer much more. I would also argue control over our content is just as important as ease of use. The ability to edit posts, grouping of comments per post in real time, and no 140 character limitation amongst other reasons are why FriendFeed is SO much better than Twitter.
Twitter was the first to capture market share. Everyone jumped on the bandwagon and third-party apps sprung out of nowhere. But Twitter shouldn’t rest on its laurels just because it can.
I’ve often complained Twitter totally sucks as a conversation tool. Twitter can be so much more than for just telling you what I’m doing or being spammed. Surely we can have better conversations than that.
Twitter still has some growing up to do. Ya think?