Thursday, 3 March 2011

Time Wasters - Twitter

Continuing my evaluation of the time I spend online, I'm looking at Twitter behaviour I hate..

First of all, I like Micro blog service Twitter. I originally did not see the point and viewed it as time wasting. As the SQL Server community grasped it however I soon saw the value. The #SQLHelp hash tag quickly enables people to ask and answer technical questions. At the SQLBits conferences, the #SQLBits tag allows you to share thoughts with other techies. It has also enables you to meet up with comrades and arrange which pub you're going into later.

Twitter can become a bit like an email account without a spam filter. You quickly have to wade through a lot of rubbish to get to the good stuff. It is mostly people's behaviour that causes this.

My gripes with Twitter, are -

I'm not a fan of the inane banter twitter can promote. Thats down to personal style, but you can quickly 'unfollow' inviduals whose updates you find too much. It doesnt stop other's retweeting those messages back into your feed however.

Mention key subject words (e.g. iphone) and you'll find yourself being 'followed' by marketeers trying to sell you the same, in the hope you will follow them (twitter etiquette or twitiquette if you like)

Self Promotion
Everyone links blog posts they have written personally. I don't have a problem with that (apart from the fact I'm already subscribed to RSS feeds for the SQL Digerati). The extent to which some do so however is quite overwhelming. The worst offenders have to be promoters of their 'Daily Paper' service , which (IMHO) is a time wasting aggregation of things I've already read / have queued in Google Reader.

The idea here is to rebroadcast someone else's message, widening it's audience. You may chose to do so if it is interesting, relevent or humourous (to you anyway!)
What i hate here is the blatant Arsekissing that I frequently see i.e. the same users retweeting the messages of their nemeses. Chances are I am following the forementioned nemesis myself and have already seen the message (I have).

To be fair, I hardly ever see Twitter's Fail Whale anymore, but the network was far from resilient a year ago.

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